Exploring The Pinnacles, Western Australia

pinnacles-limestone-nambung-national-park-western-australia-cervantes

The Pinnacles in Western Australia are a humbling reminder of how natural phenomena have existed on this planet long before we were born and will remain here for many thousands of years. If you are looking to be intrigued and enchanted then the Turquoise Coast of WA is home to one of the state’s most well known natural point of interest.   

The Pinnacles, Western Australia

The Pinnacles are located within Nambung National Park, about a three hour drive north of Perth. They are limestone formations that sprout out of the golden desert across 190 hectares.

pinnacles western australia

Some are jagged, finger like protrusions over three metres in height, others are small rounded nodules. Some are reminiscent of sponge like coral you would find on the bottom of the ocean whilst scuba diving, others take on more tree-like form. The Pinnacles date back millions of years from a time when ancient sea shells were broken down into lime rich sands that were blown inland and cemented together. Source. 

pinnacles western australia

Aboriginal History

According to the Nyoongar people of this region, the name “Nambung” means “crooked”. It refers to the river which flows through the park during winter.

I am particularly struck by the thought that the Noongar Aborigines viewed these limestone statues as fossilised ghosts. This sends a delicious shiver down my spine. Evidence of Aboriginal occupation has been discovered and dated to approximately 6000 years ago. Source. 

pinnacles western australia

Time Your Visit

On the first day I visited The Pinnacles the sun reflected off the yellow sand and washed everything with a golden glow. We visited the main lookout point just a short walk from the visitor’s centre and took in the view. Short on time, we only explored a small walkable distance through the alien-like field of thousands of statues.

pinnacles western australia

I was keen to experience this place at different times of day so that the changing light would cast a different picture. I jumped into the van of Jurien Bay Adventure Tours, who run tours to The Pinnacles at different times of the day, and drove the short distance from Jurien Bay to the national park at 5.30 in the morning.

pinnacles western australia

This time we took advantage of the 4 kilometre loop track that circles through the national park. Although a sandy path through the desert, it is suitable for 2WD vehicles and I would strongly suggest driving it as it allows you to appreciate the size of the area and the different shapes, sizes and colours of the pinnacles.

We stopped at a lookout point halfway around the track and checked our watches. We were in time to view first light and then the sunrise.

pinnacles western australia

Unfortunately, it was a morning of heavy cloud so first light was somewhat subdued, but it gave us time to explore some of the nearby pinnacles that looked interesting. As the light changed with the dawn so too did the hues of the pinnacles around me.

Nature’s Little Moments

As the sun rose and dappled the cloudy sky with a soft rose ink, I spotted two pink and grey galah birds sitting on top of a pinnacle.

pinnacles western australia

With their heads together, they cooed gently as they groomed each other. Clearly, they had a secret nest hidden in a recess at the top of the limestone column.

Witnessing endemic wildlife is always a huge bonus of travel, and these two melted my heart with their dawn love for each other.

pinnacles western australia

How To Get There

The Pinnacles are situated just off the Indian Ocean Drive, 17 kilometres from Cervantes. If you’re planning a trip up out of the city it’s worth making an overnight stay of it as there’s plenty of things to see and do in the area: from caves, sealions, wildflowers in the Spring, Mount Lesueur National Park and the small coastal towns along the highway such as Cervantes and Jurien Bay.

pinnacles western australia

Have you visited The Pinnacles? What was your experience like? Do you enjoy visiting natural wonders such as these or do they not appeal? Share your thoughts with me!

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pinnacles western australia

12 Comments

  1. September 7, 2016 / 12:29 PM

    We were there last year… very fascinating scenery!

  2. September 9, 2016 / 12:50 AM

    Beautiful! I’m interested to visit this place someday. Thanks for posting. xx

    • September 9, 2016 / 2:05 AM

      Well worth a trip, Jacq, and there’s plenty of other places to explore round the area so make a weekend of it one day!

    • September 14, 2016 / 6:33 AM

      It certainly was. I was too busy enjoying myself and taking photos to even realise it was still only 6.45am!

  3. September 11, 2016 / 1:46 AM

    How incredible! So stark and yet so beautiful too. And those birds perched on top provided such a contrast.

    • September 14, 2016 / 6:33 AM

      The birds were definitely like the cherry on top of the cake for me! I loved them.

  4. September 21, 2016 / 5:15 PM

    Australia, would love to visit there one day or go live there. It would be so great. The pink birds are very cute. Lengthy plane flight from England though.

    • September 26, 2016 / 5:13 AM

      It is such a fabulous country to explore. You should definitely try to visit one day. Yes, the plane journey from England is long, but a good excuse to break it up with a stop over somewhere exciting like Singapore or Bangkok on the way over! I’m glad you also liked the galahs – they were very cute indeed.

      • September 26, 2016 / 6:38 PM

        Hi Meg thanks for the reply. My mum is from the Philippines and I try go there every year, so it’s out in the same direction as Australia. I stop over in Singapore or Hong Kong usually but just hang around the airport. Australia is such a huge place, I had been watching the tv show ‘Coast Australia’. From what I’ve seen it looks fantastic, I’m a beach person when I get the opportunity and the ones in Australia look so nice. Galahs hey I wonder if you could teach them to talk.

        • September 28, 2016 / 2:58 AM

          Loads of great beaches in Australia to discover, Chris! I bet you would love it! Someone I know used to have a pet galah and they said it kinda talked the odd word so maybe it’s possible!

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