Located 245km north of Perth, the small crayfishing town of Cervantes is a major tourist destination in Western Australia.

Located in Nambung National Park, 17km from Cervantes, the spectacular, otherworldly Pinnacles Desert is composed of thousands of limestone pillars scattered in a moon-like landscape across a golden desert floor. The lime-rich desert sand originated from seashells, while compacted with rain and subsequently eroded, forming individual pillars, some towering up to 5m.

This is the prime reason most people visit Cervantes and some stay overnight so they can visit the Pinnacles at sunset when the light is sublime and the crowds thin. Visitors can take either a 3-km (2-mile) driving trail or a shorter walking trail which leads to lookouts with stunning views of the Pinnacles and the coastline. A good gravel loop-road runs through the formations so you can stop to walk among them.

Most of the park animals are nocturnal, but some, including kangaroos, emus and many reptiles, may be seen in the cool of dawn or dusk.

One of the popular things to do in Cervantes is to eat crayfish. Crayfishing season is from mid-November to June, when the fresh, sweet crustaceans provide a compelling reason to visit Cervantes.

Other Cervantes attractions include Hangover Bay, about 20km south of Cervantes at Thirsty Point. This white-sand beach is good for a dip, and you can cook on the gas barbecues here and further north at Kangaroo Point.

The best time to visit Cervantes is in spring (September to November) when the wildflowers are in bloom and the heat is not too oppressive.


Jurien Bay

While in Cervantes, it is worthwhile taking a short detour 21km north to the small, seaside town of Jurien Bay. Swimming and sailboarding the pristine waters off a white sandy beach, fishing for delicious snapper and dhufish, and feasting on fresh crayfish are just some of the attractions worth visiting Jurien Bay for. If you can stay longer, you can opt for a tour with Jurien Bay Charters who will take you to snorkel with sea lions and watch humpback whales migrate south.


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