Wave Rock is an incredible sight. It is a natural rock formation imitating a cresting wave about to crash overhead. We have visited twice in the last couple of years and I understand why many visitors to Perth make the effort to go. It is also the perfect rest stop on your way south to Esperance, which is what we did on our first visit.
It has a great atmosphere. A rock that looks like a wave is a pretty cool thing and it seemed to spark a natural enthusiasm and playfulness in all the visitors when we were there. Everyone seemed to be laughing and having a good time. On our rest stop visit we had a look at the rock, took some photos with and without the stray boogie board left beside the rock, had friendly words with many of the other tourists, a picnic lunch and a walk up and around the rock. A quick word of warning – the rock gets steep pretty quickly so if you are travelling with a two year old (like we were on our first visit) you have to watch them closely. We saved Em from an almost monster stack as she tried to copy her father and pretend that she was surfing the wave.
We must have enjoyed our short visit as we decided to return the following year with my brother who had just finished a degree in geology and was visiting from Queensland. It was great to stay for a few more days. This time we took the scenic route to get to Wave Rock and decided to take our Geologist to Kokerbin Rock on the way. Kokerbin rock is the third largest rock in Australia. We stopped there for a picnic of potato salad and cold chicken wings. We went for a short walk, unfortunately not having time to circumnavigate the whole rock as we had to continue with our drive. It is on the list to return to for another day.
It was great to have a few days at Wave Rock. We were there for 2 nights and returned to the rock 4 times. We saw it after it had rained, trailing waterfall tracks marking the rock. We saw it early in the morning, sipping on take away coffees when we were the only ones there. We saw it at sunset with pink sky streaks over the top of the crest. And we saw it in the middle of the day as we walked up and over the rock. Each time offered something new and it didn’t grow tired. If we had have stayed for longer I would have returned many more times.
Probably our favourite thing on this trip (beside the Wave) was an impromptu picnic at Lake Magic. After our visit to Mulgas cave (where we saw ancient aboriginal rock art), we were just about to do another walking track in the area when Em started complaining that she was hungry. Since I had not packed any food for the short outing we decided not to do the walk because a nice leisurely stroll through the bush would quickly turn to torture with a 3 year old screaming and crying for food. We high tailed it back to camp, quickly packed up some food and took it to the lake for a picnic.
We laid a blanket out on the shore of Lake Magic and our feast was spread before us. Rice crackers, homemade dip (sundried tomato, basil, walnuts, chilli, and parmesan), cucumber sticks, sliced tomato, cheese, ham, spiced and toasted almonds, and grapes. The boys drank beer. Em and I drank water and we sat in front of the subtle green tinted water and relaxed. Sitting by the lake having a picnic was the perfect kind of holidaying thing to do. We all felt relaxed and refreshed after our simple and delicious meal and it was lovely to hear the softly lapping waters beside us. After we had eaten the boys and Em explored the lake’s shore and I sat on a rock, in the sun, on the water’s edge and enjoyed breathing and being alive. I looked at the clouds. I looked at the lime green water. I listened to the sounds of my family frolicking not far from me. I looked at the clouds. I got up and stretched my arms over my head, had a little twist and sat back on the rock. We had all been fed and were now content to sit or to explore.
Lake Magic is not offered as one of the main drawcards in the area. Most people visit Wave Rock, Mulgas Cave and Hippos Yawn (which we also did). Maybe the magic of the lake was just taking the time to sit and picnic with your family without being rushed or having to do anything. There is a lot of other tourist offerings at Wave Rock. There is a wildlife park, a lace and pioneer museum and a toy soldier display. In town – Hyden, there is a pub and along the main street are all sorts of statues and objects made from recycled junk that have also been turned in to a tourist attraction. We missed all of these preferring to visit the natural attractions but there is plenty there to fill your time depending on how long you have to visit. There are also a number of walks in the area and I would like to return and do some of them in the future.
Wave Rock is a 3 and a half hour drive from Perth which makes it perfect for a long weekend away or as a rest stop on a longer journey. There is a $10 entrance fee per car to visit Wave Rock however you get free entry if you are staying at the Caravan Park.