Cervantes is the gateway to the iconic Pinnacles Desert, and the southern entry to the Coral Coast region.
Home to beautiful white sandy beaches and turquoise waters teeming with marine life, the coastal town is a popular choice for fishing or swimming and relaxed family getaways, and an ideal base to enjoy a range of land and water-based activities.
Cervantes is approximately 2 hours' drive north of Perth along the Indian Ocean Drive.
The Pinnacles Desert of Nambung National Park
The Pinnacles Desert of Nambung National Park is one of Australia's most unique landscapes. Here, thousands of ancient limestone colums, estimated to be between 25-30,000 years old and reaching up to 3.5 metres high, cover the yellow desert sand. Explore the desert on a designated 4 kilometre driving trail or stroll through them at leisure along a 1.2 kilometre walking trail. The onsite Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre shares information about the National Park's fascinating geology, flora and fauna. Nambung National Park itself is a vast expanse of coastsal heathland, covering over 17,000 hectares, and is home to a range of native plants and animals. From late winter to the end of spring, wildflowers bloom spectacularly throughout the park, with species such as wattles, quandong, yellow tail flower, thick-leaved fan flower, white clematis, cockies tongues, parrotbush and banksia species all visible. Visitors will also delight in viewing wildlife such as western grey kangaroos, cockatoos, emus, bobtail skinks and the occasional bird of prey.
In & Around Town
Cervantes is a crayfishing town and is renowned for its fresh crayfish (Western Rock Lobster). A visit wouldn't be complete without a trip to Lobster Shack - the Indian Ocean Rock Lobster Factory, where you can enjoy a guided behind-the-scenes tour of a live lobster processing plant and enjoy a fresh crayfish lunch overlooking the Indian Ocean.
The Cervantes Art Trail features 23 pieces of art throughout the town, and references a range of topics paricular to Cervantes from its Spanish history to its relationship with the ocean. Art trail maps can be collected from the Cervantes Visitor Centre on Cadiz Street.
Lake Thetis, located on the way into Cervantes off Hansen Bay Road, is one of the few places in the world where you can see living thrombolites. Thrombolites are closely related to stromatolites and are commonly regarded as 'living fossils', and the thrombolites at Lake Thetis are estimated to be around 3,000 years old. It is believed that the lake became isolated from the sea approximately 4,800 years ago, after sea levels dropped and coastal dunes formed around the lake. A 200 metre universally accessible boardwalk at the edge of the lake provides a great vantage point from which to see the thrombolites, and features interpretive signage sharing insight into what life was like at the dawn of time. The boardwalk is part of a longer 1.5 kilometre loop walk around the entirity of the lake. Please note: dogs are not permitted at Lake Thetis.
Kangaroo Point and Hangover Bay are popular beaches located to the south of Cervantes. Facilities at both sites include barbecues, shelters and toilets. Kangaroo Point is a great spot to launch the boat or enjoy a secluded barbecue or picnic, while Hangover Bay is popular for snorkelling, surging and windsurfing. The area immediately north of Kangaroo Point is a marine park sanctuary zone.
To take in the scenery, head to the Hansen Bay Lookout which offers picturesque views of the ocean, Lake Thetis and the Cervantes town site. Molah Hill Lookout, located halfway between Cervantes and Jurien Bay, offers panoramic views of the Indian Ocean and Mount Lesueur.
Accessible by 4WD track, the Cervantes to Jurien Bay track (accessible via the Indian Ocean Drive) is 25 km and will take you over the sand dunes onto the beach and crossing to Hill River. The track is only wide enough for one car, so you may have to reverse for quite a distance if you meet another vehicle! The area offers some excellent kayak experiences along the river or in the ocean. Like kayaking, fishing options at Hill River include the river and ocean.
Drive along the beach from Cervantes, go along a track that goes west onto the main road. The Cervantes to Jurien Bay track is 25 km long and will take you over the sand dunes onto the beach. This track can be done in one day with an early start. Sand is fairly soft, remember to let your tyres down. Where the water flows into the river, it gets harder, so you will need some speed.
Camping is not permitted at Hill River, so overnight accommodation in Jurien Bay or Cervantes is required. Fancy camping? Why not try nearby camp locations of Lake Indoon, Sandy Cape or Milligan Island.
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