Wave Rock, in Hyden, is the image that always features in articles about Perth and WA, although it is quite a distance from the city centre (3 – 4 hours) and pretty isolated as a tourist destination, even by Western Australian standards. The advice by any touring posts is to include it in another journey or destination, rather than making it a feature of your day and I can understand why.
The erosion which caused this 15m high granite rockform has been slowed by the small fence on top of the rock, that detours the water to create a reservoir. I am glad to have seen it and not sorry for the detour in our route, but as an example of erosion, it can be replaced by less off-the-track or isolated examples, such as the coastline of Kalbarri or Streaky Bay, or the formations near Kimba, to name a few. I don’t want to be a spoiler, but it is also reminiscent of Uluru.
The colours of the minerals were lovely, as was the texture and overall effect. You can climb to the top and then do a short (150m) or long (850 m) walk. We walked the short distance to Hippos Yawn, nearby, and our day was done.
The yawn is believed to have been caused by salt and graphite in the area, and the fissure is called a ‘tafone’.
The paths are good and a wheelchair could easily make it to Wave Rock, although you’d need a 4WD equivalent to get to Hippos Yawn.
The area is populated by melaleuca and colourful parrots, with the only disappointing feature being the little information about the original custodians of the area and what significance they placed on the formations.
We drove through country roads to Merredin, the largest town in the Wheatbelt of WA. As with many long stretches of road in Australia, we came upon an unusual sight created as a diversion, I believe, by bored motorists. A sign said ‘shoes wanted’ and for about 1km the fence was decorated with an assortment of sandshoes/sneakers/runners (we have many names for them in Oz). It WAS diverting.
Take a hat, plenty of water and sunscreen.