Cervantes is a small coastal town north west of Perth. It is well known for the Pinnacles, which are a mass of amazing rock formations, and are well worth a look. Cervantes reputation comes from spectacular wild flowers (in the right season), fishing, four wheel driving, windsurfing and cray fishing.
Where is Cervantes?
Cervantes is 202 kilometres North West of Perth. It is 25km south of Jurien Bay, and 88km north of Lancelin. You can find it on Google Maps here.
How do you get to Cervantes?
There are two ways to get to Cervantes; Brand Hwy and Indian Ocean Drive. The latter is a new highway that has only been opened for around a year now, and is one of the best that I have driven on in WA. It goes right along the coast past Lancelin, Wedge Island, Grey and goes right passed Cervantes. This shortens the trip from Perth to Cervantes by around 50 kilometres, making it a comfortable day trip. I would highly recommend the new Indian Ocean Drive; the views are worth it in themselves, let alone the time saved! To find the route from Perth to Cervantes, have a look here.
Cervantes has a range of accommodation, from a Backpackers Lodge, Resort, Motel, Caravan Park to self contained units and holiday houses. You are guaranteed to find something within your budget! Please note camping anywhere in the shire of Dandaragan is illegal, unless you are in the Sandy Cape area or at the Caravan Park. Sad, I know, but that’s just the way it is.
Attractions at Cervantes
Cervantes has a number of attractions, but the 2 most popular are the Pinnacles and Lake Thetis which is home to some interesting Stromatolites. I’d recommend a look at both. There are quite a few lookouts and beaches to visit, and being a small town it isn’t too difficult to do this. The wild flowers are impressive at the right time of year, and fishing is good all year round. If you have a boat, it is one of the better areas to go. There are quite a few places you can go four wheel driving; you can head south towards Grey or north towards Hill River and Jurien Bay.
Map of Cervantes
You can find a Map of Cervantes Townsite here.
The best way to describe these is to show a photo, so have a look! These are pretty amazing rocks and are a photographers dream at the right time of day. It costs $15 per car, but this allows you to drive around the entire circuit (around 30 – 60 minutes worth doing it properly), and you can get out of the car and walk around the Pinnacles. Apparently sunset is the best time to visit these, so if you can arrange it that way you will be impressed.
4WDing around Cervantes
I like to go to places where you can go four wheel driving, and Cervantes is no exception. You can drive in between Grey and Cervantes along the beach or on some of the inland tracks. Check the tide levels and the amount of seaweed before you go; it can be a bit nasty at times.
If you want to head north, you just drive to the northern point of Cervantes and follow a little track onto the beach. If you keep driving along the beach you will end up at Hill River, which is a great place to spend the day (you aren’t allowed to camp there anymore).
I’d suggest not trying to drive north of Hill River in a four wheel drive. Around 500 metres up the beach it gets softer than any other beach that I have driven on before. Both times I have tried to head north, I’ve had to turn around (which immense difficulty) and head back. That’s running 10PSI in my 33×12.5” tyres, and a vehicle that weighs under 2 tonne.
A Land Cruiser came with me and had even more trouble; it’s just not worth it. If you want to head north you can through the inland tracks, but its worth having a GPS to check you aren’t going up a dead end!
If I’ve missed anything, leave a comment below and I will add it. Have fun!