4X4 Destination: Esperance to Le Grand National Park
Summer was here a minute ago, wasn’t it? Under a canopy of unending rain, those of us in NSW have been stuck inside by heaters trying to warm up and dry off…and dreaming of sunshine and fresh tracks to explore. Given the dire conditions the local tracks would be in at the moment, nothing seems more sublime than to jump in a 4X4 and head to Cape Le Grand National Park in WA. Far from the pervasive rain on the East Coast, and just 12km out of Esperance, the big beach run starts and takes you all the way into Le Grand National Park. For just over 20km, it feels like you’re driving on the edge of the earth with turquoise water on one side, mountains on the other side in the distance, and pure white sand under the wheels.
Along the way, Lucky Bay, Rossiter Bay and Dunn Rocks beaches are all accessible by 4WD and definitely worth looking around. Camp grounds at Le Grand and Lucky Bay will see you through the night before you head out for picnics, boating, fishing, surfing or for one of the coastal walks. If you’ve got any energy left at the end of the beach run, you can climb Mt Le Grand and take in the stunning coastal views.
High range is usually all you’ll need on this trip, as the sand is quite hard but you’d do well to keep it in 4WD and lower the tyre pressures (to suit your vehicle and load) to avoid track damage and bogging. Also, with any beach drives, know the tides before you set out, and take it as slow as you need to to stay safe and courteous towards other beachgoers.
For the more adventurous, and depending on your vehicle’s capabilities, there is a rock hill at the Esperance end of the beach. It’s a sandy track leading up to a challenging rock climb. There are two tracks to choose from – the harder one will require a lift kit, big tyres and diff lockers to get over the rocks safely, but the easy climb will reward you with the same incredible views of the beach and the hills along the coast.
For more information on the area, check out the Parks and Wildlife website HERE.