Discovering the Pinnacles
One of the strangest landscapes on Earth, a short drive from our hotel
Ken MacLeod and I were talking about places to see in Western Australia. There's plenty I haven't seen here; I've never been to the Margaret River caves, for instance. I have seen the Pinnacles, however; and I'd recommend it to anyone with an interest in the bizarre and exotic.
The Dutch sailors who first spotted this area from the ocean thought it must be the ruins of a city. Up close, it's even stranger: miles of sandy desert dotted with grotesque standing stones, like thousands of druidic henges; so many that you can wander out among them and easily become lost.
The Pinnacles average about two meters in height, which adds to the strangeness; you're in a forest of stone statues your own height. They've been worn by the wind and sand, some into almost-human shapes. It must be fantastic to be out here at night, especially during a full moon.
You can take a tour bus from downtown Perth, visit the Pinnacles, and be back by supper. Very civilized--but luckily Perth itself is remote. What I mean is that I hope the Pinnacles doesn't become too easy to get to. There are many such places in Western Australia that are only now being opened up to tourism. Right now, you can practically have them to yourself. It's sad to think that this might change, because I'd hate to have to experience wondrous regions such as the Pinnacles from behind a fence, as you now have to do at Stonehenge.