Southern Coast, WA: Destination Guide

Southern Coast 960x 350

Explore the Great Australian Bight via a 4WD adventure along WA’s southern coast.

Read on to discover the best things to see and do on the Southern Coast, or find and book accommodation on the Southern Coast today.

About the Southern Coast

The southern coast of WA is an exciting and varied environment that incorporates a large chunk of the Great Australian Bight. The beautiful coastline is an avid 4WDers dream, providing serious challenges and natural obstacles, so all who attempt the beach should come well prepared. This particular adventure began in the coastal town of Esperance, and moved west to the SA border and the town of Eucla.

Things to do on the Southern Coast

Tackling the southern coast via 4WD is an adrenaline packed adventure. The coastline, with its striking sand dunes and temperamental beach, offers some incredible challenges, while at the same time providing some breathtaking scenic views. Be sure to mix up the driving though with a swim in the ocean or a detour to one of the many coastal towns dotting the way. Keep your eyes open for wildlife too, as there is more than a little native fauna and flora to keep you fascinated.

Attractions on the Southern Coast

Wylie Head

The view from the top of this granite dome is impressive, with crystal clear sapphire water washing up onto startling white sand. Further out, the water varies from shades of blue to almost black. Dotted across the surface of the sea, rocky, hump-backed islands rear out of the water. I’ve been here a few times now and, no matter the weather or the sea conditions, it is a sight that always enthrals me.

Cape Le Grand National Park

Located just 45 minutes from Esperance, the Cape Le Grand National Park is a stunning coastal park offering sweeping heathlands, rugged coastal peaks and white sandy beaches. The park is perfect for swimming, diving, snorkelling, surfing, bushwalking, name it! Look out for western grey kangaroos, pygmy possums and a diverse blanket of wildflowers, with numerous sheltered bays dotting the coast that are perfect for a leisurely picnic. There are also a number of camp sites in the park for those who just can’t get enough of the stunning scenery.

Overland Telegraph Line

The history of the old Overland Telegraph Line (OTL), built in the 1870s, is never far away when you drive this route across the Great Australian Bight. The lone wire that once carried the telegraphic signals of a nation lies in places along the track and acts like a breadcrumb trail in your GPS, guiding you towards the correct route, east or west. At other times, solitary poles from those bygone days can be seen, as well as the ruins of old telegraph stations. This stretch of the OTL line closed in 1926 and was rerouted along what is now the Trans-Australian Railway line, further inland.

Bilbunya Dunes

Along the way you’ll come across the impressive sand range known as the Bilbunya Dunes. They may not be the highest sandhills in Australia but, at about 200m tall from base to razor-cut crest, they are far taller than the famous Big Red in the Simpson Desert, and far less vegetated. Their sinuous ridges that sweep upwards to a sharp-edged peak are mind blowing. You just cannot drive past them!

Eyre Bird Observatory

Established in 1977, the Eyre Bird Observatory is a remote bird and wildlife research station. Visitors are welcome to come in to see the abundance of birdlife amidst a beautiful landscape, and visit the small but interesting museum.

Getting to the Southern Coast

Esperance is located about 717km from Perth on the south coast.

By car

The drive from Perth to Esperance runs via National Route 1 and State Route 40, and takes about seven hours and 40 minutes.

By air

Direct flights run from Perth to Esperance, taking about an hour and 40 minutes.

Where to stay on the Southern Coast

For accommodation options on the Southern Coast, click here.