Wave Rock Hyden away

Wave Rock

Western Australia has a lot of fascinating rocks that have been sculptured into incredible patterns over millions of years.

Out of all these granite outcrops, Wave Rock is probably the best known.

Wave Rock is located just 4 kilometres east of the wheatbelt town of Hyden, and the town is 383 kilometres east of Perth, or about a four hour drive in normal conditions.

The rock gets its name because it uncannily shaped like a wave, having that perfect concave shape just before it breaks.  This portion of the rock is 15 metres (50 feet) in height and 110m (350 ft) long, and very impressive.  Although the wave feature is the most visited part of the outcrop, the entire rock, which is actually called Hyden Rock, is much bigger, measuring several hectares, and even contains a reservoir in one section.

Dry surfing

The rock is believed to have been formed underground about 60 million years ago.  Whilst it is logical to think that the surface of the wave was shaped by wind and water, it is actually believed to have been shaped underground by subsurface chemical weathering.

One feature that is an eyesore is a concrete slab retaining wall that has been built around the circumference of the rock to channel water into the reservoir – which used to provide water to the town.  The planners had it built so close to the top of the wave that it just looks awful and really detracts from such a magnificent natural sculpture.  If Hyden Shire had any sense it would move this section of the wall further up the rock so it doesn’t detract quite so much.

There are a few, easy, walks you can do around the rock, and surrounding area, and there are other interesting rocks nearby, including Hippo’s Yawn, which is a few minutes’ walk away.

It would be best not to attempt to see Wave Rock in one day if you are using Perth as your base, as you will do a lot of driving there and back.  There is plenty of accommodation in Hyden, so make it an overnight stay, or as part of your journey to somewhere else – for instance, many travellers include a visit to Wave Rock and their way to or from Esperance.

Hippo's Yawn

Although Wave Rock was well known to indigenous Australians for thousands of years, it really only became an attraction after a photograph of it won the 1963/64 Kodak International Colour Picture Competition at the New York International Fair.  That photo did us all a favour as a visit to the Rock is indeed worth the long drive.

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