Recently we took a weekend road trip north of Perth as far as Jurien Bay via the Indian Ocean Drive. Neither of us had been this far north before (I know, it’s shameful. But that’s why we’re so determined to start doing more domestic travel!) First stop on the trip was Yanchep national park! This beautiful green park is home to koalas,kangaroos, and some great bush trails. Entrance is $12 per car and this covers you for any other parks you visit that day. Yanchep is full of caves and you can tour the Crystal Cave for an additional fee, though we didn’t have time this trip.
As we continued North the surrounding area became dense with bush land. At times we could see the coast line, but not as much as you would expect from a road named the Indian Ocean drive. There are some great lookout spots along the way though.
When we were almost halfway to Nambung national park-more widely known as the pinnacles-we saw a big sign for “The Leaning Tower of Gingin.” We decided this sounded like something worth detouring for, so we headed inland towards Gingin! The land here was interesting and it looked like there’d been recent bushfires. When we got the the tower it turned out it was so observatory with a large lopsided towers that you can drop water balloons from! It also has a great view of the surrounding bush land as far as the coast. It was $6 each to go to the top of the tower, which I think is pretty pricey but it was good fun and we enjoyed the view.
Finally we reached the Pinnacles! I’ve wanted to visit here for a very long time, and it didn’t let me down. The landscape here is incredibly cool. The oddly shaped limestone pinnacles rise from the plains of yellow sand in a way that seems almost alien. This desert terrain could easily feature in a sci fi movie or be the latest image from a Mars drone. It was a surreal experience to feel as if we were stepping into a foreign world, and it was certainly a fun adventure. We did both the pinnacles drive (suitable for two wheel drive cars) and the walk, which was a short 1.5 km loop. I definitely recommend doing the walk as the you get a much better feel for the place when you get out of your car and experience the desert up close.
That night we stayed in the Pinnacles holiday park. It was $30 for the night in an unpowered campsite. The location is good and right by the beach. Our plan was to head to Jurien bay in the morning and get breakfast on the jetty, but unfortunately we woke up to some torrential rain! So after taking down our tent in record breaking time we began making our way South to Lancelin. By the time we got here the rain had stopped for just long enough for us to climb up the Lancelin sand dunes. This towering inland dune system makes you feel as if you’re in Egypt, and it would be a great place to visit with a four wheel drive! We had a delicious budget breakfast at the Lancelin bakery and then drove back to Perth where we spent the rest of the afternoon. This trip made for a great weekend and would also be a good day trip from Perth if you’re able to squeeze things in!