Venue Crush: A Slice of Paradise on WA’s South Coast

Head west for an Aussie beachside getaway that’s destined to become your summer go-to
Esperance Chalet Village
Esperance Chalet Village

A place where summer vibes never fade, the sleepy seaside town of Esperance has long been swooning travellers with its pristine wilderness and dramatic coastline. And the folks behind Esperance Chalet Village have reminded us why we should be heading west this summer.

Esperance Chalet Village beach
Esperance Chalet Village

On Western Australia’s remote south coast, a humble holiday destination reminiscent of budget-friendly holidays and school summer camps stood neglected. That is until Fiona and Matt Shillington stumbled across it while on holidays five years ago.

Esperance Chalet Village
Esperance Chalet Village

With four children in tow, Fiona and Matt moved from Manly in north Sydney, to Esperance, in Western Australia’s Bay of Isles. And without any experience in the tourism game (but plenty of reno know-how), the couple set about creating the perfect Aussie getaway

Esperance Chalet Village
Esperance Chalet Village
Esperance Chalet Village
Esperance Chalet Village

Overlooking a creek and within easy reach of the beach, the series of chalets and cabins have been turned into a rustic-chic holiday village. An ideal stopover along the South Coast Highway that all too often turns into week-long stays. And what’s more, it has fast-tracked the sleepy town of Esperance to the top of every traveller’s hit list. 

Esperance Chalet Village
Esperance Chalet Village

THE LOOK & FEEL

Year-round, Esperance Chalet Village takes holiday ease in its stride with national parks and remote beaches aplenty. With views of the creek, intimate chalets and cabins are peppered throughout, each with home comforts and a touch of luxe. 

Esperance Chalet Village bikes
Esperance Chalet Village

Cruiser bikes are available for getting about and well-trodden paths that lead to the creek in one direction and the pure white sands of the beach in the other. Pack light, because here, all you’ll ever need are your beach essentials.  

Esperance Chalet Village
Esperance Chalet Village

THE VILLAGE

Set on acreage that’s bounded by bushland, Esperance Chalet Village boasts 17 individual chalets and cabins, each decked out with comforts that make extended stays a breeze. Playing their part in the A-frame revival, Fiona and Matt really have put in the hard yards. 

Esperance Chalet Village
Esperance Chalet Village
Esperance Chalet Village
Esperance Chalet Village
Esperance Chalet Village
Esperance Chalet Village

Cute and modest by design, the studio chalets are a nod to the classic hotel room (luxe bedding, ensuite, tea making facilities and table and chair). For those who want to take it up a notch, the large chalets boast two levels, a king-size bed that looks out at the treetops upstairs and a kitchenette and lounge area downstairs. 

Esperance Chalet Village Hellfire Bay
Esperance Chalet Village

THE GROUNDS

Although there are plenty of reasons to get out and about (pink lake anyone?), Esperance Chalet Village’s ideal position makes it too easy to stay put. A nature lover’s paradise, native bushland gives way to a creek that has plenty of fishing and kayaking. 

Each chalet and cabin come with a private area, and with fire pits sprinkled throughout the property, evenings by a crackling fire beneath a star-lit sky are high on the agenda.

Esperance Chalet Village
Esperance Chalet Village

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

An eight-hour drive from Perth (or five hours from Albany – the next biggest town), Esperance is a small coastal town that packs a whole lot in; nature-wise that is. From rolling dunes to the pink waters of Lake Hillier, Esperance’s coastal wilderness is just begging to be explored. 

Esperance Chalet Village
Esperance Chalet Village

Surrounded by five national parks, there is plenty of fun to be had in the way of off-road adventures along Wylie Bay Dunes and endless hiking trails with stunning views. The Great Ocean Drive is a round-trip that boasts an abundance of surfing beaches, diving sites, cruises, charter fishing and tours. 

And although Esperance itself may be a sleepy town, it has everything you need, from an early morning pick-me-up (Downtown Espresso or Coffee Cat along the jetty) to the essentials at Bob & Jim’s Gourmet Grocer to late-night drinks at Taylor St Quarters. 

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