Visit the Pinnacles, Western Australia's most unique attraction

The Pinnacles in Western Australia are a notable tourist attraction in the state, located in Nambung National Park and easily accessible on a day trip from Perth.


The Pinnacles are limestone formations that took tens of thousands of years to form, creating a unique lunar-like landscape not found anywhere else.

Can you please tell me the location of the Pinnacles in Western Australia?

The Pinnacle Desert is situated within the Nambung National Park in Western Australia, close to the coastal town of Cervantes.

The Perth to Pinnacles drive covers a distance of 200 km and requires approximately 2 hours from the city centre. One of the most picturesque routes from Perth to the Pinnacles is along the Indian Ocean Drive on the stunning coral coast.

What are the Pinnacles?

The Australian Pinnacles are limestone formations potentially formed up to 500,000 years ago. The Pinnacles desert covers over 17,000 hectares, with the tallest pinnacle standing over 3.5 meters high.

The Pinnacles were formed from shell fragments broken down at sea, creating lime-rich sands that were then blown inland, forming a wide range of dunes.

The process that created the lunar-like pinnacle formations is still debated among scientists, with several theories yet to be agreed upon.

The Pinnacles in Western Australia have a significant cultural significance for Aboriginal tribes, as they are featured in Dreamtime stories.

The Pinnacles were initially observed by Dutch explorers in the 1600s, who initially believed these unique formations to be a lost city.

When is the optimal time to visit the Pinnacles?

The Pinnacles in Western Australia are accessible all year round, with no specific time to visit. However, a clear, sunny day is ideal for enjoying the site.

Visitors often prefer early morning or late afternoon to view the Pinnacles, as the shadows and sunset add to the unique atmosphere.

Mid-to-late morning is typically the busiest time at the Pinnacles, with tour buses and day trip visitors arriving.

There is typically a line of cars waiting to enter during school holidays.

Crowds are rarely an issue at this location, but if you enjoy photography, you may want to visit when there are fewer people around.

Activities available at the Pinnacles, Western Australia

Upon arrival at the Pinnacles, visitors can drive a 4 km loop through the limestone formations on a hard gravel track suitable for 2WD vehicles and smaller campervans.

Caravans and large motorhomes can be parked in the car park after the entrance gate, providing easy access to the pinnacle trail.

There are multiple parking areas along the loop trail where visitors can explore on foot.

Completing the loop at least twice may be beneficial to ensure you don't miss anything during the first round.

The Pinnacle Walk Trail in Nambung National Park, which is 4-5 km long, is recommended for those with extra time and suitable weather conditions.

The walking trail leads to the Pinnacle lookout, offering panoramic views of the surrounding area and out towards the Indian Ocean.

Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre

The Pinnacles Discovery Centre is close to the car park area and contains interpretative displays and additional information about the pinnacles and the surrounding region.

The Pinnacles also offer a souvenir shop, picnic areas, toilets, and gas BBQs. It's important to note that no cafe or restaurant is on site.

Suggestions for planning a day trip to the Pinnacles from Perth

For the best experience visiting the Pinnacles on a self-drive day trip from Perth, departing early in the morning is recommended.

It is suggested to visit the Pinnacles first on the way there and leisurely explore on the way back. It is advisable to bring a picnic with food and drinks as there are limited opportunities to purchase supplies along the route.

A recommended picnic spot along the way is the Nilgen Lookout, located approximately 20 km after the Lancelin turn-off and about 1.5 hours from Perth.

The area offers picnic tables with views of dunes and the ocean. There is also a short walking trail and a chance to see wildflowers in the spring.

Visitors can detour to Lancelin to experience its impressive dunes and go sandboarding. The trip from the Indian Ocean Drive turnoff to Lancelin is a 15 km drive one way, adding an hour or two to the overall journey. If interested in visiting Lancelin, refer to the article on Things to do in Lancelin for more information.

A 2WD vehicle is sufficient for a self-drive tour to the Pinnacles, and there is no need for an SUV or a 4WD.

Visitors to the Pinnacles Desert should plan to spend 1-2 hours exploring the formations and Discovery Centre.

Pinnacles Tour

Cervantes and Yanchep National Park are two exciting locations

Following a trip to the Pinnacles, you can continue north to explore the coastal town of Cervantes.

A recommended option is to visit the Lobster Shack for a seafood lunch or go to Seashells Cafe at the RAC Caravan Park for a meal and coffee.

Cervantes is also an excellent place to swim, and you can visit the stromatolites and thrombolites at Lake Thetis, some of the oldest living organisms on Earth.

Hangover Bay and Kangaroo Bay, located on the Indian Ocean Drive just south of Cervantes, offer picnic areas and swimming opportunities with beautiful bay views. It is suggested to avoid windy days for a more pleasant experience.

While returning to Perth, consider making a pit stop at Yanchep National Park. In the afternoon, the lush grounds are often populated with Kangaroos and an enclosure featuring Koalas.

Pinnacle Tours

There are various tours available from Perth to the Pinnacles, with most being day tours that depart in the morning and may include stops at other attractions like Yanchep National Park or Lancelin.

The Pinnacles tour and Stargazing Tour from Perth offer a unique experience, allowing participants to view the West Australian night sky through a telescope and enjoy a sunset BBQ.

View a comprehensive list of Pinnacle tours on our website.

A list of recommended items to bring to the Pinnacles in Australia

When visiting the Pinnacles, it is important to bring essential items such as water, sun protection, and a fly-net for hot, windless days.

No dining options are available at the Pinnacles, so bringing your food and drinks is recommended.

Pets are prohibited at the Pinnacles National Park.

Desert Entrance Fee

The entry fee for Pinnacles is $13 per vehicle, but it is included with a Western Australia National Park Pass.

Visitors must pay the entrance fee at the gate, as the entry booth may not always be staffed, especially during off-peak times. In such cases, guests must fill out an envelope with their details, including car registrations, and place the payment inside.

Having loose change on hand is recommended if no one is present to assist, allowing you to fill out an envelope and leave the change accordingly.


Cervantes is located near the Pinnacles, only a ten-minute drive away.

Accommodation options at Cervantes include the RAC Cervantes Caravan Park, offering cabin-style accommodation, camping sites, and caravan sites.

Additional lodging options include the Pinnacles Edge Resort, Pinnacles Motel, and the Lobster Lodge.

Camping is not permitted in the Pinnacles Desert. Consider Cliff Head, located north of Leeman, a great camping alternative.