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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Travel : The Pinnacles, Western Australia

In 2005 my daughter and I went on holidays to Western Australia, I was going through the photos tonight and added some to Flickr, so I thought I might write them up here. I don't think I have the energy to write up the whole trip chronologically, (although I have it all in a travel journal that I wrote up during the trip) so these are just a few snippets from the trip. I'll add more over the next few weeks.

I haven't reduced the size of the pictures on Flickr so you can click to go to the very large size

One of our trips out of Perth was on a 4 wheel drive tour to the Pinnacles.

The Pinnacles, Western Australia

The Pinnacles are in the Nambung National Park, 245 kms north of Perth (about a 3 hour drive from the centre of Perth)

Thousands of huge limestone pillars resembling tombstones, rise out of a stark landscape of yellow sand. Some are up to three and a half metres tall.

The raw material for the limestone of the pinnacles came from sea shells broken down into lime-rich sands which were brought ashore by waves and then carried inland by the wind to form high, mobile dunes.

The sightly acidic winter rain dissolves small amounts of calcium carbonate as it percolates down through the sand. As the dune dries out during summer, this is precipitated as a cement around grains of sand in the lower levels of the dunes, binding them together and eventually producing a hard limestone rock.

Sub surface erosion from decaying plant and animal materials eroded the limestone bed until only the most resilient columns remained.

This erosion would have happened over thousands of years - Aboriginal artefacts at least 6,000 years old have been found in the Pinnacles Desert despite no recent evidence of Aboriginal occupation which suggests that the Pinnacles were exposed about 6,000 years ago and then covered up by shifting sands, before being exposed again in the last few hundred years.

This covering and uncovering by the sand is still occurring.

Some of the outcrops have been given names, this was Casper the Ghost:

The Pinnacles, Western Australia

and this is Batman:

The Pinnacles, Western Australia

On the way back to Perth I saw my first emu in the wild
Emu


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4 comments:

Stuart said...

The Pinnacles are gorgeous aren't they. So unassuming just standing there in the sand but you an't ignore them. Very impressive!

You didn't make it down to Busselton on your journey did you?

Erica said...

We did indeed make it to Busselton, and on down to Margaret River and across to Pemberton and Walpole and the tingle trees.
We took the little train along the Busselton jetty and down to the amazing underwater observatory.
We would have liked more time in WA but had gone primarily for a wedding and tried to squeeze in as much travel as we could.

rone said...

Hi,

Really amazing place to visit.. Good collection of photos.. I think it was really exicting for you guys..

Please update the blog with more photos that you clicked...

Thanks

Rone from werkvakantie

Komal said...

Amazing place.. sand sand every where.. Looking adventurous too.. I love the presentation.. Content was like good..

Thanks for sharing

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