Perth August & December 2018 - Day 17

Hyden to Esperance


There is no easy way to drive from Hyden to Esperance, on the south coast. You can go north to the Great Eastern Highway, east to Coolgardie and then south all the way to Esperance (824km). You can go south to the Southern Coast Highway and then east (382km). Or you can go south to lake King, east across nothing and then south (about 300km). The latter seemed to offer better scenery so off we went. .

The road not travelled

We planned to stop at Lake King for fuel, which we did, arriving about 10 minutes before the shop closed for the day at 10.30am (!!). There was a handy notice on the door "We will be closing at 11am on Saturday". They had one petrol pump with a very large padlock on it. No problem getting the key - unlock and serve yourself. Then east onto a road "recommended" for 4WD vehicles only. Well, we had a 4WD (of sorts) and the first 10km or so was recently sealed so all looked promising. But as soon as we crossed the shire border, about 30km from Lake King the road turned to a rutted, bumpy track not fit even for real 4WD vehicles. After swimming through a very deep puddle and being shaken and bumped, discretion took over and we turned around, returning to Lake King several hours later. We probably should have abandoned the long drive to Esperance at this point but we had booked and paid for the hotel so we continued, knowing that we would have to retrace our route the next day. We eventually arrived in Esperance in the late afternoon. There is a lookout tower built on the hill above Esperance, from which you can see the town, its port adn the lare number of islands that lay in the Southern Ocean beyond the south coast.

The highway east from Hyden
Passing large ephemeral lakes
The only petrol pump for many kilometres - and it was locked.
The road east from Lake King - its sealed!...
but not for long.
We arrived in Esperance at last - view from the lookout

We stayed at the Best Western Motel on the beachfront. Nice place, especially after such a long drive.

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Last updated: 20/02/2019