Lucky Bay in Cape Le Grand National Park is one of these places that make you wish you had no life obligations so you could stay longer. Or forever.
Lucky Bay looks like a postcard from paradise. The sand is white and pure. It has even been named the whitest beach in Australia. The palette of blues in the water, from transparent to navy with lovely touches of turquoise, is unbelievable. Add on top the incredible contrasts with the granite. And when they’re not wandering in the car park or around the campsite, kangaroos are jumping on the beach. Unbeatable.
Cape Le Grand National Park is perfect for beach lovers and hikers. We’re kind of both so we were stoked to explore the park.
Cape Le Grand National Park Coastal Trail
The full coastal trail is 15 km one way. As you do want to allow time to stop, it takes two full days to do it. But the trail can easily be divided into smaller parts for day hikes. We did two legs of the coastal trail in one day: from Lucky Bay to Thistle Cove and from Thistle Cove to Hellfire Bay (return). I highly recommend it. With stunning views over the bays for most of the hike, it is one of the best hikes I’ve ever done.
It took us 6 hours return as written in the brochures, including many pauses to take photos and admire the incredible scenery. If you don’t want to hike for that long, I recommend going from Thistle Cove to Little Hellfire Bay (approximately 3 hours return). It was my favourite part of the hike. And if you’re really up for just a short one, Little Hellfire Bay is worth checking out and is only 40 minute (return) from Hellfire Bay.
Frenchman Peak summit
The granite rock of Frenchman Peak can be seen from almost anywhere in the park. It’s named like that in reference to the summit shape that reminds the hats worn by the French army. The immensity and the beauty of the National Park is stunning from up there. It is a good idea to plan the climb after exploring the park to get a better orientation and understand what you’re looking at! Near the top, there is a fascinating cave: it was formed by the waves and the currents. Indeed, 40 million years ago, sea levels were higher than now and Frenchman Peak was submerged!
Although it’s only 262 metres high, reaching the summit of Frenchman Peak looks tricky as the slope can be impressive and the path to follow isn’t always clear. It’s only 3 kilometres return and I honestly didn’t find it that hard at all. The signs indicate a 1 to 3 hours hike return, and it’s a good idea to take your time to enjoy the scenery.
Our aim was to arrive for sunset after a long day out of the park, exploring Duke of Orleans Bay. Without racing but without taking much photo breaks, it took us 30 minutes from the car park to reach the summit of Frenchman Peak. Because we watched the sunset from there, we had to go back at night. Although we had headlamps, it was difficult to find the sticks indicating the path and we had to turn back a couple of times.
Lucky Bay lookout platform
You can walk for 45 minutes along the beach at Lucky Bay to reach a lookout platform. Or if you have a 4wd, it will only take a few minutes to drive there. We went there in the morning before it gets busy. The view was stunning.
Cape Le Grand
On our last morning in the National Park, we drove to the parts we hadn’t explored by foot: Rossiter Bay and Le Grand Beach.
Rossiter Bay didn’t impress us. It’s beautiful, of course, but it’s not special compared to the other stunning beaches of the National Park.
However, Le Grand Beach was a great surprise. As usual, we scrambled around the rocks to watch the transparent water and the incredible blue palette.
That was our last stop in Cape Le Grand National Park.
We drove back to Esperance via the beach to enjoy its beauty as long as possible.
After our day trip to Duke of Orleans and Cape Arid National Park, it was now time to slowly head back west!
Have you ever visited Cape Le Grand National Park? What did you prefer? Leave your tips in the comments below!
Where is Lucky Bay (Cape Le Grand National Park)?
Cape Le Grand National Park is in the south of Western Australia, less than one hour away from Esperance. Lucky Bay is almost 800km away from Perth. It takes approximately 9 hours to drive there. Alternatively, there are daily flights to Esperance from Perth for around $500 return.