After Esperance we travelled around 60kms east to Paradise, or Lucky Bay as it’s more commonly known. Lucky Bay is in the Cape Le Grand National Park, you may have heard of it and seen pictures of kangaroos lounging on the pristine white sand of Lucky Bay. I thought you’d have to be lucky to see that but no, on our first venture down to the beach from the campground, there was a doe and her joey waiting for their photo shoot.
Although there was seaweed on the beach I wasn’t complaining. They stayed around almost on cue until every passer-by had time to take their snaps and selfies, then casually hopped away.
The campground itself is incredible. Situated at one end of the bay near granite outcrops, sites are neatly set out amongst native trees and bushes and vary in sizes. There is plenty of room for big vans and cars to fit on your site. We picked a spot near the campground hosts where there were steps leading down to the beach. There is an upper and a lower campground area holding over 50 sites and there are expansion plans for another 10 to be put in. There are flushing toilets and solar heated showers and basic open BBQ shelter / camp kitchens. In every site you are practically guaranteed spectacular views over the bay or surrounding scrub.
As if that’s not enough, kangaroos roam through the campsites throughout the day. We had a friendly doe and joey come grazing around our camp and they were so relaxed and at ease around people that the joey even suckled from mums pouch without any fear. Another time we had a kangaroo come and seek shelter under our awning out of the rain. As the signs say “Do Not Feed the Kangaroos” there is no need to, they wander in and out of your site at will without any incentive. It doesn’t matter how many times I see roos they are still magnificent and pretty creatures and these ones are happy to be petted too.
With so many sites to choose from it was easy to select where we wanted to set up, but the tip is to get there early in the morning and wait for people to leave. The campground hosts have numbers on a board of which sites are due to be emptied that day so you can put a camp chair on the site to reserve it and wait for the campers to leave. Campers have to be out by 11am or pay for another night’s stay. Fees are cheap at $10 per head per night. You can pay in advance for as many nights as you intend to stay or pay before 11am each day if you want to keep going. The campground hosts told us a funny story of the Venezuelan woman camped next to us on her own in a tent who planned to stay for one night… that was 2 weeks ago. She keeps coming to them every day with another $10. It’s that kind of place.
The crystal clear water in the bay is perfect for swimming in, and you can also fish off the beach and see what your catch is as it comes in. We saw a stingray happily sitting on the sand where he stayed in close for quite a while until, finally with a few graceful flaps of his wings, cruised away in the blink of an eye. You can fish anywhere along the stretch of beach, we had a little success straight below the campground or the beach is easy to drive on with a 4wd if you want to venture further along the bay to where the sand is immaculately white although the waves are a bit bigger. The sand literally squeaks under your feet as you walk on it, and when we drove I thought we had a flat tyre at one stage but it was just the noise of the tyres cracking the sand crust as we went.
There are plenty of walking trails in the park too ranging in length and time taken to complete or you can just sit back and relax and take in the view. Believe it or not you can also get a damn good coffee, served up to you on the beach. The Lucky Bean Café, a café on wheels, serves up a variety of coffees and other hot and cold drinks when it cruises onto the beach regularly. We had the ‘kangacino’ and damper scones with bush jam. An experience not to be missed.
But as always never underestimate the tempting oceans of Australia no matter how perfect they look. The camp hosts also let us in on a recent visitors encounter while snorkelling at the rocky end of the bay. While he was catching fish and carrying them around with him in the water he felt a nudge and it was a shark also checking out his catch! Paradise yes, but dangers always for the unwary.
Bye for now