Let’s face it, on the whole spectrum of tourist attractions in Australia, Western Australia in the only state to have a fetish for rocks. In fact, it’s a pastime of ours to market how important it is to your travelling experience to visit some form of geological artefact. For example, we have Wave Rock, the town of Boulder, the Bungle Bungle and of course the most famous of them all, the Pinnacles. It surprises me how many people live only a couple of hours away and have never taken the time to drive up to the town of Cervantes to witness these amazing sculptures. Now for those who have no Idea what I’m talking about and are thinking that the Pinnacles is something related to some monumental moment of your life, Ill fill you in. Besides the fact that they are rocks, as we have already established that, they are infact incrediable towers of limestone that have taken thousands of years to form. And unlike Wave Rock which is small and a little disappointing, the Pinnacles form a vast desert surrounded by sapphire blue waters, sunburnt sand and perfect blue skies.
The Pinnacles is located in Nambung National Park and is about 2 and half hours north of Perth. I found myself up here with 3 uni mates working on a sustainable tourism project. There is nothing quite like getting in a car with 3 others you barely know and hurdling a couple hundred kilometres up the road, in some groups this can be disastrous – just for an example, an issue you may come accross is music and more importantly what music an individual decides to put on whilst driving up (Apparently its never to early for clubbing music). The group consisted of two Reunion Islanders (French) and a fellow Sandgroper. The ironic thing is I didn’t even know about Reunion Island unill I saw an ad for it when I watched Avatar, and then two weeks later I meet two members from this lost French Island. Anyway, we hit the road early, full of coffee and sugar, arriving into Cervantes about 11ish. Checking into the only caravan park and setting up our tents besides a small sand dune that opens up to the calmest of blue waters I’ve seen in a long time. You could see small islands of the coast and fisherman on the beach casting a line.
We arrived into Nambung National Park about 1pm and began our observations, which I won’t bore you with. The Pinnacles has a fantastic interpretation centre which explores how the towers formed as well as how the area developed into what it is today. After benefiting from the air conditioned building, we decided to run through the millions of flies back into the confines of the car. Trying to shut the door before any annoying winged pests could find their way in. The Pinnacles is effectively a big desert with a long circular road, which you slowy drive around and stop at different parts to take photos or just to admire the amazing scenery. If you pick the time right ,you will be gifted with the changing moods of the sky, where the sands beautifully change colours from violent yellow to red ochres as the sun disappears over the ocean. The shadows of the pinnacles slowly creep up on you as if you were being stalking by the night.
The rest of the afternoon was devoted to feeding the fish, some people also refer to it as fishing. This old sea dog was sitting on the pier bringing in fish after fish, with the catch of the day easily being an amazing species of squid he caught. However no mater how much I tried, and even after diving into to the waters after I knocked a palstic bag with all my hooks in, all I could catch was a blowey. One day I’ll master it….hopefully.
It will cost you $11 for per car for entry into The Pinnacles, and if you go after 4.30pm for the sunset, entry is by honour box – wink, wink, nudge, nudge. The camping site is about $20 a night for a tent and provides good shower/cooking facilities. If you’re in need of an ale, well you won’t find one. However if you want a beer, then the central Tavern is a good place to grab one. The crowd is good natured and enjoy a good game of snooker and a bet or two. Or in the case of our clubbing music lover, the ability to chat up a 16 year old, which we had to then politely point out that she was too young and no, you cant take her back to your tent, especially considering our tents are next door.
After a great nights sleep, an early morning swim and a yummy breakfast,we headed back to Perth, successfully gathering all the data for our project. The Pinnacles has always been a favourite of mine and if you haven’t had the chance to see it yet, grab yourself a tent and head up. It’s also a great stop if you’re going further north to Kalbarri or Shark Bay. Just don’t forget your clubbing music…
Thanks to Elise, Regis and Julia for the photos – it was an awesome trip! If you want more info on the Pinnacles– or if you’d rather see what the worlds biggest squid looks like, click here – if that doesnt give you the creeps, nothing will.