A visit to Australia's Nambung National Park and the Pinnacles Desert is a must!
Found along the Indian Ocean Drive, near Cervantes and Jurien Bay, the Pinnacles of Nambung National Park are one of the major natural attractions in the Coral Coast and are Western Australia's most visited attraction, with approximately 653,000 visitors in the 2017/2018 financial year (recorded by Parks and Wildlife).
The park is located roughly 200 kilometres or 2 hours' drive north of Perth, and covers an area of 17,487 hectares, providing natural habitat for an extensive array of native animals and bird life.
These amazing natural limestone structures, some standing as high as 3.5 metres, were formed approximately 25,000 to 30,000 years ago, after the sea receded and left deposits of sea shells. Over time, coastal winds removed the surrounding sand, leaving the pillars exposed to the elements.
Travelling to the Pinnacles
From Perth head north along Wanneroo Road, which becomes the Indian Ocean Drive, and turn right at the sign for the Pinnacles OR, from Perth head north along the Brand Highway and turn left at the sign to 'Cervantes'. From Cervantes, head south two kilometres to the Nambung National Park boundary and continue a further 14km to the Pinnacles car park.
The extraordinary ancient rock formations that make up the Pinnacles are located approximately 2 hours' drive north of Perth, near the coastal town of Cervantes.
The Pinnacles are easy to access by car or you can take a coach tour from Perth with ADAMS Pinnacle Tours.
Conventional two wheel drive vehicles can access Nambung National Park by road, south from Cervantes. A scenic drive is also available for light vehicles, but you must remain on the marked track.The little Painted Desert and unusual white dunes can also be viewed from the Pinnacles Lookout and is a pleasurable 4-5 kilometre walk through the Nambung National Park. If you're planning an extended walk of this kind, please contact the Ranger Station in Cervantes on +61 8 9545 7043 for local advice and to advise them of your movements.
Access to the Pinnacles
No camping is allowed in Nambung National Park, but barbeque facilities and toilets are available. Be sure to bring along a hat, sturdy footwear and bottled water as no drinking water is available. Visitors are expected to have left the National Park by 9pm.
The road is sealed bitumen from Cervantes in to Nambung National Park and to the Pinnacles Discovery Centre car park, then a rough limestone gravel road heads into the Pinnacles Desert. This road is unsuitable for caravans and rental vehicles, which can be left in the car park.
The entry fee to the National Park is $15.00 per vehicle (carrying up to 12 passengers). 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.
Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre
The Pinnacles Desert Discovery Center has interpretive displays that provide an insight into the natural processes that formed the amazing limestone structures, as well as information on the biodiversity of the park including its unique flora and fauna. You'll also find details about other national parks and nature reserves on Australia's Coral Coast, and general Parks and Wildlife information. During wildflower season (late-July/early-August through to October), the vegetation of Nambung National Park springs to life with colourful wildflowers.
The Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre is open daily (except Christmas) from 9am to 4:30pm.
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.