Nambung National Park
Nambung National Park is located in the southwestern part of Australia. The national park boundaries encompass an area of 74.4 square miles (192.7 sq km).
The name of the park is derived from the Nambung River which enters into the park but then vanishes underground into a limestone cave area. There are two key areas of the park. The shoreline beaches located at Hangover Bay and Kangaroo Point.
The second and more renowned part of Nambung National Park is the Pinnacles Desert. The individual pinnacles can reach up to heights of 11.5 feet (3.5 m). These vary in heights with some displaying mushroom-like tops, which are created by the sedimentary rock that is harder than the limestone and erodes slower.
There are thousands of these pinnacles across the desert. There is no correlation between the pinnacles of Nambung and Pinnacles National Park which is located in California, United States.
Wildlife is not abundant but it is there. Kangaroos and emus are the most commonly seen animals, with black cockatoos, bobtails, dingos, possum, red fox, and sand goannas being other possible sightings.
The shoreline gives way to thrombolites which can be observed from a boardwalk trail found in the north part of the park. Off in the waters, there is a possibility of seeing sea lions, dolphins, and humpback whales.
The Pinnacles Desert is the highlight attraction of the park. This phenomenal landscape gives people visions of mars or some remote planet. The abundance of pinnacles with their varying heights and presentations seem surreal.
Although most pictures make the pinnacles look tall, the majority are shorter. They still make for an intriguing encounter with nature.
The lunar-like terrain featured across this part of Western Australia is surreal. The Pinnacles blanket the area and come in all different shapes and sizes. Some are taller column-like structures and have heights as much as 11.5 feet (3.5 m).
Other pinnacles are rounder, shorter, and only reach heights of about three feet (1 m). They look like a log stump or tombstone. The tops of some have resisted erosion and created more of a mushroom appearance.
The majority of the pinnacles are comprised of limestone rock, however, the mushroom topped ones have a stronger sedimentary rock facet.
Nambung National Park Trails
Meandering about the pinnacles and the serene lunar-like ecosystem is all part of the adventure in this part of Western Australia. The majority of hiking is easy because the terrain is fairly flat and easy to navigate. Much of the hiking is freely amongst the pinnacles.
Pinnacles Outlook Small Trail
This is an easy short 1.3-mile (2.09 km) loop trail that meanders around the pinnacles and features a lookout over a large section of them. This is one of the most popular trails of the park because of the quick easy access and views of the pinnacles desert.
Pinnacles Outlook Trail
This is another easy rated loop trail, however, it is longer covering a distance of 3.3 miles (5.31 km). Wildflowers, wildlife, and bird-watching is all part of this trek. The loop trail does have an elevation gain of 305 feet (92.9 m).
- Pinnacles Desert
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- Australia’s Coral Coast, The Pinnacles, https://www.australiascoralcoast.com/destination/pinnacles, retrieved September 2019.
- Britannica, Western Australia, https://www.britannica.com/place/Western-Australia, retrieved September 2019.
- Parks and Wildlife Service, Nambung National Park, https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/park/nambung, retrieved September 2019.
- Western Australia, Nambung National Park, https://www.westernaustralia.com/us/Attraction/Nambung_National_Park/56b266d92880253d74c4f03c#/, retrieved September 2019.
- Wikipedia, The Pinnacles, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pinnacles_(Western_Australia), retrieved June 2020.