I acknowledge the traditional custodians of country throughout Australia and recognize their continuing connection to land, waters and community. I pay my respects to them and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present. I recognize and acknowledge Yued people as the Traditional custodians of Nambung National Park.
Do you already know about The Pinnacles in Western Australia? No? Well… If you’re looking for space on earth, this is the place to be! This yellow desert can make you feel like you’re walking on the moon, right here on earth.
I’ve visited The Pinnacles twice during my travels to Australia, once with my brother and once with Nick and each time, I’ve really enjoyed my little visit to this out-of-this-world national park. Here is everything you want to know about The Pinnacles Western Australia:
- THE PINNACLES IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA
- Where are The Pinnacles Australia?
- How were The Pinnacles formed?
- The Pinnacles Aboriginal History
- The Pinnacles Video
- The Pinnacles Desert Opening Hours
- The Pinnacles Discovery Center
- The Pinnacles Self-Drive
- The Pinnacles Tour from Perth
- Nambung National Park Weather
- Pinnacles Campsites, Resorts, Motels & More!
- Beyond The Pinnacles Backpacking Tips
THE PINNACLES IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Where are The Pinnacles Australia?
The Pinnacles Desert can be found in Western Australia. It is located in the Nambung National Park, which is 193 kilometers northwest of Perth, near the town of Cervantes, along the Indian Ocean Drive, otherwise known as Australia’s “Coral Coast”.
For the exact Pinnacles location, check out Google Street View for a Pinnacles national park map!
How were The Pinnacles formed?
The iconic landscape of the Western Australia Pinnacles is made out of weathered limestone formations (of about 25.000 years old) which stand up out of the yellow sand dunes to almost four/five meters in height, all with different shapes and sizes. The limestone pillars were originally believed to be a lost city and by looking at them, you can see why people thought that.
Earliest recordings of the site date back to the 1650s, from when the Dutch (we’ve been everywhere, I’ll tell you!) explored this area. After that, there haven’t really been any recordings that we now know of until Philip Parker King wrote about it again in 1820.
The geological formations were formed after the sea receded this area and left deposits of sea shells. Coastal winds removed all of the surrounding sand over the years and left nothing but the exposed limestone pillars, that you can now visit on a nice day trip. They make for some fun shapes, what can you see in them?
In the 1960s, The Pinnacles Desert was included in the Nambung National Park and ever since, it became a popular destination for visitors. These days, up to 150.000 visitors come to The Pinnacles each year!
The Pinnacles Aboriginal History
While there is not much known about The Pinnacles from modern day explorers, this desert has been home to Aboriginal tribes for many years and Nambung (the ‘land of crooked river’) appeared in Aboriginal Dreamtime for many generations.
Aboriginal stories tell how the Yued tribe (who lived in peace in this desert for many years), saw their neighbouring tribe Mulbarrn punished by the Lords of the Dreaming for hunting on their land. After that, any tribe who traveled to the Yues land were vanquished. Each tall limestone replaced each enemy who lay dead on their land.
Curious to learn more about aboriginal astronomy? Make sure to read our guide:
The Pinnacles Video
Curious to see The Pinnacles before you arrive? Check out these videos, showing The Pinnacles West Australia Loop Track and close-ups of the rock formations:
The Pinnacles Desert Opening Hours
There is a Nambung National Park entree fee, and The Pinnacles Desert entrance fee is included in this price for the park. You pay the fee upon entry of Nambung National Park. No entry fee applies if you walk or cycle into a park. Please check this website for all the information on current prices: parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/know/park-entry-fees
In the park, you can visit The Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre. This new Pinnacles Visitor Center is open from 09:30 to 16:30 on every day of the year except Christmas Day. They’ve made sure to adjust The Pinnacles opening hours to daylight and twilight hours, so you can enjoy spectacular sunsets and sunrises. There are also toilets.
The park itself is open 24 hours, so if you’re a stargazer, then you might want to arrive late! If you have a clear night with little or no moon visible, you’ll get a fantastic view of the Milky Way from here. Make sure to bring a tripod and a wide angle lens to get a good picture of the stars. Leave the shutter open for about 30 seconds, select a low F/stop and a mid level aperture and then edit the photo in software such as Adobe Lightroom to get a good result.
Here are some photo tips of shooting night sky photos at The Pinnacles: www.australiascoralcoast.com/…/photographing-milky-way-pinnacles
The Pinnacles Discovery Center
At the Pinnacles Desert Discover Center, you can expect displays, soundscapes, videos and objects that explain the geology of the pinnacles formations and the cultural and natural heritage values of the area.
The building really has been designed to blend with the surrounding environment and incorporates tech such as solar power, passive solar building design and rainwater collection. Make sure not to miss the Pinnacle Lookout, which is located just behind the visitor center.
