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5 BEST Pinnacles Tours from Perth – By a Local!

5 BEST Pinnacles Tours from Perth – By a Local!

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Visiting the Pinnacles is one of the most epic experiences on offer in Perth – or anywhere in Australia! This desert is home to thousands of limestone pillars emerging from the sand dunes. It’s amazing to see, especially near the end of the day when the sunset casts amazing shadows on the sand. 

I was born and raised in Perth, and I’ve lived here for the majority of my life, so as you can imagine, I’ve visited the Pinnacles desert many times. It never gets old! As well as marveling at the crazy rock formations rising out of the sand, you can also go sandboarding and stargazing here. 

You can drive yourself to the Pinnacles, but there are some great tours available if you don’t have a car. For first-timers, I definitely think that the best way to visit is with a tour because you get to learn so much more, and they usually include a range of fun activities. 

Visiting the Pinnacles is one of the best tours from Perth! Keep reading and I’ll let you in on 5 highly-rated experiences to the Pinnacles so you can find the best one for you.

Don’t have time to read the full article? This Pinnacles stargazing tour is incredibly popular. Not only do you get to enjoy the desert landscape at night, but you also get to go sandboarding at Lancelin Sand Dunes plus much more!

About the Pinnacles

Bailey stands by a pinnacle with trucks in the background australia
So cool!

The Pinnacles are a geological wonder within Nambung National Park. They’re 188 kilometers (116 miles) from Perth, which is about a 2-hour drive. The closest town is Cervantes, which is a small fishing village around 17 kilometers (11 miles) away, but you can easily take a day trip from Perth

The Pinnacles are made of limestone, and they come in all different shapes and sizes. Some of them reach up to 3.5 meters (11.5 feet) tall as they tower above the sand, although the dunes are constantly shifting so their height is somewhat variable. 

These jagged pillars are also pretty mysterious. Scientists know that the limestone originally comes from shells that collected on the seabed hundreds of thousands of years ago when this area was covered in water. But there are competing schools of thought as to how the Pinnacles were actually formed. The fact that no one knows for sure only adds to their allure!

The Pinnacles Desert covers around 1.9 square kilometers (0.7 square miles), and it was largely unknown until 1967 when the area was designated as a reserve, which later became part of the national park. 

The area also holds significance in Aboriginal Australian culture. It was a sacred place for Noongar women, who used to come here together to give birth and hold ceremonies. In fact, according to Aboriginal legend, the Pinnacles are the fossilized ghosts of young men who invaded the women’s space and, as a punishment, were buried alive by the gods. 

Best Pinnacles Tours from Perth

1. Pinnacles Desert Sunset Stargazing Tour

Astro shot at the The Pinnacles Desert north of Perth, WA
This place looks like another planet at night!

This tour of the Pinnacles is jam-packed with awesome experiences and for this reason, I have to warn you: it books up fast! The highlight of the tour is watching the sunset and stargazing in the desert, but there’s so much more to it.

You’ll be picked up from central Perth at around 2 pm and your first stop is the Lancelin Sand Dunes, where you can go sandboarding. If you’ve never tried sandboarding before, I can tell you that it’s so much fun! Depending on the time of year and the conditions on the day, you’ll also visit either Hangover Bay for a walk on the beach or Nilgen Nature Reserve to see the wildflowers. 

Then, it’s onto the Pinnacles Desert where you’ll get to see the sunset over the cragged limestone pillars. It’s an amazing thing to witness – you’ll truly feel like you’ve landed on another planet. 

After the sun goes down, the sky continues to change color for quite a while, which you probably already know, but watching it happen in the desert feels totally unique. And as that happens, you’ll enjoy a delicious barbecue dinner and a glass of wine while you watch the stars come out. 

Seeing the stars from the desert is truly a magical experience, and they look a million times better in person than any photo could ever capture.

On this tour, you get to use telescopes and astro binoculars so that you can take an even closer look at the wonders of the night sky. Meanwhile, your guide will share Aboriginal Dreamtime stories with you and teach you about Aboriginal astronomy, which your guide will tell you was the world’s very first form of star-related science!

The tour costs $175 AUD per person and is available daily but, like I said earlier, it’s a good idea to book in advance. The price includes everything mentioned above, and it lasts about 9 hours in total, so you’ll be dropped off back in Perth at around 11 pm. Do remember to bring some warm clothes for the evening, because it gets chilly after the sun goes down.

