How to visit Wave Rock, Western Australia

Wave Rock in Western Australia

From Mount Augustus – the biggest rock in the world, to the lunar-like landscape of the Pinnacles, it’s safe to say that West Australia has some pretty impressive rocks. Wave Rock however, which resembles a gigantic, breaking wave may well be the most wondrous geological formation in Western Australia.

Also known as Katter Kich by the Noongar people, the area is of deep significance to the local Aboriginal people and makes for a wonderful way to explore the ancient landscape of Western Australia’s golden outback.

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Where is Wave Rock located in Australia

Wave Rock is about 350 km east of Perth near the town of Hyden on the edges of the Wheatbelt Region in Western Australia.

The drive from Perth to Wave Rock is just under four hours and offers a great way to see some of the smaller farming communities in the Wheatbelt.

The most direct way from Perth to Wave Rock is via York, Quairading, Corrigin and Hyden. Alternative routes are via Kulin which offers a chance to drive along the Tin Horse Highway. Visit Pathways to Wave Rock for the best travel routes and ideas of things to do along the way.

How was Wave Rock formed

Wave Rock in Western Australia

Wave Rock was formed underground over 2.5 billion years ago when it was part of a much larger rock mass. Without earthquakes and volcanoes to disrupt this massive rock mass, it was up left up to the process of weathering and erosion to slowly expose the top layer of the rock about 60 million years ago.

Subsequently, when rain fell on this exposed part of the rock, the rainwater trickled down the side of the rockface and seeped underground. Here, the chemicals in the rainwater started to wear away at the rock and shape it into the unique formation we know today.

Over time, the land around the rock became more and more eroded. Gradually, this incredible rock formation started to become more and more exposed above ground.

The chemicals in the rainwater created the unique reddish and white stripes on the rock. While the black lines are from a type of algae.

Wave Rock in Western Australia

Interesting Wave Rock facts

  • Similar types of Wave Rocks that haven’t been exposed yet are likely to still be underground.
  • Wave rock is made from a granite inselberg that has been weathered over millions of years.
  • National Geographic published a photo of Wave Rock in the 1960s which gave it international fame.
  • The northern part of Wave Rock is part of a much larger hill called Hyden Rock.
  • The Wave Rock Weekender is a music concert located at the iconic rock with national and international artists performing.

Things to do at Wave Rock, Australia

If you’re going to Wave Rock, it’s well worth taking the extra time to explore some of the other natural attractions in the vicinity.

  • Explore Wave Rock at different times of the day to view the ever changing colours of the rock. You can follow the 1.2 km Hyden Rock Walk Trail. This takes you to the top of the rock and gives various different perspectives of the rock and the surrounding landscape.
  • Walk to Hippos Yawn along the 1.7km bush trail. Then climb inside the Hippo’s throat for a fun adventure. You can also get to Hippos Yawn along the paved road.
  • Watch the sunset at Lake Magic- the lake is located 1 km from Wave Rock Caravan Park and is so named for it’s ever changing colours.
  • Bathe at Wave Rock Salt Pool – located near Magic Lake, this round pond-like swimming pool is highly buoyant thanks to the high salt content. This means that you can float at your leisure without any fear of sinking.
  • Visit Wave Rock Wildlife Park – the wildlife park is across the road from Wave Rock caravan park and home to a plethora of Australian animals as well as a few exotic creatures too who all love having visitors. Places like this were hard hit by the pandemic, and a visit is a great way to give back to these smaller communities.
  • Mulka’s Cave and the Humps – located 18km from Wave Rock, Mulka’s Cave is one of the most significant Aboriginal rock-art sites in Western Australia. You can enter the cave and the view the rock-art engraved into the stone. There are also several walk trails around the Humps, which is another massive granite rock formation.
  • Stargazing – the dark, clear skies around Wave Rock are optimal for stargazing. There are several guided night sky tours available around Wave Rock at various times of the year. Check with the visitor’s centre for dates.
  • Visit the Lace Place and view exquisite pieces of lace dating back to the 1600’s.Hippo's Yawn near Wave Rock

Tips for a Perth to Wave Rock Trip

A trip to Wave Rock is a fantastic experience anytime of the year. However, spring time will show of the landscape to its best advantage.  If you visit in the cooler winter months between June-August expect some very chilli mornings. By contrast, the summer months can be very hot.

Bring your own supplies. Once you arrive at Wave Rock there are very few shopping options. The caravan park has a small general store with essential supplies, but for anything else you will need to head back to Hyden.

Well behaved dogs on a leash can be taken on all walk trails around the rock.

Take a trip along the Tin Horse Highway. The fun starts near the town of Kulin on your way from Wave Rock to Perth.

Wave Rock Accommodation

Wave Rock Caravan Park – the caravan park is the closest place to stay near Wave Rock and is directly adjacent to the rock. This means that you can literally walk to Wave Rock from your accommodation. The caravan park has facilities for caravans and campers. The park also has a good selection of self-contained cabins that are clean and well equipped.

Wave Rock Motel – The motel is located in the town of Hyden about 5km from Wave Rock. The advantage of staying in Hyden is that you have access to a small supermarket and the pub for dinner. The disadvantage is that you are not in direct vicinity of Wave Rock and the surrounding attractions like Hippo’s Yawn and Lake Magic which are in walking distance from the caravan park.

Wave Rock Resort – the resort is located 1.5km from Wave Rock. It’s located on the edge of Lake Magic and offers two-bedroom self contained villas

Wave Rock Tours

Tours to Wave Rock are available from Perth and are a good idea if you don’t have your own car or don’t want to drive long hours.

Most of the Wave Rock Tours are offered as a day trip and leave Perth early in the morning. The tours to Wave Rock usually include a stop in the historic town of York.

For tour options to Wave Rock see more here: Wave Rock Tours.

Wave Rock Entrance Fee

Entry fee to Wave Rock is $15 per vehicle.

Entry fee can be purchased from the Wave Rock Caravan Park. However, if you’re staying at the Wave Rock Caravan Park, entry to the rock is included.

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. […] The Tin Horse Highway near Kulin is a 15km open-air gallery that will amuse young and old and makes for a great road trip to Wave Rock. […]

  2. […] The Tin Horse Freeway close to Kulin is a 15km open-air gallery that may amuse younger and outdated and makes for an excellent street journey to Wave Rock. […]

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