|Clear, calm wade-able turquoise waters of Cape Le Grand National Park's Lucky Bay, about a 45 minute drive|
from Esperance, Western Australia. This area is as vibrant as the Nullarbor is almost monochromatic.
|While most of the Lucky Bay beach is a lovely, easy to walk white sand, |
this particular section of the beach is "fragrant" with dried seaweed. Cape Le Grand, Western Australia.
That shortcut saved us about 4 hours of drive time and landed us back in the land of milk and honey with green pastures, refreshing sea breezes, turquoise waters, white sands, picture-perfect waves the stuff of surfer's wet dreams, and more pragmatically, regular grocery stores, and affordable (for Australia) fuel.
We drove a good portion of the 38 km scenic drive (~24 miles), where it was hard not to stop at every pullout (and there was probably more than 1 every kilometer) on the Great Ocean Drive (not to be confused with the better-known and far more crowded Great Ocean Road in Victoria). That day, we discovered the sea breezes were a bit too brisk at the beach level. After a light sand-basting, we stuck to a brief walk rather than lounging on the beach.
It all worked out well as we arrived in in Cape Le Grand National Park with time to set up, sup and do dishes before dark. We chose Lucky Bay camp, as we heard it was both beautiful and a place where kangaroos liked to hang out on the beach.
|Our Land Cruiser on the beach at Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand National Park, Western Australia.|
|Kangaroo chomping on grass in the sand at Lucky Bay beach, Cape Le Grand National Park, Western Australia.|
|These stone sentinels above the Lucky Bay campground looked blood red in the dawn light. In daylight, they're predominantly gray. Cape Le Grand National Park, Western Australia.|
|Sunrise on the Cape Le Grand National Park Coastal Trail. Western Australia.|
|While Cape Le Grand's Coastal Trail often loses sight of the coast as it traverses the rocky shore, the rocks|
make a show of their own in the dawn's early light.
|More fabulous rock formations on Cape Le Grand's Coastal Trail, as it paralleled the coast through undulating hills. |
At dawn, I had the trail to myself! Western Australia.
|Green, blue, red, yellow, Cape Le Grand's Coastal Trail at dawn is a kaleidoscope of color.|
|The easy part of the Frenchman Peak trail, before the trail gets steeper|
and more bouldery. Cape Le Grand Park, Western Australia.
|These straw-like flowers that looked like little licks of flames between the gray, tan and crystal-veined|
rock crags of Cape Le Grand's Frenchman Peak.
On the way out of Cape Le Grand National Park there was yet another treat in store. Flocks of emus wandering loose in the green, green grass. It's hard to not be fascinated with the giant, gangly non-flying kissing cousins to the ostrich. We're grateful they survived "The emu wars."
|Two emus from the flock walking in tandem in the green, green fields of Esperance, Western Australia.|
|Cape Le Grand National Park offers a glorious green and blue contrast to the almost monochromatic Nullarbor pallet. |
This lofty panoramic view is from Frenchman Peak
We are currently in Broome and have yet to figure out our next stop as we continue our clockwise tour of Australia.