The Pinnacle Desert and Cervantes

Less then two hundred kilometers north of Perth, the pinnacle desert is a wildly unique area. Contrary to the name, the park is not really in the desert. It is located amongst the scrubby sand dunes of the Western Australia coast. The yellow sand and the low scrub does give it a deserty feel, but the deep blue of the Indian ocean is easily visible from most of the hillocks that dot the undulating landscape.

The area was created around a rather unique geological feature, the pinnacles. In the sandy valleys between the dunes, jutting spires of rock rise up from the sandy floor. Some stand no more then a few inches above the ground, while some rise up to ten feet high or more. Some are in small clusters but most stand alone. Erosion by wind, rain, and sand have shaped them all differently, creating a forest of uniquely shaped rock pinnacles.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of them in the park. The coastal winds move the sand about over thousands of years, and as the dunes shift the pinnacles are exposed or covered up once again. No one really knows how many there or or how they formed.

For those visiting in summer, drive along a dirt road that winds through the rock forest. Stop at the lookout platform and survey the forest of spire from above. Since it was not unbearably hot, we decided to do the journey on foot. There is a one and a half K walk that winds its way through the multitude of valleys. The walk allowed us to take the time to get close and feel the rocks, and observe the range of different colors that are created by the different minerals within the formations. Walking amongst them really allowed me to feel like I had experienced it. It also allowed for better pictures.

Cervantes is a lovely little town not far from the pinnacles. We stayed at the caravan park before heading further north. The caravan park, named the pinnacles holiday park, is located on the back side of some small dunes that separate the town from the beach. It is an awesome location. The bathrooms and facilities were nice and clean, and the staff was friendly. They even managed to dig up a wine cork remover for me when we couldn’t get our mead open.

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