Travelling Australia - Journal 2006
29 April 2006 - Norseman to Esperance

Location map 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.

daily map
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.