Esperance and Cape Le Grand National Park April 12th- 21st

After free to low cost camping throughout South Australia I was finding it difficult to find a reasonably priced caravan park or camp in Esperance. We looked into a farm stay 35km outside of Esperance in Dalyup, on an active farm. The farmer Tom sounded like a total legend. So if your ever looking for a cheep stay it’s worth a look for $5 a night.
Although we didn’t decide to go this way as we wanted to make sure we could help celebrate Little Meg’s 5th Birthday. And after our long days on the road, we did feel like a spurge to stop in and recharge our selves with some long hot showers, and some free to air tv!
The boys got busy wrapping and making birthday cards for Meg and it was the cutest waking up to them so eager to spoil her and read her their messages! We all took off to the beautiful West beach of Esperance. The parents took turns surfing, although Pon did seem to squeeze every inch of his time surfing what he describes as the funnest waves he could surf for days!

The kids had a ball playing duck duck goose and tag with Playschool Stan! Who also set up a treasure hunt! Not only did the kids find the treasure, but Nix came across $10 in the dunes as well! Stan assures me it wasn’t apart of the hunt!
As ugly as the big black drains were on such beautiful beaches, they provided much fun for the kids as they slid down and rode them… Thank god my boys still have their nut balls in tact!
Stan and Ben shouted the kids to a Maccas lunch before we went back to rest up ( adults) kids rode bikes before we went out for a yummy dinner and drinks at the Pier hotel. We finished off Meg’s big day with sparklers and a home decorated cake before calling it a day! The kids had a ball!

The beaches are so amazing. The clearest turquoise water with the whitest sand! It’s probably as white as Hyams beach in Jervis Bay but it’s as soft and fine as talcum powder! Even on cloudy, overcast days it resembles so much beauty and remains so vibrant and blue. I’m truly impressed! The locals still insist that we have yet to see the best of it out at Cape Le Grand National Park.
The Esplanade in Esperance is so new and finely manicured! We spent one morning ‘park hopping’with the kids, teaching Raff to ride solo without his training wheels – which he managed to nail! They took a ride on a cute, miniature train that wove its way in and around the skate parks and the playgrounds, under tunnels and over bridges. They loved it.
After shouting the boys to icecream to celebrate Raffs bike-riding mile stone, we took a scenic drive along the great ocean drive to view the rest of the coast line – it was incredible!

Pon and I did our ultimate Bad parenting trick, and left the boys on the beach only to supervise them from out in the line up. We made sure they only used their code signal (wave the bodyboard over your head) for absolute emergencies …. “No Raff don’t wave the bodyboard if you need someone else to play with!!” And everyone had fun!

The next day we were eager to pack up and try our luck getting one of the 40 camp spots out at Cape Le Grand National park mid school holidays. people thought we were crazy even trying, as we’ve heard that people get out there at 7am and Que, waiting for other campers to leave. We were all busy gearing up to leave, before I pushed Raff to take his bike for one last lap as he had come back from one disheartened lap that he was “leaning” to much! So I did my usual pushy parent thing and forced him out whilst I ran behind him ready to catch his slips and falls, I was only 20mtrs from the caravan when my back went into a mega spasm that froze me solid like crippled old woman! I could barely breath from the tightening and pain across the middle of my back but managed to call for Nixon to go and get Pon! Raff on the other hand was yelling at me to “stop leaning on him” as I was unaware I was crushing him from my dysfunctional position. As tears began to flow I was assisted back to my caravan when all I could do was lay down and wait for the cocktail of pain relief Pon gave me to kick in.
A physio appointment and half a day later I was semi mobile enough to get into the car. We drove out 50kms to Cape Le Grand ( by this time it was almost 1pm) who were we kidding! We had no chance and sure enough were told there were no vacancies and had to turn around and drive on an extra 60kms along a dirt corrugated road ( by now my back is killing me) to find somewhere to stay! Arrrhh! What were we thinking?
We found a little camp called Alexander bay.. In the scrubs and set back off the beach in the middle of no where. The weather was intermittent but the beach was just as white and beautiful as anywhere. We fished the rocks and cleaned up with herring, wrass and silver trevally. For $5 a night it was still a nice couple of days spent until we were to try our luck again back at Cape Le Grand.

This time we scooped! And what a spot!!! I can see why this place is so sort after! We swam in the pristine waters. Raff even built up the courage to catch some waves with his brother! We watched the sunsets that looked like no other sunset we’ve seen before! I saw Dolphins swimming and spotted Wild brumbys roaming the dunes!
The boys put the boat in and putted around the corner and caught one of the biggest squid we’ve ever seen!
The camp hosts put on a happy hour every day at 5pm often serving up the catch of the day to their fellow campers. We were always enjoying the sunsets and seemed to miss this but what a great way to bring people of all walks of life together!
We drove around to meet our friends at Lucky Bay for a swim! I took so many photos of the beach but still none seem to capture the true brilliant water colours we saw in real life.
We saw some more of the sights in and around Lucky bay and all were beautiful.
One of the standouts was our climb to the summit of Frenchmans Peak. I was surprised when Pon suggested to climb it with his intense fear of heights, but with the weather a tad overcast we thought it was a perfect fit for the days activity.
We only got about half a kilometer up the rock faced mountain before Pon tensed up like a stress ball and decided it was far to dangerous for Raff to continue. I questioned whether in fact it was his own fears getting the better of him but he insisted it was unsafe for a 4 year old.
Nixon and I left Pon and Raff perched up on the rock and continued up to the cool caves where we spent some time exploring and admiring the view. We made it up to the summit where we stretched the legs re hydrated and took some pics! Nix was pushing me to get closer to edge but at that point I can sympathize with Pon to some degree as the weakness in my legs get the better of me. The whole time I did not let go of my little mountaineers hand, it was awesome to see him getting so pumped on the adventure and take in the amazing view from up high. Best date we’ve had yet.
After we got home, Pon was adamant he wasn’t going to let the mountain beat him and he thought he might regret not trying it so he dropped us off and returned to the mountain on his own, only to return half an hour later with that defeated look upon his face.

Raff has managed to master the art of take off after many attempts on the beach riding solo. The boys got some serious soccer drills and skills after Pon set up his own training sessions each day. The boys even baked and sold Anzac buscuits at a local Loom band stall a few camps down.. Cleaned up making a total of $6 for the day.


Anzac / loom band stall

We dodged a baby brown snake and after taking the boat out a second time to score a secluded beach in offshore conditions to our self survived a near capsizing on our way back to shore! totally dramatic but I’m pretty sure our boat rode a wave that was half a foot as I stood torn between which child I would save first! I swear I clutched their collars quicker than lightening that day! Whilst nix was shouting YAHOO!!! I saw that glimmer of fear in Pons eye before I panicked hard!
Didn’t want to leave this place! Could have stayed on for weeks! But after 4 nights our feet are itching for some new adventure! Where to next? We are never to sure!

2 responses to “Esperance and Cape Le Grand National Park April 12th- 21st

  1. How was that cave ! What did you say when you got to the top boys ? Loved the centre fold of you em on top of the mountain.


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