|Esperance, looking west from lookout|
|10 Mile Lagoon Beach - always a wind farm not far away.|
On the Friday we completed the Great Ocean Drive (40km scenic ocean road) including a Wind Farm and a pink lake (which was not pink the day we visited - probably too cold so stayed blue!!). We also checked out the streets of Esperance - I bought a warmer jacket as the wind has not stopped. You are probably wondering why no mention of swimming in the beautiful bays - might look nice but the water is like ice and it is accompanied by a chilling wind!!
Saturday we made our way to Cape Le Grand National Park - we had heard much about the park and in particular Lucky Bay from fellow grey nomads, we had to go see. After entering the park which is about 56km east of Esperance we drove towards Lucky Bay in anticipation of something special as it was voted 'the whitest beach'. We came over the hill to view the bay and were absolutely gob smacked - it was such a picturesque bay. To top it off there was even a coffee van on the beach, Hels thought she was in heaven!!!!
|Our first site of Lucky Bay - photos just don't do it justice.|
|Coffee van on the beach .... how "lucky".|
Lucky Bay was named by Mathew Flinders who used this bay as a safe anchorage on Saturday 9th January 1802 during his circumnavigation of Australia.
|Our camp overlooking the bay|
|Lucky Bay from the opposite side to the camping area (3km walk)|
Arriving early we were able to get a beach front site, so set up and sat gazing at the sea while having lunch and a coffee (another magnificent front yard view). On Sunday we had a rare day when the wind stopped and the temperature rose so we made the best of the day and visited some of the other bays in Le Grand NP, I even managed to jump in and have a swim. I didn't stay in long as the water was still on the chilly side, but I can say I've swam in Lucky Bay. Our first Bay to visit was Thistle Cove not far from Lucky Bay where we had a quick look at Whistling Rock (still not sure if it whistles!) and just before heading back to the car park I noticed some dolphins in the bay. There seemed to be a pod of 4 or 5 which were having a real play, we watched for a while before moving quickly around to have a closer view of the bay where we stood in amazement while we watched the dolphins having a 'whale' of a time in the clear turquoise water. Even though we had seen dolphins before it was special to watch them at play. We visited the other bays after but they didn't have the same wow factor.
The warm weather and lack of wind
didn't last long and we woke on Monday morning to an overcast day, some light showers
and with winds from the south east again, so time to pack up and move on.
|Thistle Cove, look closely for the dolphins|
|This may help.|
We heard Munglinup Beach about 110km west of Esperance had a sheltered camping area, so once we had stocked up on essentials in Esperance we headed off. Munglinup Beach is boarded by a natural reef and if it was not so windy would have been a great place to stay and enjoy for a couple of days. The camp site was positioned behind the sand dune so that in its self made it a good sheltered place to camp for the night. It was just so cold, particularly from the wind that the jeans came out and an additional couple of layers of clothes went on ....... I think we've come too close to the south pole!!! The sun made a couple of attempts to come out without any great success so we'll note this beach for when it's warmer and hopefully stay for a few days.
Travelling further east we headed
for Hopetoun, another seaside town on the eastern side of Fitzgerald National
Park. On arrival to Hopetoun we drove
straight into the biggest caravan wash bay I have ever seen, and gave the van a
quick once over - she was certainly sparkling after. Without the sun and with a blistering wind we
had a coffee at one of the local shops, took in the sights of the town and
decided to keep going, finishing up at Ravensthorpe for the night.
|Munglinup Beach, that far south the poler bears want a cuddle to keep warm!!|
|Now that's a big wash bay|