Itineraries > Oceania itineraries > Coolgardie-Esperance Highway
Coolgardie - Esperance Highway is located in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia. It links the goldfields towns of Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie with the coastal town and port of Esperance.
The highway is a bit like the old narrow gauge railway alignment between Coolgardie and Esperance. It has surprise corners, rises and dips that are not expected. It can be very busy up closer to Coolgardie with mining trucks and other traffic. Not to be taken carelessly or without safe driving.
The myths and perpetuated stories about the Goldfields region, and its extension towards the Nullarbor is that it is treeless, and plantless. Nothing can be further from the reality of travelling the Esperance highway: Hardy drought-proof eucalypti and other vegetation make this whole route interesting in that the scrawny trees line the large salt lakes that are in view of the highway show how severe weather conditions have not daunted a range of trees from developing in this harsh climate.
If you have got this far from Perth or Adelaide, there is not much to consider when travelling along this highway. There are some interesting side trips, and they will require a vehicle that is suitable for the rougher 'off-the bitumen' roads that lead to locations in the bush.
At all times, adequate extra fuel, food and drink if for any reason you have to stop for repairs or other unexpected stops, and if you have the equipment, either sat-phones or CB radios are always worth having if you are going off the beaten track where usual traffic might be one car or truck a week - which can be expected in some of the tracks of this highway.
For the really rough roads, extra spare tyres are always worth it.
By this route you can also go from Bunbury, Albany, Denmark and Walpole to Esperance, and therefore Coolgardie.
- Red Hill lookout
- Lake Lefroy
- Cowan Hill
- Cave Hill
- Bremer Range
- Beacon Hill
- Dundas Rocks
- Peak Charles National Park
- Mining Trucks - the busiest is between Coolgardie and Norseman, always be on the lookout. Never overtake trucks.
- Kangaroos - specially around sunrise and sunset
- Speed - make sure you are within the limit in this area. Many surprise turns and crests are best taken carefully.
- Fatigue - never drive tired