The Pinnacles of Western Australia

Australia > Western Australia > The Pinnacles Desert

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[PLEASE READ EARLIER INSTALMENTS HERE & HERE]

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01 September 2012

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Our main destination for the day is the Pinnacles, in the desert of Nambung National Park, near the town of Cervantes on the Indian Ocean coast. The desert is some 250km by road from Perth, 3 hours drive from the CBD.

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En route, lunch break at the small fishing village of Lancelin, 110km north of Perth, with its famous white sand dunes right at the Indian Ocean. Biggest attraction here is sand surfing.

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Fish and chips, what else, but pretty good.

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Next door, a closed shop, but I’m intrigued by that notice: “TUTUP – CLOSED”. In Lancelin, of all places!

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On the way out after the brief lunch stop, more beautiful sand dunes, so inviting but we are pressed for time.

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An hour later, we are in Nambung National Park, with its huge expanse of native bush land, with the tempestuous Indian Ocean in the background.

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There’s a nice Visitor Centre where we educate ourselves a bit, as if the whole thing makes sense. Actually nobody is exactly sure what had happened here, and new theories are always being investigated. The only thing we know for sure, they are limestone formations, and the moving sand dunes play a major role too.

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Soon we are on a footpath snaking through the bush.

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I can already see a hint of what to come.

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Just a bit more to go.

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And … WHOA!!

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The Pinnacles View, the spot to start things off.

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A bit of orientation is needed.

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We step down the platform to the desert floor. Limestone formations are soft and prone to be chipped, so please obey.

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It’s not too warm, not too cold. In fact it was pleasant.
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Soon we are enjoying the show.

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Pockets of visitors are exploring every nook and cranny of this amazing site.

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So much so that I need to get a pic of myself in action too … which is a rarity!

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Look closely and you can see the limestone characteristics immediately.

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The Pinnacles seem to be everywhere … right into the bush. It’s interesting that this place was only known to the public in the late 60s, most likely due to lack of access.

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After the walkabout on the desert floor, we return to the carpark for a drive. You can drive around the Pinnacles as long you as you are okay with these rules — handy since the Pinnacles Desert is quite a large area.

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Just keep your car between those two rows of stones — that’s your road, and it’s one-way traffic only, clockwise direction generally.

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As we wander around, we are greeted with fantastic views.

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The low sun makes the scenery even more magnificent.

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There’s a look-out which gives a splendid vista.

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And on the other side I can see the advancing sand dunes. The moving sand would cover these Pinnacles soon, but would probably expose new ones. Such is the cycle of nature for thousands of years. They believe the present Pinnacles were exposed just a few hundred years ago.

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More late afternoon shadows at play.

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I climb a limestone outcrop. Very flaky and soft limestone. Imagine, this was constructed deep under the sea from seashells, thousands of years ago.

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These gallahs are probably saying, so what?

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Can’t resist another self-portrait, a waving one.

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Taking advantage of the late afternoon sun’s light and the long shadows. Come here at noon, and your pics would be a tad boring.

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As I say, the sun is low, so maybe it’s time for us to return to Perth too, 250km away, 3 hours drive.

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Okay, so our verdict is …

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On the way out of the Pinnacles Desert, there are wildflowers everywhere, but there’s something else there too.

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An emu, the first time I see one in the wild.

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And just close by, a western grey kangaroo. What luck, we spot two Australian national icons in one swoop — both on the Coat of Arms some more!

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Back on the Indian Ocean Highway, we see a lot of this sign — wildlife everywhere, and dusk is a particularly bad time to drive — the critters are out feeding. Later on in darkness, a stupid kangaroo almost bang into our car as we are cruising towards Perth. Phew!

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Along the way, one final deed — we try to rush to this splendid lookout overlooking the Indian Ocean to witness the supposedly splendid sunset, but are late by 15 minutes! Tough luck. 🙁

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> THE END

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2 Responses to “The Pinnacles of Western Australia”

  1. azuan says:

    Amazing photos and post as always Doc. 🙂 More please! haha

  2. naim says:

    Thanks, bro, Australia is so accessible, and a pleasure to drive.

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