Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Esperance WA


Postcode: 6450

Esperance is a town in Western Australia, located on the south coast around half-way between Albany and the South Australian border. Its population is around 14,000 people, and its major industries are tourism, agriculture, and fishing.

Approximately 7.5 hours’ drive or a 1.5 hour flight from Perth, the state capital, Esperance is a popular destination for medium term trips for families based there. It is also around 4 hours’ drive south from the Goldfields mining town of Kalgoorlie, and offers a convenient get-away for weekends for the mine workers. Near the town itself are many attractive beaches, offering surfing, scuba diving, and swimming. Also nearby are a number of salt lakes, including the Pink Lake, which gains its rosey hue from red algae living within its waters.

There are five major national parks near the town. A major nearby tourist attraction, 56 km from the town center, is the Cape Le Grand National Park, which offers a picturesque coast of largely granite terrain and sheltered white sand beaches. The park is a popular spot for recreational fishing, as well as four wheel drive enthusiasts and hikers.

Esperance has a mediterranean type climate typically with hot dry summers and cool wet winters. In summer the average maximum temperature is in the mid 20s (degrees Celsius), however on occasion hot, dry northerly winds can blow off the arid interior of the state to the north-east, raising temperatures upward to around 40 degrees and above. The winter climate is generally less prone to extremes. The dominant influence is the cool, moist winds from the Great Southern Ocean to the south, bringing lower temperatures and the bulk of the annual rainfall in cold fronts. The average maximum temperatures are in the high teens.

The only port in the south east of Western Australia, the Esperance Port Authority completed an A$54 million dollar upgrade in 2002. The upgrade made the port one of the deepest in Southern Australia, capable of handling Cape class vessels (up to 180,000 tonnes) and fully loaded Panamax class vessels (up to 75,000 tonnes). Exports for the year ending June 2005 were 7,394,155 tonnes, including 1.7 million tonnes of grain, and 5.3 million tonnes of iron ore which is railed from Koolyanobbing.