By Tee Eff
The Pinnacles are a unique geological creation that could only have occurred on this barren part of Western Australia’s “Turquoise Coast.” Here are 10 reasons you should get here soon!
1. The Pinnacles are towering columns of limestone requiring a specific set of environmental circumstances for their existence. An ancient ocean, wind, rain, decaying vegetation, wind, rain, and more of the same. Delete just one ingredient — and no Pinnacles.
2. No one really knows exactly how they were formed. There are several theories but none have been proven or disproven. But they all agree a base of limestone has been subjected to selective erosion by that wind and rain.
3. The Department of Parks & Wildlife Discovery Centre opened in 2008 to provide visitors with a source of information, books, and other souvenirs. Explorers can also equip with drinks, hats, and insect repellent as they prepare to tackle the Pinnacles Desert. There is also an eco-friendly restroom nearby. A pit stop is recommended as there are no trees out in the Pinnacles Desert!
4. The Pinnacles can be experienced by car or by foot — there are trails for either mode. Caravans and larger vehicles, however, may not enter the Pinnacles Desert as there is limited physical access between some of the Pinnacles. Many larger cars have left bearing scars of a close encounter with an immovable limestone sentinel.
5. There is a good chance of seeing kangaroos and emus in their natural environment, especially in the early morning or late evening.
6. Late evening also brings out photographers — professional and amateur alike — adding to the millions of photos of the Pinnacles Desert at its most eerie, enigmatic, enchanting, breathtaking, beautiful, cosmic, eternal. Take a picture and create your own Pinnacles mood!
7. There is some Aboriginal significance evidenced by the discovery of artifacts dating back 6,000 years, but nothing more recent. Perhaps the local stories about their Aboriginal ancestors’ spirits resting inside these limestone monuments echoed tales of past nomadic wanderers.
8. The lobster fishing town of Cervantes is just 20 kilometers (about 12 miles) up the road for lunch, an overnight stay, or a full-on holiday. Cervantes was named after an American whaling ship which was wrecked nearby, which in turn was named after the creator of Don Quixote.
9. The Pinnacles Desert is within the Nambung National Park which is only 200 kilometers (about 124 miles) north of Perth — a quick trip by Australian standards — and you can drive yourself or jump on a tour bus. Just Google “Pinnacle Tours” and pick one that suits you — by a rugged 4WD bus, in more luxurious conventional coach style travel, or by helicopter.
10. Lancelin is another lobster town on the way to or from the Pinnacles Desert — great for a comfort stop. Its other main claim to fame is windsurfing, courtesy of a consistently strong offshore wind that has benefited Lancelin with an annual round of the world windsurfing championship. Out the back of town there are also some excellent sand dunes which are very popular with locals and visitors alike. Plenty of 4WDers and sand-boarders enjoy fun in the sun and sand.
Some tour operators combine a visit to the Pinnacles, Cervantes, and Lancelin to make a full-day tour. Whichever way you go you will love a visit to this unique part of Western Australia.
For more information: www.parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/site/pinnacles-desert-lookout-and-drive
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