Nestled in the southwest corner of Esperance Bay, Cape Le Grand National Park is a magnificent protected area of pristine beaches, dramatic granite and gneiss peaks and rolling heathlands ignited in wildflowers. This ancient landscape has remained unglaciated for more than 200 million years, resulting in the survival of numerous primitive relict species.

The national park is named after an officer on L’Esperance, which was one of the ships in the 1792 expedition of Bruni d’Entrecasteaux. It stretches across more than 30,000 hectares and protects populations of pygmy honey possums, western grey kangaroos and bandicoots. Relic species include legless lizards such as the common scaly-foot and the ancient blind snake, Ramphotyphlops australis.

The beaches of Cape Le Grand National Park have been voted among the best in Australia, with picture-perfect white sands meeting idyllic turquoise seas. Lucky Bay is a particularly dazzling stretch of sand, set against the islands of the Recherche Archipelago, with kangaroos often seen lounging lazily on its shores.

Le Grand Coastal Trail stretches from Cape Le Grand Beach to Rossiter Bay, taking hikers past many of the national park’s most impressive areas. Head to Thistle Cove to explore its whistling rocks or cast a line at the popular fishing spot of Dunn Rocks.

For sweeping views across Cape Le Grand, tackle the hike up Frenchman Peak, with panoramas all the way to the Recherche Archipelago. Swimming, snorkeling and surfing are all popular activities along this stretch of coast, together with cycling along the Great Ocean Drive.