Introducing Cervantes & Pinnacles Desert
Heading north from Lancelin on Indian Ocean Dr, you will pass the tiny fishing-shack villages of Wedge Island and Grey, where access was previously 4WD-only along the beach. Pressure from developers and government mean the future of these communities is uncertain, and although there are no facilities for tourists, you're welcome to wander.
The laid-back crayfishing town of Cervantes, 198km north of Perth, makes a pleasant overnight stop for enjoying the Pinnacles Desert and a good base for exploring the flora of the Kwongan, the inland heathland of Lesueur National Park and Badgingarra National Park. There are also some lovely beaches on which to while away the time.
Grab a copy of the Turquoise Coast Self Drive Map from Cervantes' combined post office and visitor centre, which also supplies accommodation and tour information. The town's general store and liquor shop are also on this strip.
Just before town, turn off for Lake Thetis, where living stromatolites – the world's oldest organisms – inhabit the shoreline. Nearby Hansen Bay Lookout has excellent views across the coast. In town, walkways wend along the coastline and provide beach access.