From the center’s car park, you can also step onto the “Desert View Trail”, which is an easy, 1.5 kilometer, 45 minutes return walk through the desert.
The Pinnacles Self-Drive
If you have your own car, it’s very easy to visit The Pinnacles Nambung National Park yourself. The Perth to Pinnacles distance 191 km. It takes a little over two hours to drive from Perth to Nambung National Park.
You don’t need a 4-wheel drive here as the roads are sealed and you can just use a regular car to see the rock formations. About one hour is plenty to see everything. There is a car park within walking distance of the limestone spires, so after arriving you can either ride around in your car, or (which we also recommend) stop and go for a walk.
What we can recommend is to visit the nearby Jurien Bay beach when you’re in this area, you can spot sea lions here and we had a lovely lunch here. Other option is to have a break in the town of Cervantes (right next to The Pinnacles WA), which is the Rock Lobster Capital of Australia, apparently. The “Lobster Shack” is the place to be. From Thirsty Point, you can get panoramic views of the ocean and sand dunes.
Going North, next stop will be Monkey Mia.
On the way down to Perth, you might want to stop at Lancelin, where you can have a go at sandboarding on Western Australia’s largest sand dunes. Another great stop is Yanchep National Park, where you can spot kangaroos and koalas.
The Pinnacles Tour from Perth
Rather take a guided bus tour from Perth? Not a problem! The first time I visited, my brother and I took a Pinnacles Perth tour, which also visited other sights in the area, the second time I visited, I drove myself. Both are equally convenient, it just depends on your budget and travel style.
As I said, the Pinnacles WA distance from Perth is only about a two hour drive, but on these day tours, they take you to several interesting stops along the way to get the most out of your time on the road from your Pinnacles desert Perth Tour.
Here are some good suggestions for Perth Pinnacles Tours:
- From Perth: Pinnacles Desert Sunset & Star-Gazing Tour
- Enjoy the sunset and the starry sky in the Pinnacles on this Pinnacles Day Tour from Perth. Sample Swan Valley wine and savor a barbecue dinner under the stars. >> More Information About The Perth Day Tours Pinnacles >>
- From Perth: Yanchep National Park and The Pinnacles Day Trip
- Get back to nature on a small group full-day Pinnacles Desert Tour from Perth and visit the colored sand cliffs of The Pinnacles on Fraser Island. Meet the koalas and kangaroos of Yanchep National Park, surf down the Lancelin Sand Dunes and more. >> More Information About This Pinnacles Tour Perth >>
Nambung National Park Weather
The best time of the year to visit Nambung and The Pinnacles weather-wise is July, August, September and October. This is also the time to see Western Australia in bloom with wildflowers!
Pinnacles Campsites, Resorts, Motels & More!
If you were planning for some Pinnacles camping adventures, I unfortunately have to disappoint you. Nambung National Park Camping is prohibited. There are a full range of accommodation and other services are available in the nearby town of Cervantes, so make sure to check those out!
- Pinnacles Edge Resort
- Free Wi-Fi
- Swimming pool
- On-site restaurant and bar
- All accommodations features cooking facilities
- All accommodations include a desk, a flat-screen TV and a DVD player
- Pinnacles Cervantes Holiday Homes
- Self-contained apartments with a flat-screen TV and a DVD player
- Shared barbecue area
- The apartments include a fully equipped kitchen with an oven, a microwave and a refrigerator
- Each apartment has a separate living and dining area
- Cervantes Pinnacles WA Motel
- Swimming pool,
- On-site restaurant and a bar
- BBQ facilities
- All rooms are air-conditioned and feature a flat-screen TV, mini-bar, refrigerator and tea and coffee making facilities
- The private bathroom includes a shower, a hairdryer, and free toiletries
- Free on-site parking
- Free WiFi available in public areas
- RAC Cervantes Holiday Park
- Swimming pool
- Free WiFi available on site
- Free private parking
- Each of the modern 2 and 3-bedroom villas features a fully equipped kitchen, large living room and private bathroom facilities
- On-site laundry facilities, camp kitchen and BBQs
- On-site cafe
- Lobster Lodge
- Cafe, communal kitchen and BBQ facilities
- On-site internet kiosk offering both ADSL and Wi-Fi access
- Accommodations options include private rooms, dormitories and an apartment
- All dormitories and private rooms have bed linen included
- Self-service laundry
- There are restaurants and shops within 0.6 mile of the lodge
Beyond The Pinnacles Backpacking Tips
Going backpacking in Australia? Then you have to check out our blog post about the Australia backpacking budget we recommend:
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Love space? Then we recommend checking out these articles on our website:
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Looking for fun Space Gifts? Check out our shop:
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