The Pinnacles Desert is one of the most popular day trips from Perth, the weird and wonderful limestone structures something that must be seen to be believed. It is of course entirely possible to hire a car and self-drive the area but a tour – especially one that includes something as unique as sandboarding – is a golden ticket to experiencing the best of the region.
Caversham Wildlife Park is a much-loved inclusion on our 4WD tour of the Pinnacles and the surrounding region. The park is home to over 200 species of animals in an unobtrusive walk-through environment. The park is a family run business and focuses on breeding programs and has been recognised by Australia Zoos for its success.
From the Caversham Wildlife Park the tour heads north along the coast to the village of Cervantes on the aptly named ‘Coral Coast.’ The white sandy beaches and clear waters are the backdrop to the provided lunch. Cervantes is famous for its rock lobster production, and a nearby lobster factory offers tours to visitors. The scenery is so beautiful however that simply sitting and taking it in makes this a perfect spot for lunch.
The main attraction of the tour is the Pinnacles however, and they are the focus of the afternoon. Though the Pinnacles are known to be made from limestone, there’s controversy over exactly how they formed. What is agreed upon is the role of erosion to sweep back the sand and uncover these natural sculptures that seem better suited to outer space.
The Pinnacles Desert Discovery Centre is the best place for information on the Pinnacles, and the animals and plants of the region. Locally sourced souvenirs are available from the centre as well for a unique reminder of this odd little slice of Western Australia. The best way to see the Pinnacles is to get out and walk amongst them.
From the Pinnacles the tour heads to perhaps the most exciting part: sandboarding. The sand dunes of Lancelin are over two kilometres long with expansive views of the turquoise Indian Ocean, and the largest of their kind in Western Australia. Boards are available for hire for visitors to whisk themselves away and fly down the sandbanks, but don’t wear clothes that can’t get dirty. From Lancelin, the tour heads back to Perth with a quick stop off to see wildflowers from August to December.