The Pinnacles Loop Walking Track is one of the most extraordinary trails in New South Wales. Located in the Beowa National Park (formerly Ben Boyd National Park), the walking track leads you to lookouts, which provide mindblowing views of The Pinnacles rock formation. In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about the Pinnacles Loop Walking Track.
Read about the Beowa (formerly Ben Boyd) National Park (guide coming soon)
Table of Contents
1. What Is the Pinnacles Loop Walking Track?
Also known as the Pinnacles Walking Track, the Pinnacles Loop Walking Track is a short circular walk that leads to a couple of lookouts, overlooking The Pinnacles. Indeed, the reason people do this walk is to see The Pinnacles, which is an astonishing coastal landform. Honestly speaking, Beck and I think The Pinnacles, in the South Coast region of NSW, is one of the most spectacular landmarks in Australia.
FYI – there are a number of natural attractions in Australia that share the same or a similar name. You’ve got The Pinnacles Desert in Nambung National Park in Western Australia, which is a series of limestone rock formations. On top of that, you’ve got the well-known Pinnacle Lookout in the Grampians National Park in Victora.
Just to be clear, we’re talking about The Pinnacles in NSW!
2. What Is The Pinnacles?
The Pinnacles is a mesmerising half-white and half-orange rock formation. Geologically speaking, the cliff formation is the side of a gully, which consists of a soft white sandstone base, topped with a layer of orange gravelly clay. The orange-reddish colour, which is synonymous with the dessert, is iron oxide (rust). This has been produced by rock weathering and natural erosion.
3. What Makes The Pinnacles So Special?
It’s thought that The Pinnacles formed around 65 million years ago during the Tertiary geological period. This is around the time when dinosaurs started to become extinct!
4. Why You Need to Visit The Pinnacles in NSW
Other than its obvious natural beauty, The Pinnacles is truly a geological wonder that you have to see to believe. Indeed, it’s one of the best natural attractions, not only in NSW but in Australia. And, it’s even more impressive to see it in person.
5. Where Is the Pinnacles Loop Walking Track?
The Pinnacles Loop Walking Track is located on the Sapphire Coast in the Beowa National Park. You’ll find The Pinnacles is located between the gorgeous coastal towns of Merimbula and Eden in the Far South Coast region of NSW. The attraction is around a six hour drive south of Sydney.
To help get your bearings, please click on the image below to access an interactive map of the location.
6. Where Does the Pinnacles Loop Walking Track Start?
The walking route starts from the car park at the end of Pinnacles Access Road.
Pinnacles Loop Walking Track parking: Google Maps
7. How Long Is the Pinnacles Walk?
The circular Pinnacles Loop Walking Track length is approx. 1.1km.
8. How Long Does the Pinnacles Loop Walking Track Take?
The walk only takes around 15–20 minutes to do. But, of course, it depends on how much time you spend at the breathtaking lookouts.
9. How Difficult Is the Pinnacles Walk?
The Pinnacles Loop Walking Track is easy as the trail is simple to follow and mostly flat.
10. Pinnacles Loop Walking Track Directions
You won’t really need trail navigation assistance as the walk is very simple and straightforward to follow. Just in case, here are some GPS-guided directions.
11. Can You Walk Around The Pinnacles?
The Pinnacles Loop Walking Track doesn’t walk around The Pinnacles. Instead, the trail takes you to several viewpoints, including the main Pinnacles Lookout, which faces opposite the attraction.
As you may have gathered, because the attraction is the side of a gully (like a cliff wall), you literally can’t walk around it.
Albeit, by walking onto Pinnacles Beach (guide coming soon), which isn’t part of the Pinnacles Loop Walking Track, you can actually access the base of The Pinnacles. But, this is only possible to do at low tide and preferably with a low swell. Personally, Beck and I did walk onto Pinnacles Beach. But, because of high tide, we couldn’t access the base of the rock formation.
12. What’s It Like at The Pinnacles Lookouts?
From the lookouts along the Pinnacles Loop Walking Track, you’ll enjoy marvellous views of the landmark. There are actually several vantage points along the section of the walking track that runs parallel to the attraction. But, there are two main lookouts. Assuming you walk the track in a clockwise direction, the first lookout you’ll arrive at has slightly impeded views from the surrounding bush. So, we recommend heading to the second lookout, which is the main lookout called the Pinnacles Lookout.
