Just a short 200 kilometers north of Perth is the start of the famous Coral Coast. Here you will find endless expanses of turquoise blue waters, colorful carpets of wildflowers covering the deep red earth, and arid outback landscapes that will take your breath away. At the start of this stunning coastline stands one of the most famous landscapes of them all, a place with an otherworldly presence that is unlike anything you have seen before.
Here a lost city of stoic pillars emerges from the depths of the ever shifting sand dunes that make up the Pinnacle Desert. These extraordinary ancient rock formations are part of the Nambung National park and are so stunningly unique that hundreds of thousands of visitors come each year to bear witness as the limestone pillars stand tall against the vast yellow desert beneath them. These pillars are to be found in this desert alone and they gather by the thousands, some of them reaching up to heights of 5 meters.
The history of these formations is as mysterious as the landscape they cast across the desert, with their shadows making their presence even more demanding. They were presumably formed 25,000 to 30,000 years ago but the reason behind their formation differs depending on who you ask. Some say they are formed from the sand dunes solidifying over thousands of years. Others claim that the limestone pillars are a result of deposited seashells from the sea that once inhabited the desert thousands of years before. And there are those who speculate that the pillars were formed from ancient plant roots that caused a weak sort of cementation of the calcite in the sand dunes.
However the aboriginals that have called this desert home for thousands of years have a much different story about the creation of these looming giants. Here is where the Yuart tribe originally resided. They were said to be a peaceful tribe who lived a life of happiness. However this peace and happiness was interrupted when their neighboring tribe was found hunting on their land. As a result the trespassers had to be punished and it is fabled that each tall limestone pillar replaced each enemy who lay dead on the Yuart land. That is how this stunning landscape has appeared in Dreamtime for many generations.
You can come and bear witness to these looming giant pillars for yourself in a short day trip from Perth as part of tour or this destination could mark the first stop among many more to come along an unforgettable trip up the Coral Coast. When you reach the Pinnacles your journey will most likely begin at the Pinnacle Desert Discovery Center where you can familiarize yourself with the natural and cultural heritage that this area holds. Then you can take your car and drive through the desert where you will come face to face with the giant pillars.
If it is photography that interests you most about this destination, be sure to visit around dusk or dawn when the pillars cast the most impressive shadows against the soft desert below. If you are lucky enough to visit the area between July and October you will get to see Western Australia in all its glory as hundreds of spring wildflowers paint the red desert coast with colorful blossoms.
After you have had your fill of the desert follow the Indian Ocean Drive to other popular destinations in the area. Here you can see local wildlife such as kangaroos at Kangaroo point and you can get up close and personal with local wild sea lions in Jurien Bay. You can try your hand at sand boarding in the massive Lancelin sand dunes and finish it all off with a feast of famous local seafood in Cervantes.
After a day full of walking on the outlandish moonscape of the pinnacle desert, surfing the giant sand dunes of Lancelin, and feasting on lobster in Cervantes you will head home with memories full of wonder, your phone full of breathtaking photos, and your stomach full of fresh seafood.