This tour is very popular, so you’ll definitely need to reserve your spot in advance before you go!

2. Pinnacles Desert, Koalas, and Sandboarding 4WD Day Tour

Bailey stands by a pinnacle in Australia
Some are really tall!
A lady snowboards in Lancelin, Australia
Sandboarding!

If you’re traveling with kids, a late-night tour may not be ideal, but this earlier one is perfect for families with children older than 5. Plus, it also includes kangaroos and koalas!

You’ll be picked up in the Perth CBD at around 8 am, and then the first stop of the day is Caversham Wildlife Park, where you’ll see lots of Australia’s most famous wildlife. You even get the chance to take pictures with koalas and wombats, which is pretty cool. 

Another neat thing about this tour is that you get to visit Cervantes, a small fishing town north of Perth. You’ll learn about the lobster industry here during a tour of a lobster plant. Then, you’ll enjoy fish and chips for lunch, or if you’re keen to try the lobster, you can have that instead for an extra $25 AUD.

Then, it’s onto the Pinnacles Desert where you’ll take a guided walk through this otherworldly landscape and learn more about these mysterious rock formations. You’ll also have some free time to explore by yourself and snap tons of cool photos, of course.

Last but not least, you’ll clamber into a 4WD and race across the Lancelin Sand Dunes to enjoy a sandboarding adventure before heading back to Perth. 

This tour starts at 8 am and lasts for 11-12 hours, so it’s a long day, but it includes so many fun activities that it will fly by! It costs $225 AUD and you can upgrade to a lobster lunch for an additional $25 AUD per person. 

If this action-packed day sounds perfect to you, you can check availability and book this tour here.

3. Pinnacles Sunset Dinner and Stargazing Experience

Pinnacles in the desert of Australia
Look at them all!

This small-group tour is an awesome way to discover the Pinnacles and learn more about Australian Aboriginal culture. 

In a small group of no more than 18, you’ll set off with your experienced guide and stop off at the Lancelin Lookout to marvel at the dunes. A lot of tours include sandboarding but this one doesn’t. I like that it’s a good option for anyone who can’t go sandboarding due to back issues, or if it’s just not your thing! You still get to enjoy the beauty of these pristine white dunes and snap some great photos. 

Next, you’ll head to the Nilgen Lookout for yet more views and to discover lots of wildflowers that are used in Aboriginal medicine. If the wildflowers aren’t in bloom, you’ll head to Hangover Bay instead for a walk on the beach or even a quick paddle in the Indian Ocean. 

After that, it’s time for the main event: the Pinnacles! You’ll arrive as dusk is starting to fall, which is the best time to see this natural wonder. You’ll enjoy another guided walk and then after watching an astonishing sunset, you’ll have a picnic dinner and some local wine. 

Once the stars are out, you’ll spend the rest of the evening stargazing and using telescopes to look at planets and constellations while you listen to Aboriginal Dreamtime stories. You’ll also stop off at a viewpoint on your way back to Perth to marvel at the stars one last time before they disappear due to the city lights. 

This tour costs $175 AUD including transport, dinner, all national park fees, and use of the telescopes. It’s available daily. Departure time in the afternoon varies depending on the season so you arrive at the Pinnacles at dusk. Remember to bring plenty of water as you’ll be doing several guided walks. 

To experience a magical afternoon and evening in the desert, go ahead and reserve your spot online here!

Related Read: If you have the time, consider adding one of our favorite Margaret River tours from Perth to your itinerary as well!

4. Pinnacles Desert (Private) Day Tour

The Pinnacles in Nambung National Park, Australia
The Pinnacles
The Lancelin San Dunes, Australia
The Lancelin San Dunes, Australia

One thing I love about taking private tours is that you can tailor the day to your interests, which is always a plus when visiting somewhere as unique as the Pinnacles Desert.

So with this private tour, if you want to go sandboarding at the Lancelin Sand Dunes, you can, or skip that and just check them out from the viewpoint instead. You can spend more time paddling in the sparkling blue water at Hangover Bay Beach, or explore caves and spot kangaroos in Yanchep National Park

And of course, you can spend as long as you like at the Pinnacles. Peter is your guide on this tour and he’s super entertaining and really knows his stuff. One thing I like about this tour is that you get to decide when and where you want to eat lunch, and Peter knows where all the best local hidden gems are. 

