A popular day trip for tourists in Perth, The Pinnacles are a series of thousands of huge limestone pillars rising out of the desert of the Nambung National Park in Cervantes -- 245km North of Perth (a 3hr drive) in Western Australia.

They form an eerie landscape jutting from the yellow desert sands, and the period during sunset makes for some unique photographic opportunities.

The pillars reach up to three and a half metres tall -- some are jagged, sharp-edged columns, rising to a point; while others resemble tombstones. Their odd jutting appearance has caused speculation of a mystical explanation for their existence, along the lines of an Australian Stonehenge.

The truth is more benign but no less impressive. The raw material came from sea shells in an earlier epoch, broken down into lime-rich sands brought ashore by waves and then carried inland by the wind. As bush fires denuded the higher areas, south-westerly winds carried away the loose quartz sands and left these limestone pillars.

The Pinnacles are located on the coast so with a four wheel drive vehicle you'll be able to explore the coastal sand dunes and fish or snorkel. The area is also rich in native wildflowers which bloom annually in September and October. As they are within a National Park there is no camping within The Pinnacles themselves, but there is accommodation and camp sites located near by for those who wish to spend more time there.

The Pinnacles are particularly popular with Swiss and German tourists, with special guided tours organised from Perth with German and French speaking tour guides.

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