☁ Greater Perth ☁
▲ Useful Tourist Information | ▲ Pinnacles (North) + Margaret River (South) | ▲ En-route to Margaret River: Rockingham + Mandurah + Busselton Jetty
Pinnacles @ Cervantes
(North of Perth City) The Pinnacles Desert, at Nambung National Park, is the home to thousands of amazing natural limestone structures, some up to 5 meters high. They are formed approximately 25,000 to 30,000 years ago after the sea receded.
It’s only a 2 hours drive from Perth City, following the Indian Ocean Drive, making it a possible day trip. But if you have the time, it’s highly recommended to stay overnight for the sunset. However, I’m in a dilemma, because the scarce accommodation is generally expensive.
✓ Accessible by car or tour, allow at least 2 hours to circumvent the viewing trail and access the lookout.
✓ Entry fees: A$11.00 per passenger car (pensioner discounts apply)
✓ Address: Pinnacles Drive, via Nambung National Park, Cervantes, Western Australia, 6511
✓ Driving Directions: www.visitpinnaclescountry.com.au/pages/getting-here
✓ Possible Stopovers: Yanchep National Park, Guilderton, etc.
(South of Perth City) Margaret river is about 4 hours car drive from Perth City. There are a few places you can stopover enroute to Margaret River.
S T O P O V E R S
1) Rockingham: Famous for its Shoalwater Islands Marine Park and Penguin Island. Island walk, swim, snorkel and view the penguins. Road or bus to Rockingham. Ferry from Mersey point to Penguin Island departs hourly between 9:00am and 1:00pm. But you can walk or swim to the island at low tide.
2) Mandurah (www.visitmandurah.com): We have decided to stopover at Mandurah for a 1 Hr Dolphin & Scenic Canal Cruise by Mandurah Cruises. Saw the Groupon deal for this cruise at A$25 for 2! The original price for an adult tix is A$28. So decided to just grab the deal, since it’s on our way to Margaret River. :) Hope I get to see the dolphins! See how you can get to Mandurah from Perth here – by car/coach or Transperth train.
3) Busselton Jetty (www.busseltonjetty.com.au) is 1.8 kilometres out to sea, the second longest in the world. The walk takes approximately 25 minutes each way. If you don’t like walking, you can pay for a train ride to bring you to the Underwater Observatory at the end of the jetty. Descend 8 metres below the water’s surface to discover some of the 300 different marine species below the jetty.
✓ Day Pass A$2.50; Jetty Train Ride: A$11; Underwater Observatory: A$25
✓ Free, outside of Centre’s opening hours
✓ Tour and Opening Hours here
M A R G A R E T R I V E R
Margaret River (www.margaretriver.com) is well known for its award winning wines, fine food, pristine beaches and breathtaking scenery. The region also has Western Australia’s most extraordinary attractions. Read on..
Day 1: Do a wine tour.
There are many companies that provide full or half day guided winery tours; varying from casual and relaxed to first-class style. We chose to do a “Full Day Margaret River Discovery Tour” with Margaret River Discovery Co. :) Reviews here.
If not, you can drive around the place to visit several wineries nearby – perhaps a visit to Leeuwin Estate, home to the famous annual Leeuwin concerts, which had several well known international performers, or the smaller Cape Mentelle Estate.
Day 2: Scenic drive.
- Beautiful limestone caves – Jewel, Lake, Mammoth and Moondyne Caves.
- Drive through the Bonarup Karri Forest, and visit the Bonarup.
- Prevelly Park is a very popular surfing spot, at the mouth of Margaret River.
- Drive down to Augusta, and visit Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse on the southernmost point of the peninsula.
Jewel Cave – Jewel Cave is the biggest show cave in Western Australia, with four massive chambers. It is also home to one of the longest straw stalactites found in any tourist cave in the world. (Jewel Cave is currently closed until further notice.)
Lake Cave – It is similar to Jewel Cave, except it’s smaller and there is a permanent lake inside. There are many steps to get down the cave and a fairly tight entrance before the cave opens out, so if you do have any mobility issues you may want to phone and speak to the staff there first.
Mammoth Cave – You can take a self guided tour in this big cave. It is the most easily accessible of the three show caves, with the first chamber accessible by wheelchair.
Moondyne Cave – The magnificent Moondyne Cave reopened to the public after ten years, offering visitors an intimate, exclusive caving experience. Participants wear overalls, gloves and helmets for a three hour experience by torchlight. Tours operate on Friday and Saturday from June to December, 2013. (Jewel Cave is currently closed until further notice.)
Nigilgi Cave – Beneath the limestone ridge which forms Cape Naturaliste, lays Ngilgi Cave at Yallingup, which is located off Caves Road.
(Prices as at 2013)
✓ Single Cave Entry to Jewel, Lake or Mammoth: $22
✓ Single Cave Entry to Moondyne (incl. Jewel): $95
✓ Grand Tour Pass – three caves (Jewel, Lake and Mammoth): $55
✓ Ultimate Pass – Grand Tour Pass + Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse: $70
*Tip: Get the grand tour or ultimate passes if you are visiting all the caves.
✓ The cave tour usually starts from 9am till 3.30pm.
For a comprehensive list of the cave tour times and ticket prices, visit www.margaretriver.com/cave-tour-times. Tickets can be purchased at the cave site or over the phone with CaveWorks on +61 8 9757 7411 or the Margaret River Visitor Centre on +61 8 9757 5911. Bookings are essential for groups and the Moondyne Experience.
☛ Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse
Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse at Augusta is situated at the tip of the peninsula where the Southern and Indian Oceans meet. The tallest lighthouse on mainland Australia is constructed in 1895, and is still a vital working lighthouse for vessels. During the whale watching season (May – September), watch out for the mighty creatures frolicking as they make their way around the cape.
✓ Tour times: 9am to 4pm, every 40 minutes. Daily except Christmas.
✓ Grounds open from 9:00am – 4:45pm.
✓ Guided tour – Adult $18.50, Child $10
✓ General Site entry fee – Adult $5, Child $3
Call the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse on +61 8 9758 1920 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Do you have other suggested places around Perth? Leave a message~ :)