Author: Esperance Tide
Published: September 07, 2021
Fly Esperance is Esperance’s only locally-operated, year-round scenic flights operator. Launching earlier in the year, they offer three affordable flight options, providing visitors and locals alike the opportunity to fly over town, Cape Le Grand National Park, and out to Middle Island to see the coveted Lake Hillier. Fly Esperance also offer land and sea packages with other local tour operators, so you can experience Esperance from every possible angle.
Fly Esperance Director Chris Hurst is passionate about getting people in the air, so they can experience the beauty of Esperance from above. It’s something he began doing back in 2017, while working for Goldfields Air Services (GAS). The Kalgoorlie-based operator was approached by the region’s tourism body, Australia’s Golden Outback, about running scenic flights to Lake Hillier; the bright pink lake was catching the attention of potential visitors online and demand for flights to Middle Island to see it was rapidly growing. Previously, the lake was just about inaccessible, unless you owned your own aircraft or boat, or knew someone who did. Chris worked hard to establish the GAS base in Esperance and quickly realised the potential for a dedicated scenic flight operator in town. This year, he took over the GAS base, rebranded, and Fly Esperance was born. The company’s name says it all. “I wanted a name that was synonymous with Esperance,” Chris says. “Something which will be recognised as our local flying company, which we are.”
Fly Esperance launched in April, at the tail end of a record season for visitors to the region. This season promises to be no different, and Fly Esperance is hard at work gearing up for a bumper summer. A shopfront will open next to Dudley Newton Optometrists on Dempster Street this month, to give them an unmissable physical presence right in the centre of town.The shop will make it easy for people to drop in and chat about their flight options with the Fly Esperance team, as well as make bookings. Fly Esperance will also offer a courtesy coach to all its customers, picking them up from their accommodation and transporting them to Esperance Airport, where Fly Esperance takes off.
But while a lot of planning and prepping for summer has been going on behind the scenes, as a year-round operator, Fly Esperance has continued to have its Cessna 182 up in the air throughout winter. According to Chris, the coastline is just as spectacular in the cooler months, and passengers have the added bonus of whale spotting. Chris says the best whale watching experience you can have is from the air, especially in Esperance where the water is so clear. “It’s like the whales are poking their heads through glass,” Chris says.
Many locals might think a scenic flight is only an activity for visitors, however Chris says this couldn’t be further from the truth. A flight over Esperance and its surrounding national parks allows locals to experience their backyard from a different vantage point, and even lifelong locals might see one or two things they’ve never seen before. “There’s no way to see most of the beaches in the region, other than by air,” Chris says. “You can’t get to them on the ground because there are no 4WD tracks, so you’ve either got to be very tenacious, have a boat, or like extremely long hikes!” But, Chris adds, at the end of the day it comes down to obtaining an overview of the spectacular coastline, which you can’t get from land or sea. He’s so keen to get locals up in the air that Fly Esperance offers a generous locals’ discount. Simply give them a call to find out more.