THE Pinnacles are a unique geological creation that could only have occurred on Western Australia’s ‘Turquoise Coast’.
Here are nine reasons you should go there soon:
1 The Pinnacles are towering columns of limestone requiring a very specific recipe for their existence: an 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 a several theories but none have been proven or disproven. But they all agree, a base of limestone is subjected to selective erosion by that wind and rain.
3 The Department of Parks and Wildlife ‘Discovery Centre’ opened in 2008. It provides visitors with information, books and souvenirs. Explorers can also equip with drinks, hats and insect repellent as they prepare to tackle The Pinnacles Desert. There is 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 due to limited physical access between some of the Pinnacles. Larger vehicles often leave with scars of close encounters with an immovable limestone sentinel.
5 There is an excellent chance of seeing kangaroos, emus and various reptiles in their natural environment, especially in the early morning, or late evening. Look out for animal tracks.
6 Late evening also brings out photographers – professional and amateur – adding to the millions of photographs of The Pinnacles Desert at its most eerie, enigmatic, enchanting, breathtaking, beautiful, cosmic, eternal … Take a picture and create your own Pinnacles mood.
7 The lobster fishing town of Cervantes is just 20 km 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.
8 The Pinnacles Desert is within the Nambung National Park which is only 200km North of Perth, a quick trip by Australian standards. You can drive yourself, or jump on a tour bus. Just Google ‘Pinnacle Tours’ and pick one that suits you. In a rugged 4WD Bus, luxurious conventional coach style travel or by helicopter.
9 Lancelin is another lobster town on the way to or from The Pinnacles Desert – great for a comfort stop. Another claim to fame is windsurfing. A consistently strong on shore wind has benefited Lancelin with an annual round of the world windsurfing championship. The wind has also sculpted some excellent sand dunes which are very popular with locals and visitors alike. Plenty of 4WD-ers and sand-boarders enjoy fun in the sun and sand.
The Pinnacles Desert really is a unique part of the world and should be on your bucket list. Try contacting tour operators who often combine a visit to the Pinnacles, Cervantes and Lancelin to make an excellent full-day tour.
Whichever way you go, don’t forget the fly-nets!
Tony Fogarty is a travel writer, who blogs at www.tee-eff.com, where this article first appeared.