This is the destination description for Nambung
The Pinnacles, a surreal landscape of limestone columns about three and a half hours by road from Perth on the coast of Western Australia, have teased the imagination for centuries. What were thousands of limestone spires, some as small as fingers, and others taller than people, doing here overlooking a blue ocean?
To sailors approaching the Western Australian coast it looked like the ruins of an ancient city. Some believed this was the petrified remains of an ancient rainforest once covering much of Australia but later covered by sand dunes. The most recent – and more prosaic – theory is that these tooth-like shapes are the result of columns of hard limestone that formed around ancient tree tap roots. The roots hadÂ penetrated into softer limestone formed within ancient sand dunes. It’s believed the limestone came from dissembled seashells dumped ashore. This unique forest formed over thousands of years but was discovered by the wider world only recently and made part of a national park in the 1960s.
Most people go to Nambung National Park to see the Pinnacles, but then stay to admire the beautiful beaches and sand dunes in the park. There are three main dune systems along this ancient coastline. At the right time of year carpets of wildflowers in the park’s heath lands will take your breath away. Good swimming is also to be had in nearby Hangover Bay. Abundant wildlife grazes here including western grey kangaroos and emus. White-tailed, black cockatoos may also greet you, or you may glimpse a black-shouldered kite or other birds of prey.
Easy park access
The Pinnacles make a scenic trip and have the virtue of being close to civilisation and creature comforts! Just three hours from the centre of Perth, they make a highly enjoyable day trip. They lie in the heart of Nambung National Park on the coast of Western Australia north of Perth and just south of Jurien Bay. Alternatively, the seaside town of Cervantes – just 245 kilometres from Perth up the Brand Highway -makes a good base and offers a range of accommodation. You can drive by standard car or take a four-wheel drive.
The turnoff to the park is on Cervantes Road, which runs off the Brand Highway. Easy. Once there the possibilities are many. While many are attracted to the park by the Pinnacles, it offers much more – fields of stunning wildflowers, great swimming spots with white sandy beaches, and some rewarding walks offering wonderful views.
Drivers without a caravan or a trailer may like a one-way loop track weaving throughout the Pinnacles. There is also a short walking trail of 500 metres which gives onto several lookouts with views sweeping from the Pinnacles to the coast.
There are two popular fishing spots in the park, one at Kangaroo Point and one at Hangover Bay. Bushwalking is popular here, and is often said to be the best way to experience the Pinnacles as long as you take plenty of your own water and wear sturdy footwear. No camping sites are designated. Few mind however, because a good choice of accommodation is provided at nearby Cervantes.