29 April 2006 - Norseman to Esperance
The drive from Norseman to Esperance was along the
Coolgardie-Esperance Highway (10 out of 10 for unimaginative naming). At first the road passes through more of the
goldfields woodlands dominated by the orange pink trunks of salmon gums then mallee takes over for a while before the road
enters the wheatland where large-scale land clearing for broad acre farming has removed most of the original vegetation. As
we drew closer to Esperance there was an obvious increase in greenery around us; Norseman has annual rainfall of 290 mm
while Esperance receives 620 mm annually. Despite the rainfall, original attempts to grow wheat around Esperance were a
complete disaster until the need to add trace elements to the sandy soil was realised and now the area is a flourishing
wheat growing region.
Esperance (population about 14,000) is a major port busy loading ships with grain, iron ore and nickel concentrate from the
surrounding area. The Port of Esperance is a major feature of the township built along the shores of Esperance Bay. The
coast is dominated by white beaches and granite headlands. Offshore from the town the island of the Recherche Archipelago
add to the scenery. The French exploration ships L'Esperance and Recherche sheltered near present day
Esperance in 1792 and their visit is remembered in names.
| TOP |