Wave Rock was a place I wanted to visit since I was a little girl. I first saw Wave Rock on the Australian tv show ‘Ask the Leyland Brothers’. The Leyland Brothers were two film makers who took us all over Australia in their show. I don’t know exactly what attracted me to it, but when I visited Wave Rock I wasn’t disappointed. If you are heading to Western Australia, I highly suggest you visit this magnificent natural wonder. It is a great 1 or 2 day road trip from Perth.
Where is Wave Rock?
A number of roads take you to Wave Rock
Wave Rock is about 4km outside of Hyden in Western Australia (WA). Hyden is situated in the remote western area of Australia’s Golden Outback region, about 340 kilometres south-east of Perth, making it a 4 hour (or so) drive. Have a look at the location map above. I highly suggest you tie your trip to Wave Rock in with other places in WA, or spend the night in Hyden and return to Perth the next day. It is a long trip – but well worth it! The best way to get to Wave Rock is to drive so if you don’t already have a vehicle you can rent one here. If you don’t have a vehicle you can always go on a tour. Have a look at the tour following.
Accommodation in Hyden
The town of Hyden has a population of 380 people, so services in the town are limited. Hyden offers a tavern-motel, a bakery, swimming pool and fuel station. Accommodation is limited and I suggest you book accommodation so you don’t miss out. Places to stay include: Wave Rock Resort and Caravan Park, Wave Rock Hotel/Motel, Wave Rock Lakeside Resort and the Wave Rock Country Cottage (a 3 bedroom house).
What is Wave Rock?
Wave Rock is a natural rock formation shaped like a breaking ocean wave. The ‘wave’ is about 15m high and around 110m long. It is part of the north side of Hyden Rock, and is believed to be around 27 million years old. The wave has been formed by weathering and water erosion. It was formed by water dissolving and re-depositing chemicals in the granite as it runs down the cliff face. The colours of the rock are pretty amazing and caused by minerals being washed down the rock.
Wave Rock is also of great cultural significance to the locals. It is considered a creation of the Rainbow Serpent, who drank all the water in the area then dragged her swollen body over the land. Yeah – I can see that!
TIP: Ensure you wear a good pair of walking shoes and have a water bottle with you. Sunscreen and a hat will be useful if the sun is out. And don’t forget the camera to take some memorable photos.
Visiting Wave Rock
View of wetlands from the top of Wave Rock
There is an entrance fee of $12 to visit Wave Rock, but there is plenty to see. It is a short walk of around 150m from the carpark to the rock. I suggest you pick up a walking track brochure from the information centre, as it will come in very handy.
You are also able to climb Wave Rock. Walk to a set of railings that help you climb up on to the main rock formation. It is a little bit steep, so I hope you brought your fitness with you. People with average fitness and mobility should find the climb easy enough.
From the top of the wave you will be treated to a 360 degree view over the area. This includes a great view of the nearby wetlands.
About 1 kilometre away from Wave Rock is another natural wonder, Hippo’s Yawn. It is called this because the rock formation looks like a hippopotamus yawning. And it is quite big at around 13 metres high. This natural wonder can easily be walked to from Wave Rock. Just follow the signs.
A cave, Mulka’s Cave is located 18 kilometres north of Wave Rock, so you will need to drive there. The cave is named after Mulka, an Aboriginal legend associated with the cave. Apparently Mulka was the illegal son of a couple and for breaking the rules of having a child, Mulka was born with crossed eyes. As his eyes prevented him from aiming his spear accurately, he turned to catching and eating children. This made him much feared in the area. It is believed he lived in this cave, hence the name.
You can go inside the cave. I found it a bit eerie after hearing the story plus seeing imprints of his hands inside the cave.
Hyden Wildlife Park
Wild flowers abound around Wave Rock
Wave Rock is part of a 160 hectare nature reserve, Hyden Wildlife Park. Many granite outcrops are dotted throughout the park, with the most famous being Wave Rock. You could visit a number of others while here. The area is also known for its wildflowers. There are many tracks highlighting these wildflower species, some 2,500 species I believe, including many Orchids, Banksia, Grevilleas and Sheoaks (to name a few).
To sum up: Wave Rock is well worth the 4-hour drive from Perth or be part of a 1 or 2 day road trip or longer in the area. Once there, it is easy to walk around the tracks linking Wave Rock to other natural wonders, like Hippo’s Yawn and the wildflowers. If you are still at Wave Rock late in the afternoon, I suggest you stay to enjoy the sunset. It will top off a memorable experience at this natural wonder.
Sharyn McCullum has travelled all of her life thanks to her dad who worked for an airline. She is the creator of Live Work and Play in Australia. She loves coffee, chocolate and parmas and currently calls Melbourne home. Read More.