Visiting the Pinnacles is an incredible experience, especially if you’re really into geology and the great outdoors, so I think that taking a private tour will ensure that you get the most out of your day. The tour lasts between 8 and 10 hours, and usually starts around 8:30 am although again, this is much more flexible than with a group tour! 

The price is $545 AUD per person if you’re booking for two people, but it gets cheaper depending on your group size. If you’ve got a group of 7, then it’s $390 AUD each. This price includes the Pinnacles Desert entry fee, but not the sandboarding or Yanchep National Park and Cave fee since these activities are optional. Both cost $10 AUD per person. 

If the flexibility of a private tour sounds perfect for you, check availability and book your tour here!

5. Wave Rock and Pinnacles Air and Ground Tour

A tall pinnacle in Nambung National Park
Some of the rock formations are very tall!
Wave Rock in Western Australia
Wave Rock is so cool to see!

Exploring the Pinnacles on the ground is pretty amazing, but you can also check out this unearthly landscape from above on this private air and ground tour. You’ll climb aboard a small fixed-wing aircraft and fly over Western Australia’s varied landscape with multiple landings to see it all up close. 

First, you’ll fly inland from Perth to Hyden where you’ll land and check out the Wave Rock, which looks like a giant fossilized tidal wave! You’ll also get to explore the Hippo’s Yawn rock formation nearby and pretend that you’re about to be swallowed whole by a giant hippo. These attractions can get pretty crowded but because you save so much time by flying here, you get to enjoy these attractions early in the morning, well before the bus tour crowds arrive.

Since this is a private tour, you’re also free to check out other attractions nearby, like the Miniature Soldier Museum and the Lace Museum, or say hi to camels, koalas, rabbits, and lots of exotic birds at the Wave Rock Wildlife Park

Then, you’ll fly towards Cervantes and enjoy an inflight lunch, which I must say is not very common on scenic flight tours, so it’s a pretty unique experience. From there, you’ll drive to the Pinnacles Desert and take a guided walk around as their shadows begin to grow longer. 

You certainly get to see some crazy rock formations on this tour, but what’s even cooler is how much ground you get to cover in one day. It would take you almost 4 hours to drive from Perth to Hyden, and a further 5.5 hours from Hyden to the Pinnacles. When you fly, you have time to explore both and then be back in Perth in around 8 hours. Better still, you get amazing aerial views of Western Australia’s landscape and you’ll learn all about it with guided commentary from your pilot.

This tour costs $1,530 AUD per person, so it’s pricey, but there’s really no other way to see this much of Western Australia’s epic rocky landscapes in such a short space of time. Plus, you get to spend around 3 hours in the air, enjoying spectacular aerial views rather than feeling bored on a bus. 

The experience is available daily and you’ll need to be at the airport at 7:30 am, so aim to leave Perth at around 7 am. Once you get up in the air, the early start will feel totally worth it! 

If you want to fit as much in one day as possible or if you just want to see Western Australia from above, be sure to reserve this private air and ground tour in advance here.

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, read our complete Viator review to learn more about what we think about Viator.

When is the best time to visit the Pinnacles?

A man stands by a pinnacle in australia
They are so interesting

It’s possible to visit the Pinnacles all year round, but spring is the most popular time. This is between August and October when the temperatures are comfortable but not too hot during the day. This is also when the wildflowers are in bloom around the Nilgen Lookout

In terms of time of day, seeing the Pinnacles at sunset is a truly spectacular experience. Plus, once the sun has set you can enjoy stargazing, which is an awe-inspiring experience. 

Related Read: Despite its desert-like climate, Australia is home to thousands of penguins. You can even see the world’s smallest penguins nearby on Penguin Island!

Is visiting the Pinnacles worth it?

Yes! It’s absolutely incredible, and so worth venturing out of the city for. You really will feel like you’ve stepped out of the vehicle and onto another planet. I’ve been here so many times and I never get tired of the Pinnacles because it’s such a unique and fascinating place. 

Other Activities to do While You’re in Perth

A rescued penguin on Penguin Island, Perth
A rescued penguin on Penguin Island, Perth
Bailey with a beer at Gage Roads Brewery, Fremantle, WA
Gage Roads is one of my favorite breweries!

