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The Pinnacles on K'gari (Fraser Island)

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Gabby Boucher
Updated Tue 23 May 2023

The Pinnacles, also called the "Coloured Sands", are one of the most visually unique places on K'gari (Fraser Island). This amazing phenomenon gives its visitors a chance to see the natural history of K'gari through sand formations that have been in the making for hundreds of thousands of years. Let's give a brief rundown of the Pinnacles, what they are, how to find them, and what makes them special. 

Pinnacles sign

What Are The Pinnacles?

The Pinnacles are a collection of sand dunes that stick up in strange spires and towers. You can see multi-colored sand layers within the dunes themselves, which are formed as a result of wind, rain, and the fusion of sand and clay over many years. There are supposedly 72 different colors, most of them varying shades of yellow, red, orange, and brown. Iron compounds help create these unique colors, with varying hues proving different levels of iron in each layer of silica sand. 


History of the Pinnacles

The Pinnacles on K'gari (Fraser Island) are thought to be at least 700,000 years old. As the largest sand island in the world, K'gari's surface is composed of rippling sand dunes that have existed since ancient times. Coastal erosion has created some unique sand formations on the island, such as the Hammerstone Sand Blow and Lake Wabby. The Pinnacles are another example of nature creating art over time. 

The indigenous Butchella people who inhabited K'gari before colonization also had their own story about how the Pinnacles formed. Legend says that the sands were formed when the Rainbow Serpent of the Butchulla people died for its lover, protecting her from her jealous husband. Upon his death, he fell to the earth and shattered into many coloured pieces, creating the Pinnacles. So this natural attraction represents the spiritual, cultural, and physical history of K'gari.

K'gari Pinnacles

Where Are The Pinnacles? 

The Pinnacles are conveniently located on the east coast of K'gari. More specifically, they are 20km south of Indian Head Lookout and 3km north of the Maheno Shipwreck. When driving along 75 Mile Beach, you'll see the sign for the Pinnacles. Just park your car and follow the short, easy, walking track to the dunes. There are some informational signs next to the Pinnacles, but there are no other amenities or things to do there. 

Not many people would put the Pinnacles on the list of the best things to do on K'gari, but they are definitely worth checking out if you're passing by. You can admire the unique and colourful sand dunes and snap some photos, but then there isn't anything else to do. So if you're driving up 75 Mile Beach after checking out Eli Creek or the famous shipwreck, it's worth seeing the Pinnacles! 

Maheno Shipwreck

What Tours Visit The Pinnacles?

There are some incredible guided tours on K'gari! Though some day trips may not make it up to the Pinnacles, here are a few of the top-rated tours that will take you to the Pinnacles! Note that all itineraries on the island are subject to change based on weather conditions and tides. But these tours will most likely include the Pinnacles!

Day Tours:

2 Day 1 Night Tours:

3 Day 2 Night Tours:

Book one of these tours to see the Pinnacles on K'gari!

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