“What? You have never been? And just how long have you been in Perth?”
“Well eleven years actually,” was my sheepish response to a friend’s astonishment that I had never seen the Pinnacles.
And yes, it was probably time, so on a beautiful spring morning, my husband and I headed north to Nambung National Park – home of the Pinnacles Desert.
The trip took us about two hours, not including a breakfast stop in Lancelin. Visitors are allowed to walk around the Pinnacles but climbing on any of the structures is strictly forbidden.
Discussion of how the Pinnacles were formed is ongoing with one theory postulating that they were formed around 30,000 years ago with raw materials from seashells which came from an earlier era when the area was rich in marine life. Wind, erosion and calcium are also believed to have played a part in forming these structures.
A traditionally sacred area to the Yued people of the Noongar language, there are stories told of the disappearance of many people in the Pinnacles Desert due to the sinking sands in the area.
First up for us is a drive around the one-way, 4.3 km Loop Trail. A 4WD vehicle is not necessary as the hard-packed sand is accessible for 2wd cars. However, caravans and camper trailers are not allowed on the Loop so park them in the spaces provided before heading off on the trail.
There are numerous places to pull over and stop to take photos or a walk around the desert. About halfway around the loop is the Look Out – parking is available at the bottom of the steps. Yes there are steps but it’s not too bad – I counted 21 steps in groups of three with small flat platforms in between. The view from the top takes in a lot of the 17,487 hectares of the Pinnacles Desert as well as the view out to sea. Three trails through the bush and the desert start from the LookOut but it’s not a Sunday stroll. A large notice warns walkers to allow for 45 minutes on the 1.2km Desert View walk and to take 2 to 3 litres of water to avoid becoming dehydrated. There is also a warning to locate the next trail marker to avoid getting lost.
We found the landscape quite fascinating. I’ve heard it compared to a moonscape and looking at the weather-beaten formations against the yellow sand, I’m inclined to agree. It is very alien-looking, almost like a forest of stones. Some of the structures are over 3m tall and a large number of small stones could, with a little imagination, be the offspring of the larger pillars!
We didn’t see any on our visit but apparently there is an abundance of wildlife in the park. I’m sorry that we missed the galahs, kestrels, cockatoos and kites but not unhappy that we didn’t spot the geckos, cockroaches, snails, sandgropers, skinks, possums, scorpions or centipedes.
The Pinnacles Gallery and gift shop is worth a visit. It was really interesting to read about the formation of limestone and the history of the area. The gift shop has lots of local items for sale including books on the area, aboriginal art and souvenir clothing
I’m glad that we finally took the opportunity to see this Western Australian landmark but it’s not an attraction that I would want to visit every week. But when our state finally opens up, it will be a great place to take guests.
Address: Pinnacles Drive, Cervantes
Cost: $15 National Park entry fee. Concession fee is $8.
Opening hours: 9:30am- 4:30pm. Visitors are welcome to view the park at sunrise or sunset. There is an honour box for payment.
Restrooms: Clean and accessible, soap provided but no hand drying facilities
Parking: Lots of parking
- The Offshore Café and Bakery, Lancelin - November 22, 2021
- North Beach Deli - November 22, 2021
- Lobster Shack, Cervantes - November 22, 2021
- The Pinnacles - November 12, 2021
- Balthazar Restaurant, Perth - October 29, 2021
- Nobu Crown Perth - October 8, 2021
- Decanter, Victoria Park - October 8, 2021
- Crown Towers Perth - October 1, 2021
- Bib & Tucker, North Fremantle - September 17, 2021
- The Pipers Inn, Currambine - September 3, 2021