Cape Le Grand National Park is unquestionably one of the best places to visit in Western Australia. Wild coastal scenery, immensely beautiful beaches, squeaky-clean white sand, and crystal clear blue waters. Sounds good, right? It’s going to be even better. Have you heard about Lucky Bay, Australia’s whitest sand beach? It’s also here, as well as some cool walking tracks leading through rugged granite headlands. In this blog post, I’m going to share with you some of the best things to do in Cape Le Grand National Park. Enjoy!
HOW FAR IS CAPE LE GRAND FROM PERTH?
Cape Le Grand National Park is located over 700 km south-east of Perth and 50 km east of Esperance in Western Australia. It’s an isolated place, so don’t expect to get any reception or Internet there. Mobile signal is going to get stronger closer to the town. Looking for a petrol station? You will find it in Esperance and Condingup. You can go grocery shopping in both towns too. Although Condingup has only one store which is basically the petrol station. Esperance is a much bigger town with heaps of shops, restaurants and cafes.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?
Of course, when it’s warm! Cape Le Grand National Park is famous for pristine beaches, and beautiful bays, so you really want to be there on a sunny day. Therefore, the best time to visit is Australia’s summer (from the beginning of December till the end of February), late spring (from mid-October till the end of November), and early autumn (from the beginning of March till mid-April). The daytime temperature average is around 20 – 30 degrees over that period of time. However, days may be windy, even is summer.
IS THERE AN ENTRY FEE?
Park visitor fees apply in Cape Le Grand National Park. A day entry fee is AUD 15 for a vehicle and needs to be paid at the entrance station. If you want to avoid paying entry fees for accessing national parks in Western Australia, a purchase of periodic pass is a smart choice. It will help you save some money if there are other national parks on your itinerary. Make sure to print the pass and keep it displayed on your dashboard at all times. Separate fees for camping in national parks apply regardless of having this pass.
WHERE TO SEEK INFORMATION?
Unfortunately, there is no Visitor Centre in Cape Le Grand National Park. If you seek some information, make sure to stop in Esperance first. Visitor Centre is located close to the shore, at the corner of Dempster and Kemp Street. Opening hours vary throughout the week. The facility is open on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, on Wednesdays and Fridays, between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm. On Saturdays, drop by between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm, and on Sundays, visit between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm.
WHERE TO STAY OVERNIGHT?
Cape Le Grand National Park has two campsites with great facilities. The first one is located at Le Grand Beach, and the second one is situated at Lucky Bay. They both have toilets, showers, picnic tables, and barbecue areas. The camping fee is AUD 15 per night for an adult, and booking is required prior to arrival. This may be challenging though. Those camping spots are so popular that they are pretty much booked up all year round. Standard accommodation is available in Esperance. Alternatively, check out the community area in Condingup. It works like a campsite, and no reservation is taken, plus it’s completely free of charge.
WHAT ARE THE BEST THINGS TO DO?
Cape Le Grand National Park covers an area of over 30 hectares. The most visited section of the national park lies 50 km east of Esperance by sealed road. There are a couple of unsealed roads in the national park though. Good news is that they are all suitable for 2WD, so you don’t need a 4WD vehicle to drive around. How many days should one spend in Cape Le Grand National Park? For me, 3 days were enough to explore the area, relax on the beach, and smash some trails. Find out more about the best things to do below.
Truly loved by Australians, and a huge bucket list for many visitors. Are you wondering why Lucky Bay has become so popular? Firstly, it’s an absolute beauty. Secondly, you can very often spot some kangaroos hanging out here. If you want to meet the very famous kangaroos from Lucky Bay, and even take a picture with them, make sure to visit early in the morning. The beach gets busy during the day. It’s formally accessible for 4WD vehicles, but the sand is hard packed, so people very often drive 2WD cars on it too.
Lucky Bay is not the only beach in Cape Le Grand National Park. In fact, there are many more, and all of them are pretty spectacular. Le Grand Beach (westernmost bit of the national park), and Rossiter Bay (easternmost bit of the national park) are accessible for 4WD vehicles. Hellfire Bay and Thistle Cove are as gorgeous as Lucky Bay, but you can’t drive on them. If you are looking for some less isolated beaches, check out those in Esperance. A separate blog post with the best things to do in Esperance comes in handy.
This one is for hiking enthusiasts and sunrise lovers. I hope you don’t mind getting up in the middle of the night because Frenchman Peak is really worth it. There is a cave at the top, below the summit, which cuts through from one side to the other and fills up slowly with the rays of the rising sun. It’s a truly sensational experience! Just be mindful that the cave, not the actual summit, is the best place to watch the morning show. Frenchman Peak has 262 metres, and it shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes to reach its top.
Frenchman Peak Carpark – Frenchman Peak – Frenchman Peak Carpark
Walking track: 3 km, 1 hour (return)
Trail difficulty: class 4
Trail access: 2WD (sealed road)
The Coastal Track has 17 km one way, and goes through all the amazing bays in Cape Le Grand National Park. You are probably wondering if this is worth the effort, since you can get to those beaches by car. That’s true, but I’d recommend doing this hike anyway. First of all, you will discover some hidden gems that most people don’t know about. Second of all, you will have an opportunity to view flora native to this region. The track can be hiked in either direction. If 17 km is too much for you, consider doing a shorter section.
Le Grand Beach Carpark – Hellfire Bay – Thistle Cove – Lucky Bay – Rossiter Bay Carpark
Walking track: 17 km, 7 hours (one way)
Trail difficulty: class 3, 4
Trail access: 2WD (partly unsealed road)
These are the best things to do in Cape Le Grand National Park. Are you going to hike Frenchman Peak to watch a sunrise? Let me know by leaving a comment below!
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