Exploring Esperance and Surrounds

29 May 2014

Esperance’s famous Tanker Jetty under restoration as part of the foreshore construction

Wet and windy this morning, but hopeful that the weather would follow the pattern of the last few days we had breakfast at Dome cafe, with the intention of having another attempt to walk along the Tanker Jetty on the foreshore.  The weather had cleared by the time we finished breakfast, but although the sign said the Jetty was open, it was in fact closed as pedestrians were not permitted to walk through the construction area.  I took a couple of photographs from the beach adjacent to the jetty where a couple of dogs were enjoying the rough surf and the sand.

Tanker Jetty is a curved jetty in Esperance Bay which was originally known as Esperance Deepwater Wharf . The 347 metre wooden structure was built by the Public Works Department and the WA Government Railways between January 1934 and February 1935 to serve the shipping needs of the Esperance region.  The bay of Esperance was named by Admiral D’Entrecasteaux in 1792 in honour of the ship “L’Esperance” which anchored there on the 9th of December 1792 to make repairs to the ship. The area was mostly frequented by sealers and whalers who lived in rough camps along the beaches to process their catch. Ships would come in to retrieve the blubber and dry seals skins from these small camps.  The citizens of Esperance have raised over $165,000 to help with the preservation of the jetty, with the State Government contributing a further $150,000. However there is a continuing need for donations to help in the maintenance. There is a bronze statue of Sammy the Seal at the start of Tankers Jetty where people can donate money .

We then headed off for Lake Monjingup Reserve which is 14 kilometres west of Esperance  The reserve has some of the most beautiful birds and plants this area has to offer.  There is a pretty broad walk trail that winds around Lake Monjingup and we saw some colourful native trees and shrubs and many birds that we could not identify at the time.  There is an education centre with posters depicting the flora and fauna of the reserve, and these were helpful.







The entrance to the Reserve (above left) and the lake (above right) and (below) some of the native flowers and shrubs
















We spent quite a lot of time walking through the reserve and thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the solitude of having nobody else sharing the reserve with us, and being surrounded by the wonderful Australian bush.  There are two sections to the reserve, the second is on the other side of the road and is in its initial stages.  There are various gardens, a hedge maze, and a pet cemetery and community groups and schools have obviously donated time (and money) to the establishment of the beautiful reserve.

When we returned to Esperance we visited the Cannery Art Gallery.  Originally a fish cannery, the building is now used as an art gallery and community art centre, teaching pottery, painting, photography and other art skills.  Next door to the gallery are stairs leading up to the Rotary Lookout, so we climbed the 91 stairs and had great views over the town and the port.








The Cannery Art Gallery (left) and the view from the Lookout (right) over Esperance Bay

Feeling peckish after the exercise we made our way to the Taylor Jetty tearooms for a tasty soup lunch, looking out over Esperance Bay.  The last thing on our To Do list for the day was a visit to the Museum Park Period Village and the Museum itself.  For a small town, the museum was well stocked with memorabilia, and we spent loads of  time wandering through the large building, which was formerly the Customs Shed.  Many residents have donated items to the museum, and an interesting video was running showing what the town was like 60 years ago.








Two of the cottages in the Pioneer Village, now used as business premises

After  all the walking we were ready for a short afternoon nap so we headed back to the motel.  It had started to rain again (how lucky we have been that the rain has not stopped us from doing what we wanted to do) so we chose a restaurant close by, Ocean Blues, and had a nice dinner of Lamb and Aubergine lasagne for me, and Herb crusted Chicken for Pete.

Tomorrow we will be sad to say goodbye to beautiful Esperance, a very laid back and quiet town where nobody seems to be in a hurry, and everyone is very friendly – must be the sea air!


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