No So Hopeless Hopetoun Western Australia

There was a time when the future of Hopetoun, a small hamlet on the south coast of Western Australia looked reasonably hopeless.

This was a few years ago, when the town was booming due to a nickel mine near the town of Ravensthorpe, about 42kms to the north of Hopetoun, which promised years of work for the local townsfolk. The carrot of local productivity saw a lot of investment being spent in Hopetoun on local infrastructure, new housing and new businesses. Unfortunately the mining company, BHP Billiton, suddenly announced it was shutting the mine and people fled the town to search for work elsewhere.

A couple of years later and the mine has a new owner and the prospects for Hopetoun look rosier.

A friend who went to work at the mine prior to its closure liked the town so much he decided to stay, and it’s not hard to understand why. The town itself may be small, but the country and coastline around it is just gorgeous and certainly worth visiting.

It’s a fair distance from anywhere, taking about six hours of solid driving to reach Hopetoun from Perth.

West of the town is Fitzgerald National Park, an enormous place which covers an area of 329,000 hectares. There is a lot of diversity within the Fitzgerald as it holds 1,800 known plant species of which 250 species a considered to be rare, 62 of these plant species only occurring within the park. In fact, to give you some idea of the park’s importance, there are a greater number of flora species in this reserve alone than exist in the whole of the United Kingdom!

Hopetoun is situated on Mary Ann Harbour, which once was used as a port by whalers hunting in the Southern Ocean. It can get very wet and windy, particularly in winter, but it also has more than its fair share of warm, dry weather too.

Swimming, diving and fishing are all popular pastimes here, and you will find no difficulty in finding your perfect beach.

Although there are some great beaches very close the town, another option it to head east towards the Jerdacuttup Lakes for several kilometres to find your own patch of deserted beach if you don’t really fancy mingling with the meagre crowds nearer the town.

Hopetoun has a population of just 350, but this does swell during school holidays when accommodation can get very scarce. It has a great community spirit and pretty good facilities for a town of its size.

1 comment to No So Hopeless Hopetoun Western Australia

  • Murray C Dickson

    Good stuff Young Steve,
    Reminds me of the good old days when Harvey and I were doing Travel for the Daily News. Never made much money but got lots of great trips. Somewhere in an as yet UN-packed box of “treasures” I’ve got some pages from the “Daily” and some tapes from the Radio Travel show I used to record at 96fm (never aired there) but 6PR and about 12 Regional stations ran them.

    Cheers,
    Murray.

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