Stokes Inlet, in Stokes National Park, is one of the most picturesque and interesting estuaries along WA’s southern coast. The inlet... more » covers around 14 square kilometres, and features long beaches and rocky headlands backed by sand dunes and low hills. Dense bush and shady paperbark trees grow right to the beaches along the water’s edge. It is very popular for fishing.
Stokes Inlet is the largest of a number of estuaries around Esperance, and is the only one with reasonably deep water. The Young and the Lort rivers flow into the upper reaches of the inlet but, when the water level is low in summer, they are cut off from the lagoon by a wide river delta. The salinity and water level of the estuary varies greatly with river flow and evaporation.
The park is a great place for birdwatchers, because of the impressive abundance of wildlife that frequents the inlet, its shores and associated lakes. The inlet is also popular for fishing and canoeing, and it is possible to launch small boats from the campsites. Be aware, however, that although the area of water looks large there are extensive areas of shallows and rocks. Normal fisheries regulations apply in national parks. Species caught include black bream, Australian salmon, King George whiting and mullet. less «