Coming from Canada, every past Christmas had been spent among a cold, wintry wonderland, except for the occasional few times we had a green Christmas. This is what most think of when they think of Christmas. Sparkly snow, spending time with family bundled in sweaters by the fire sipping mulled wine and hot cocoa.
After years of snow, spending a Christmas in Australia was such an incredible experience! Think hot summer weather, BBQ’s, and drinks on the beach.
Christmas 2017 therefore was an experience I will never forget. During this time I was about half way through a 7 week road trip from Darwin to Brisbane. The plan was to spend Christmas in Esperance.
Located in the South Western part of Western Australia, Esperance is a popular holiday spot and one of the many beautiful areas Australia has to offer. Filled with pristine beaches, breath-taking coastline drives, national parks and the famous Lucky Bay where kangaroos sun bathe on the squeaky sandy shores of the turquoise waters.
Camping on a Farm in Esperance
That Christmas felt like a real Australian experience camping at a local farm, Paradise Farmstay located about 30 km from Esperance in Dalyup. The owner opens his land to locals and travellers alike. Whether you have a camper or a tent, there is space for all. The house has an additional bathroom built on for the campers which includes a hot shower! A Christmas miracle if you have been camping and using outdoor showers. The cost runs about $10 AUD a night per person. It was a lucky find to come across this campsite through one of my favourite apps for camping in Australia, WikiCamps Australia. If you are not familiar with the app – check out my post here for more details.
The owner was very welcoming offering for us to join his family and some other fellow travellers for some festive drinks and snacks on the porch before having our own Christmas BBQ.
There are various campsites located around the Esperance area including caravan sites as well and you can find some listed here .
Christmas Day was spent venturing into Esperance to explore some of the amazing beaches and sites nearby along the Great Ocean Drive. You can find a detailed map here of some key places to see including:
- West Beach – swimming, surfing with strong currents and two reefs creating ocean pools.
- Champions Point – snorkelling, surfing and swimming
- Blue Haven – protected beach from windy days
- Salmon Beach – snorkelling and fishing
- Fourth Beach – swimming, surfing and leads to Twilight Cove Beach
- Twilight Cove Beach – one of Esperance’s most famous beaches
- Dolphin Cove – might spot some dolphins!
- Observatory Beach – popular spot for windsurfing
- Observatory Point – amazing lookout point where you might see whales if its migration season
- Nine Mile Beach – rock pools and snorkelling
- Ten Mile Lagoon – swimming and fishing with access to a nudist beach
- Eleven Mile Beach – swimming and rock pools
Unfortunately the weather was a bit on the cooler side for the time of year so I opted to not swim in the ocean, but definitely made time to lay on the beach to soak in the views and sun.
Cape Le Grand National Park
This was my absolute favourite stop during the Christmas trip in Esperance for the ultimate Australian experience. Cape Le Grand National Park is about a 45 minute drive from Esperance and is home to the famous Lucky Bay where kangaroos lounge around and sunbathe on the shore of this breathtaking beach. It’s a post card come to life. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and it felt like all those pictures I had looked at before coming to Australia and visualizing what it would be like were coming true.
Make sure not to get to close to the kangaroos as they are wild and you should respect their space. When taking photos, keep a safe distance back and let the roos keep on sunbathing. Remember you are in their home.
The waters of Lucky Bay are unimaginable vibrant shades of blue that come alive against the white sands of the shore. I couldn’t believe my eyes and kept wanting to pinch myself. The sand also squeaks beneath your feet as you walk. If you have a 4WD you can even drive right up on the beach.
This was by far the most memorable Christmas I’ve ever had and although it was hard being away from family and friends for the first time, experiencing a Christmas in Australia on some of the most amazing beaches I have ever seen with kangaroos was something to never forget. If you have the chance to experience a Christmas in Australia, do it!
Have you spent a Christmas in Australia? Would love to hear what you did! Please share in the comments below.