Taking a trip to the Pinnacles is just one of many fun things we like doing in Perth! This city is Daniel’s hometown, so we know it well! As such, we’ve compiled this list of our top activities.

  • Visit Penguin Island – Penguin Island is just a 45-minute drive from Perth and is home to around 1,200 wild penguins along with nature trails, beaches, and places to swim and snorkel. You’ll need to take a ferry to the island – unless you want to kayak there instead!
  • Learn to surf – Perth is the ideal place for beginner surfers! We recommend Go Surf Perth for classes. If you’re a novice surfer heading out on your own, our favorite beach is Cottesloe. For a bit more of a challenge, one of the most reliable surf breaks is Trigg Beach.
  • Check out an adventure park – Perth is a great destination for adrenaline junkies like me! For the only cable wakeboard park in WA, head to Perth Wake Park. If an amusement park is what you’re looking for, Adventure World has you covered. And to cool off in summer, Outback Splash is the place to be!

Where to Stay in Perth, WA

The Westin Perth hotel room with a view
Photo credit: The Westin Perth

Since there are so many activities in Perth within the CBD (Central Business District), I recommend staying in the heart of the city Plus, many of the Pinnacles tours will pick you up from centrally located hotels – like the ones below! So, if you need some help narrowing down your options, these are our top picks for each budget range.

The Westin Perth – $$$  

A mix of classy and contemporary, The Westin Perth is the place to stay when you’re looking for a touch of luxury. The prime location in the heart of Perth puts you within walking distance of the trendy Elizabeth Quay area as well as lots of restaurants and cafes. You can also use the hotel’s infinity pool or its signature restaurant run by iconic Australian Chef Guy Grossi.

Rooms at the Westin Perth start at around $400 AUD per night and can be booked online.  

Pensione Hotel Perth – $$ 

A nice mid-range option, the Pensione Hotel Perth is a refurbished boutique hotel with 98 rooms. It’s close to Elizabeth Quay, major shopping centers, the Swan River, and Northbridge. You’ll feel like you’re stepping into the 1960s with restored furniture and décor from the time filling the lobby.

The staff members are really friendly, and rooms are reasonable at under $150 AUD a night. To snag this deal, reserve your stay at Pensione Hotel Perth in advance.

Hostel G Perth – $ 

You don’t need to pay big bucks to stay in Perth’s CBD. Hostel G Perth has dorm rooms for around $60-$70 AUD or private rooms for around $100 AUD. You’ll have a huge common area with movies on TV, a kitchen, and a great atmosphere with travelers of all ages.

We really like hostels because they are affordable so you can travel longer and you might even meet some new friends to hang out with! Grab a room using Booking.com or HostelWorld.com.  

Don’t get Caught without Travel Insurance!

We never travel without travel insurance! We’ve had a few instances during our travels when one of us has ended up in the hospital, and travel insurance has saved us thousands of dollars over the years!

SafetyWing is our go-to insurance, we both have policies with them whenever we travel.

They offer travel medical insurance that’s super affordable (only $45 USD per 4 weeks!)The only thing to note is that the insurance must be purchased once you’ve left your home country – we typically buy it as soon as we land at the airport.  

We’ve personally used SafetyWing for many different trips, and we’ve been reimbursed for countless expenses when we’ve fallen ill. SafetyWing even covered our flights back to Canada in full when the pandemic first happened (when last-minute flights before the borders closed were super expensive!) While most travel insurance companies left people stranded, SafetyWing fully reimbursed us for our last-minute, pricey flights!

Also, because it is so affordable, there really is no excuse not to take out a policy. Check prices and get a quote online here with SafetyWing (you can even take out a policy if you’re already traveling!)

Thanks for reading!

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie by a pinnacle Australia
Thanks for reading!

Visiting the Pinnacles is by far one of the most unique experiences you’ll find anywhere in Australia! Even though I’ve been to the Pinnacles many times, I keep coming back. Taking a tour makes planning so much easier especially if it’s your first time or if you’re traveling without a car.

If this guide was helpful, be sure to check out our other guides about Australia. As a local, I love sharing all the best places to see and things to do in my home country. We’ve also traveled to spots all over the world and written about so many different destinations. You can get started with one of the links below:

15 Things to KNOW Before Swimming with Dolphins in Perth, Australia

33 BEST Things to do in Sydney, Australia

10 Things to Know BEFORE Booking a Rottnest Island Tour + Best Tours