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Nambung National Park
Nambung National Park

The Pinnacles, Nambung National Park guide: things to do

Nature sculptured limestone pinnacles for visitors to wonder about the making of. Extraordinary formations evocative of a fantasy world where the dominant landscape feature is a rock. The Pinnacles formed thousands of years ago after the sea retreated and left seashells behind. Coastal winds got to work to create the pillars, ranging in height to 4m. The Pinnacles are a distinctive phenomena slowing visitors in their tracks. You gawp at the sight of jagged columns marching across the dry desert or folded into tombstone shapes. Nothing like peculiar landforms to grab our attention. The park is part of the southern gateway to the Coral Coast covers approximately 17,487 hectares providing natural habitat for an extensive array of native animals and bird life.

BEST TIME TO GO

The best time to go is spring with blooming wildflowers and cooler weather.

Summer is very hot and dry. It is advisable to avoid visiting the desert between December to March.

The Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre

The Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre has an excellent interpretative display.  It is a must go to stop for visitors as:

  • Up to date safety information
  • Flora and Fauna brochures
  • On the spot discussion and advice about driving routes and walking trails.
  • The Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre is open daily (except Christmas) from 9am to 4:30pm.

Getting here

The Pinnacles are 2 hours’ drive north of Perth on sealed roads. The Pinnacles are well signposted on the Indian Ocean Drive.

From the town of Cervantes drive south for 2km to the Nambung National Park Boundary and continue a further 14km to the Pinnacles car park.

Access & Exploring the Pinnacles

The road is sealed to Nambung National Park and to the Pinnacles Discovery Centre car park. From this point the road is an uneven limestone gravel road. This road is not suitable for caravans and rental vehicles, which can be left in the car park. There is an entry fee into the National Park per vehicle. For those visiting the park outside of the hours of 9am to 4:30pm when the entry station is manned, there is a fee pillar (credit card) or envelope system (for those wishing to pay cash) for their entry fee. For more information on Nambung National Park or park entry fees, please refer to the Parks and Wildlife website.

Exploring the Pinnacles

Driving

A short scenic drive for 2WD is accessible however vehicles must remain on the designated track.

Walks

The Desert View Trail is an easy, 1.5km / 45 minute walk. The little Painted Desert and unusual white dunes can also be viewed from the Pinnacles Lookout and is a 4-5 kilometre walk. If you’re planning an extended trek contact the Ranger Station in Cervantes before departing for advice as well as registering your track.

LANDSCAPE

The park consists of three different dune landscapes:

  • The first landscape is beach dunes, white shifting sands and dune grases.
  • Further inland there are dunes of yellow sand with the pinnacles limestone formations.
  • The third landscape is low lying bush consisting of shrubs, including grasses, herbs, and geophytes (check Travel Pack Information for further details)

Travel Pack Information

From Nambung National Park online resource Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the Pinnacles?

  • The Pinnacles of Nambung National Park are natural limestone structures, dating back 25,000-30,000 years! Drive or wander through the mysterious, otherworldly desert and soak up views of the Pinnacles and yellow earth. Look back towards the coast to see how the landscape changes from the yellow of the desert, to white sand dunes, and the blue of the Indian Ocean in the background. Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for native Australian wildlife like kangaroos and emus, particularly if you are visiting early in the morning or later in the afternoon.

Where are the Pinnacles?

  • The Pinnacles are found in Nambung National Park, approximately 200 kilometres north of Perth, Western Australia.

How do I get to the Pinnacles?

  • From Perth drive north along Wanneroo Road, which will turn into Indian Ocean Drive, and turn right at the sign for the Pinnacles. Alternatively, from Perth drive north along Brand Highway and turn left at the sign to Cervantes; from Cervantes, head south two kilometres and turn left at the sign for the Pinnacles. The drive time is approximately 2 hours.

Do I need a four-wheel drive to access the Pinnacles?

  • Not at all! Nambung National Park and the Pinnacles are both accessible by two-wheel drive.

Do I have to pay to visit the Pinnacles?

  • There is a National Park Entry Fee to Nambung National Park, which contributes to park management, protection of the environment, and the development and maintenance of visitor services and facilities. This fee is $15.00 per private vehicle, carrying up to 12 occupants. For more information about National Park Entry Fees click here.

When can I visit the Pinnacles?

  • You can visit Nambung National Park and the Pinnacles Desert at any time, however visitors are expected to have left the park by 9pm.
  • The Pinnacles are a spectacular place to visit after dark, soaking up endless views of the Milky Way galaxy sprawling above you in the night sky. You can self-drive and explore by yourself (remember to take care, stick to the dedicated paths and take a torch!), or join a dedicated nighttime tour to the Pinnacles with tour operators like ADAMS Pinnacle Tours and Autopia Tours.

How long to spend at the Pinnacles and the park generally?

  • Visitor Center plan ½ – 1 hour depending on the number of visitors and the type of walks you wish to do
  • Pinnacles – between 1 hour to 3 hours depending on your fascination with rocks and photography interests
  • Lake Thetish ½ hour

Can I camp in the park?

  • No, There are no camping areas in Nambung National Park but a full range of accommodation and other services are available in the nearby town of Cervantes.

Is it worth it while taking kids?

  • Yes as the landscape is bizarre with giant rock pillars towering over the yellow dunes, kids’ imagination will jump to scienc fantasy lunar landscapes. You might have to answer questions about dragons and mythological creatures inhabiting the place.
  • A highlight is the Visitor Information Center with its kids focused guides building a sense of anticipation for a younger audience.

Brochure

The journey is worth it.

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