Cape Le Grand National Park

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Cape Le Grand National Park
Western Australia
IUCN category II (national park)
Mount Le Grande.jpg
Mount Le Grand from Frenchman Peak
Cape Le Grand National Park is located in Western Australia
Cape Le Grand National Park
Cape Le Grand National Park
Nearest town or cityEsperance
Coordinates33°56′49″S 122°09′20″E / 33.94694°S 122.15556°E / -33.94694; 122.15556Coordinates: 33°56′49″S 122°09′20″E / 33.94694°S 122.15556°E / -33.94694; 122.15556
Area318.01 km2 (122.8 sq mi)[1]
Managing authoritiesDepartment of Parks and Wildlife
WebsiteCape Le Grand National Park
See alsoList of protected areas of
Western Australia
Panorama of the cape
Cape Le Grand map

Cape Le Grand National Park is a national park in Western Australia, 631 km (392 mi) south-east of Perth and 56 km (35 mi) east of Esperance. The park covers an area of 31,801 hectares (78,580 acres) The area is an ancient landscape which has been above sea level for well over 200 million years and remained unglaciated. As a result, the area is home to many primitive relict species.[2] Established in 1966, the park is managed by the Department of Parks and Wildlife. The name Le Grand is from one of the officers on L'Espérance, one of the ships in the 1792 expedition of Bruni d'Entrecasteaux.[3]


The largely granite shoreline and white sand beaches are picturesque features of the area. The park is a used for fishing, off-roading, tourism, and hiking. Beaches within the Park include those at Lucky Bay, Rossiter Bay, Hellfire Bay, Le Grand Beach, and Thistle Cove. The islands and waters to the south of the park are known as the Recherche Archipelago Nature Reserve, another protected area of the Recherche Archipelago and nearby coastal regions. The Cape Arid National Park is located to the east. The south-west section of the Park is dominated by rock outcrops of gneiss and granite. These form a distinctive chain of peaks including Mount Le Grand (345 m), Frenchman Peak (262 m) and Mississippi Hill (180 m, named after the Mississippi, a French whaler).[4] Further inland, the park comprises mostly heath-covered sandplain, interspersed with swamps and pools of fresh water.


The sandplains support dense stands of banksias (Banksia speciosa and Banksia pulchella).[5]

Other flora that can be found around the park include Melaleucas, Grevilleas, sheoaks,[6] Christmas tree and grass trees. Wildflower blooms peak in the austral spring, lasting until October and species such as blue china orchid Cyanicula gemmata, Diuris corymbosa, Hakea laurina, Thysanotus sparteus and Thelymitra macrophylla are represented within the park.

Fauna that are commonly found within the park include bandicoots, pygmy honey possums, ring tailed possums, quenda and western grey kangaroos.[7] Some of the relict species with gondwanan links that are found within the park include legless lizards, like the common scaly-foot Pygopus lepidopodus, and Delma fraseri, Delma australis and Aprasia striolata. The ancient, although non-gondwanan, blind snake Ramphotyphlops australis is also found within the park. Endemic frogs found within the area include the |quacking frog Crinia georgiana, the banjo frog Limnodynastes dorsalis and the humming frog Neobatrachus pelobatoides.


Facilities include toilets, barbecues, campsites, tables, sheltered areas, walk-trails, information bays and water tanks. Two full-time rangers are resident within the park.[3] Check the Cape LeGrand Campground website for booking details. During busy holiday periods, there is a 'camp host' couple who help manage the site.[citation needed]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Department of Environment and Conservation 2009–2010 Annual Report". Department of Environment and Conservation. 2010: 48. ISSN 1835-114X. Archived from the original on 11 January 2011. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. ^ "Cape Le Grand National Park (Place ID 9816)". Australian Heritage Database. Department of the Environment. 2010. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Cape Le Grand". Australian National Parks. 2008. Archived from the original on 22 August 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  4. ^ Kenneth Morgan (2015). Australia Circumnavigated. Ashgate. p. 266. ISBN 978-1-4724-6085-1. In 1841 this was named Mississippi Hill after the explorer Edward John Eyre and an Aboriginal companion were rescued nearby by a French whaler called the Mississippi.
  5. ^ "Cape Le Grand National Park". Park Finder. 2007. Archived from the original on 7 July 2007. Retrieved 13 May 2007.
  6. ^ "Cape Le Grand National Park - Western Australia". Come Travel Australia. 2007. Archived from the original on 14 October 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2010.
  7. ^ "Esperance Trail Map" (PDF). 2009. Retrieved 2 May 2010.