From the Pinnacles Lookout, you’ll enjoy unimpeded views of the landmark. Honestly, you’ll be blown away by the magnificent display of vivid colours. Really, you can’t beat the views of The Pinnacles from this main lookout. It’s a thrilling experience to get such wonderful views of an ancient landform.
13. Is the Pinnacles Loop Walking Track Open?
The walking track can close from time to time for various different reasons. Make sure to check the local alerts for the Beowa National Park on the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services websites to check for closures.
14. Is the Pinnacles Loop Walking Track Wheelchair Accessible?
No, unfortunately, the walking track isn’t accessible to those who use wheelchairs.
15. Is the Pinnacles Loop Walking Track Dog Friendly?
No, pets such as dogs aren’t allowed in NSW National Parks.
16. When Is the Best Time to Visit?
Of course, you’ll want to ensure the weather is playing ball for your visit to The Pinnacles. The colours of the landform really stand out with the help of the sun on a clear day. Otherwise, we recommend visiting around sunrise. Not only will the early morning light accentuate the brilliance of the landmark’s colours; but, you’ll beat the crowds. Indeed, Beck and I visited around sunrise and we enjoyed the lookouts to ourselves.
17. Don’t Forget to Visit Pinnacles Beach
Many people simply do the Pinnacles Loop Walking Track and are then on their merry way. Make sure to visit the spectacular Pinnacles Beach before you leave. You can simply do a walk to the Pinnacles Beach Lookout. Otherwise, feel free to explore or even spend a day at the beach!
Read more: Pinnacles Beach Guide (coming soon)
18. How to Get to The Pinnacles
The only way to get to the Pinnacles Loop Walking Track is to drive there as there is no public transport access. If you don’t have a car, we recommend hiring one for the day or for your road trip.
To get to the car park, you’ll need to drive on the Pinnacles Access Road, which is an unsealed dirt road. Personally, we managed fine with a 2WD as the access road to the car park is short and mostly flat and even.
If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.
19. Where to Stay Nearby
Given that Beowa National Park sits between Merimbula and Eden, many people choose to stay in these towns during a visit to the area. Certainly, you’ll find excellent accommodation in both Merimbula and Eden, with both towns being a great base to explore The Pinnacles and Beowa National Park.
Stay in Merimbula or Eden
- Best Accommodation in Merimbula Guide (coming soon)
- Best Accommodation in Eden Guide (coming soon)
Otherwise, it’s possible to stay in Beowa National Park itself. There are two excellent campgrounds – the Saltwater Creek Campground and the Bittangabee Campground. Additionally, there are historic self-catering cottages at the Green Cape Lightstation Keepers’ Cottages and Telegraph Station Bunkhouse.
20. Where to Visit Nearby
Other than The Pinnacles, there are many other fantastic places to visit in Beowa National Park. Haycock Point, Bilgalera Point, Boyd Tower, Disaster Bay Lookout, Green Cape Lighthouse and Bittangabee Bay are just some of the other fantastic attractions in the national park.
Otherwise, if you’re happy to travel inland from the national park, you should check out Nethercote Falls.
Read more: Beowa National Park Guide (coming soon)
Here are our hiking gear essentials for the Pinnacles Loop Walking Track.
Osprey Skarab 30
The Osprey Skarab 30 is our go-to hiking backpack for day hikes. This well-designed unisex backpack is comfortable and spacious, so you’ll have plenty of space to pack everything without feeling the strain on your upper back.
Osprey Ultralight Raincover
A waterproof backpack cover is an absolute must when you’re adventuring outdoors. The Osprey Ultralight Raincover Medium is a high-quality waterproof cover that’ll keep your backpack bone dry.
GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle
The GRAYL GeoPress is the best water filter bottle that allows you to purify 710mL (12 ounces) of water. This bottle will make water safe to drink wherever you’re hiking.
BUFF Original Ecostretch
The BUFF Original Ecostretch is a great option when it comes to multifunctional headwear. We use the Ecostretch as a neck gaiter to keep the sun off our necks and it helps us keep warm in cooler climates.
To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite hiking gear, travel gear and camera gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.
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We acknowledge and respect the First Nations people as the Traditional Custodians of the land/water that we visited and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.