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Wave Rock is a natural rock formation that imitates a cresting wave about to crash overhead. It is a tourist drawcard and is a popular attraction for local and international tourists.
There are quite a few things to see around the area, including Hippo’s Yawn (another rock formation), Mulga’s Cave with Aboriginal art, Lake Magic which is a salt lake and a bunch of museums which have popped up in the area to round off the tourist attractions.
This article should give you all the information you need to plan your own trip.
How to get there
Wave Rock is located in Western Australia’s wheatbelt region, near Hyden. It is a four hire drive east of Perth.
If you are coming from Perth there are a couple of alternatives for how to get there. You can head south down the Brookton Highway or east along the Great Eastern Highway towards York. Brookton Highway is a better road but if you live North of the city it will still be faster to go through York.
Either way, you will head through Corrigin and Kondinin before getting to Hyden.
If you are traveling between Esperance and Perth, then Wave Rock is the perfect place to stop for your lunch break as it is almost at the half way point.
Is it worth the 4 hour drive?
We have loved our visits to Wave Rock. We felt like it had a great atmosphere and it seemed to spark a natural enthusiasm and playfulness in all the visitors when we were there. It is certainly an incredible sight and makes for some great photos.
That said however, Wave Rock can leave some people feeling a bit underwhelmed. I think the reason for this is because you can get very tired after sitting in a car for 4 hours.
If you are in Perth for a short time and want to add it to your itinerary in 1 or 2 days, I would suggest you skip it. The exhaustion you will have from all the travel will not be worth it and you will probably be left feeling disappointed by the experience.
If you are doing a once off trip from Perth, I would plan on staying in the area for at least 3 days. If you have the time to do this, I would say it is worth it.
If you are doing a big lap around Australia then you will have the opportunity to go through Wave Rock from or to the South Coast. This will most likely mean a choice between traveling inland or along the coastal route. If I had to make this choice and I had to pick one or the other, I would probably skip Wave Rock and travel along the coast. The reason for this is there is so much more to see along the coast, – like Walpole and the Valley of the Giants, while inland, Wave Rock would be the only real attraction for you.
How much does it cost?
You will pay a $12 per vehicle entrance fee to see Wave Rock. If you are staying at the caravan park, the entrance fee is included in your accommodation fee so you do not have to pay it on top of your site fees.
Where to Stay
The main place to stay is the Wave Rock Caravan Park which is situated right beside the Rock. The cost of your accommodation also includes entrance to Wave Rock.
The Caravan Park has great amenities with a huge sheltered communal area, camp kitchen and swimming pool for hot days. The best thing about it is its location, right next to the wave. The cost varies depending on the season, how many people and if you want a camp site or a cabin. You can check availability and prices here.
There are a variety of other places to stay including the Wave Rock motel or the Lake Magic resort. You can check out some other options here.
We have visited Wave Rock twice in recent years. Once as a stop over on our drive to Esperance.
We also visited as a trip over a long weekend. 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.
Wave Rock is the big attraction and we were fascinated by it. There is quite a lot of other things to do in the area but this is the main one.
Walks in the area
There are heaps of walks to do in the area. The Wave Rock itself takes you over the top of Wave Rock where it is quite flat. It offers great views over the region and there are a few more interesting rocks around to be seen.
You can also do a walk to Hippos Yawn from Wave Rock, and there are a couple of walks around Mulga’s Cave.
Is a rock that looks like a huge hippo with its mouth wide open. It really does and is great for a quick stop for a photo.
Is a cave with some aboriginal rock art of handprints in the cave. There are also some images of very faded animals.
Mulga’s cave was interesting to explore, though it is quite small. It is more like a jumble of rocks but you can have a walk throughout and there are a few cave like crevices that you can pop your head in. You can also climb through the back of it and then on top of the cave. As I mentioned above, there are also a couple of walks that you can do through the surrounding bushland.
Is a series of salt lakes located only 1 km from Wave rock. One of the lakes is completely dried up and filled with the skeletons of dead trees. The other lake has subtle green tinted water.
We really enjoyed our impromptu picnic at Lake Magic. It is not suitable for swimming but it was a good spot to sit and have a picnic and enjoy the scenery. You can put your hand or feet in the water and feel the salt crust on your skin as it dries.
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. We skipped all of these as we prefer to see the natural attractions but you are able to purchase tickets to enter one or you can buy a combined ticket to visit all of them.
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.
In short, there is heaps to see and do in the area, but Wave rock is the best of the attractions. I believe that it is worth seeing and we will always make an effort to stop in and visit again if we are driving past.
There is so much to see in Western Australia so check out some of my other posts depending on where you are heading next. The Indian Ocean Road heads north out of Perth and has heaps of places to stay and lots to see, or perhaps Busselton if you are heading south.