Yanchep National Park and Pinnacles Desert

While researching for a trip to Pinnacles Desert, I came across Yanchep National Park.  As it’s on the route to The Pinnacles, it was the first destination on the day we made the drive out to the desert.

After about an hour on the road, we reached Yanchep National Park.  Entrance fee to the park was AUD13 per vehicle.  And if you visit Yanchep National Park and The Pinnacles on the same day, do keep the ticket as it is also valid for entry to The Pinnacles.

The McNess House Visitor Centre located a short walk from the parking lot

First stop was the McNess House Visitor Centre to get more information of the sights and attractions of the park.  From the visitor centre, we made our way to the Koalas Boardwalk to catch a glimpse of these cute animals in the natural surroundings.  The park is well signposted and easy to navigate.  The lawns around the lake are well kept.

The park is very peaceful and quiet

Wildlife can be spotted at different sections of the park.  The park is a birdwatcher’s delight as it is home to a variety of birds.  I was quite excited to spot a couple of western grey kangaroos chilling under the shade.

Laughing Kookaburras spotted in the park

Purple Swamphens roaming in the park

A Western grey kangaroo resting in the shade

As it was already after 10.00am and pretty hot by then, all the koalas were resting and sleeping amongst the gum trees.  Despite that, it was quite fun looking up the gum trees searching for them and we successfully spotted all 20 of them 😊.

The raised Koala Boardwalk

It was fun trying to spot these cuddly koalas amongst the gum trees

The adorable koala resting on a gum tree

From the boardwalk we made our way to the Wetlands Walk Trail.  The 2 kilometre trail loop around the beautiful Loch McNess, the only loch outside of Scotland I believe.  Most parts of the trail are shaded and there is even pit stop station too.

The easy to walk Wetlands Walk Trail

The beautiful Loch McNess

Australia very own loch – Loch McNess

We exited the trail near the lakeview picnic area.  This grassed area has sheltered picnic tables and free barbecue facilities which are popular with the locals.

Seats can be found along the Wetlands Walk Trail

Visitors can pop in to Yanchep Lakeview Tea Rooms for some food and refreshments

Grass tree found in the park. It is considered by the Nyoongar people to be a ‘Life Tree’

After about two hours at the park, we continued our journey to The Pinnacles via the scenic Indian Ocean Drive.  This coastal road offers amazing landscapes of grasstree and shrubs, large tracts of sand dunes and fields of wildflowers.

It was a scenic drive on the Indian Ocean Road to The Pinnacles

A tract of sand dunes

A field of grass trees

However, motorists need to be alert and pay attention to the road as wildlife is often sighted.  For visitors, it is better not drive after dark as the risk of hitting wildlife increased as the road does not have street lights.

Look out for wildlife crossing while driving on this road

We arrived at The Pinnacles in the late afternoon.  There are two ways to explore the dessert – taking a drive on the 4 kilometre Pinnacles Drive or take the 1.2 kilometre walking path.  We decided to do the ‘lazy tour’ by driving around this unique natural wonder.

The Pinnacles Desert is part of the Namburg National Park

The drive was easy with well marked route.  Parking bays are available along the road so you can stop to explore, have a closer look and snap photos.  The view as we drove through rows and rows of limestone rock spires amidst a barren landscape was spectacular.

The route is well marked with small stones

Parking bays enable visitors to have a closer look at the limestone rocks

Rows and rows of limestone rock spires

View of the thousands of limestone pillars amidst a barren landscape from the Pinnacles Lookout

Walking through the pillars protruding out of yellow sand dunes felt like one has stepped into another world.  The power of nature moulded these rock formations into various shapes, sizes and heights.

Close up of the rock formations

Rocks moulded by nature in various shapes & sizes

It was truly fascinating to see these jagged natural limestone structures close up, some of which reach a height of 5 metres.  Imagination ran wild too as I tried to make out what some of these rocks look like, even found one that look like part of the male anatomy 😉.

Does this look like a fish?

Guess you have to use your imagination what this rock looks like 😉

We didn’t manage to visit the Discovery Centre as it has already closed by the time we completed the drive.  After experiencing and seeing with my own eyes this 500,000 year old magnificent landscape, I can truly understand the wonder of it all.

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