We we had been living in Perth for 6 years before seeing this place. During this time a lot of vt'ers have been through and I have been asked on numerous occasions if it is worth a visit. Well I can now confidently say 'Yes!!' it certainly is worth the trip. However my tip is to hire a car and do it yourself. The bus trips incorporate a few other things to keep it interesting and it ends up being a long day of zipping here and there. If you head off early in the day you can fit in the Pinnicles, Stromatalites, a couple of beers and lunch and possibly drop by Yanchep National Park for kangaroo viewing on the way back to Perth.
(See my Yanchep pages).
From the Pinnacles, we headed towards Cervantes for lunch. A few miles down the track we came across a sign encouraging us to visit the Stromatolites. Well they looked interesting, and none of us had heard of them before, so we decided to go check them out. Wondering if the were strange things you find in a cave, we were eventually surprised to see and learn all about these ancient living organisims. Check out my pix in the travelogue.
If you are interested in this sort of phenomena, the link below will tell you all about them.
Ok, you can't miss this place - across the road from the Tavern.
Fantastic for fresh seafood, great service and you can BYO - Bring your own beer and wine from the Bottlo next door. Now you can't beat that for good lunch tucker!!
Update! Last time we came here sadly this cafe does not let you bring BYO :o(
No worries! (as us aussies say).....
We'll just take our tinnies & food and eat
across the road in the park :o)
lake thetis is a home for stromatolites or colony of cyanobacteria, one of the oldest living organism on earth, about 2,000 years of age! it's created sedimentation and further becomes hard material like a rock. the layer of its rock will keep increasing as long as the cyanobacteria stay alive. and if eventually die, if will be fossilied stromatolites.
there are several beaches option to be visited to soaking yourself from the hot sunny day. there are:
- thirsty point
- hangover bay
- kangaroo point
- jurien beach marine park
- hansen bay
situated nearby cervantes and nambung national park where the pinnacles is located.
a must visited place at nambung national park is the pinnacles. 3 - 4 m high limestone pillars just spread along the desert, about 500 hectares. make sure to have ample time from dusk 'till dawn to get the best pictures.
the limestone formations of the pinnacles created about hundred years ago. whenever winds blowing the calcium material of marine life to the coastal zone. created the sand dunes and deformation by rains [acidity], roots of the plants plus wind and sands themselves. then the rocky formations still remains.
the main group of the pinnacles known as the tombstones. and the others .... just use your illusion to give entitlements.
there's a loop of 3.5 km walk or use 4wd car [bus is not allowed] to explore this area. my choice goes to walk for sure!
Jurien Bay, is located 22kms north of Cervantes along the Indian Ocean Road. It is known as a cray fishing town as during the months of November and June fishing boats head out and supply the township with a lucrative fishing industry.
The bay is a safe swimming spot which is popular with water enthusiasts, especially for anyone who loves to fish, snorkel or dive. The turquoise pristine waters is ideal for any water activity.
Its only a tiny village and has limited accommodation the best option in town is the Caravan Park which has lovely self contained cabins on the beach.
Tip: Make sure you book ahead as these cabins are very popular.
Lake Thetis is a saline lake and is very interesting , around the lake are hundreds of Stromatlites which are large stonelike growths of cyanobacteria, formed in shallow warm sea water which are supposed to be billion years old.
The Pinnacles are located within the Nambung National Park, 250km north of Perth. It takes approx 2.5-3hrs to drive from Perth depending on the traffic conditions.
The Pinnacles are situated approximately 17kms from Cervantes and is definitely worth exploring, the Pinnacles rise up from the sand dunes and can reach up to 4 metres high.
The landscape could be described as weird definitely having an lunar feeling too it. The Pinnacles are made of raw material which came from the ocean, sea-shells broken down into lime-rich sand and carried inland by the wind to form dunes.
The interesting part of exploring the pinnacles one can literally drive around the whole 4km one-way loop without getting out of your car. The park features a variety of flora and fauna, including Western Grey Kangaroo, Possums, Brush Wallaby, Snakes, Lizards and an array of bird life.
Hangover Bay is also well worth visiting as the bay and water looked divine. There is NO water available in Hangover Bay, but water can be found just near the entrance to the Pinnacles.
If your passion is photography then discovering the Pinnacles would be a sheer pleasure for you and the camera.
The Best Western Hotel in Cervantes is the best choice in town to stay. There is also a very good backpackers/ hostel located close to the beach in Cervantes.
I highly suggest you stay overnight as its a long drive from Perth but it can be done in a day.
I hadn't been for almost 30 years and went again last year (2006) when my parents moved there to retire. It's well worth it, even if you have been before many years ago, but probably nicer between autumn and spring - much cooler.
Speaking about flora, have your camera ready to stop off along the way. Everyone knows that Western Australia wildflowers are an amazing sight so be prepared to stop quickly when you see something interesting.
If you do decide to go to the Pinnacles by car, then a good place to stop off along the way to fill up with petrol and have a snack is Rogans Ford. Check it out on the map and look out for it, because you can't see it from the main road (just a sign and left hand turnoff) and if you blink, you'll miss the turn off.
They have a couple of pet emus as well for you to have a chat with :o)
Anyone that knows Australian flora will be fascinated by this pic!! :o)
Can't miss this place.
Tavern = Pub = Beer!!
So we exited stage left for a couple of quick beers before lunch. Rather a nice atmosphere sitting out the back with a cool drink, checking out our great pix :o)
We were thrilled to see an emu in the wild. It made for some great pictures.
I think this fella was wondering what all the fuss was about.
One thing that amazed me was the amount of bush surviving out here in desert conditions. We visited at the end of the dry period and we hadn't had a lot of rain and yet here in the middle of nowhere there was still quite a bit of greenery. Interesting how plants adapt hey.
The Pinnacles Desert is about 15 km from Cervantes. The road there is unsealed but you can get there with a normal car. If you get there early, you'll avoid the tourists. Seeing all these pillars standing in the desert really is an amazing sight.