How do you fancy ‘surfing’ a wave that’s around 240km from the nearest ocean?
Take a trip to Wave Rock and give it a go! Enjoy the view from the top of the rock or explore the surrounding areas by hiking a trail, but make sure you visit this amazing rock formation and learn how it formed over millions of years.
Wave Rock is 15 meters high and almost 100 metres long. The face of Wave Rock appears ready to crash onto a pre-historic surf, frozen in time...
The site is located around 4 hours drive to the east of Perth situated in the Wheatbelt region of the Golden Outback, Western Australia. The journey takes you through farmlands and sprawling fields of canola and wheat.
The unusual rock has been formed over millions of years and more than 100,000 people make the journey to see it each year.
Named Katter Kich by the local indigenous people the Ballardong (part of the Noongar people), the rock has been somewhere of significance for them for thousands of years and it was traditionally used as a meeting and dancing place.
Wave Rock is a slightly misleading name as the formation is actually the north cliff-face of a hill named Hyden Rock. Hyden rock is known as a granite inselburg which is a German term translated as ‘island hill’. A better definition for it could be that it is a ‘steep-sided isolated hill rising relatively abruptly above gently sloping ground’. In this way, Hyden Rock is the same as the Australian monolith Uluru.
The granite cliff face of Wave Rock gives the illusion of a giant wave breaking on the shore where it curves inwards and then back out again. It stands at an immense 15 metres high and 110 metres long and technically it is called a ‘flared slope’. Although there are other examples of these rocks in Australia, this is probably the most impressive.
To add to the illusion of waves, stripes of colour mark the rock giving the look of running water - a mixture of red, orange, ochre, yellow, brown and grey.
Hyden Rock, which Wave Rock is part of, is around 2.7 billion years old and has three granite domes that appeared due to underground weathering approximately 100 to 130 million years ago. The rock is of a mixed texture (both medium and coarse grained) porphyritic (meaning it contains crystals that you can see) granite which is a very hard material.
The formation of the cliff face of Wave Rock occurred by millions of years worth of erosion and weathering by wind and water and chemicals undercutting the bottom, leaving the curved overhang that we see now.
The top part of the rock became exposed around 60 million years ago and consequently when the rains fell, they ran down the rock and seeped underground around it. The chemicals in the rainwater broke down the rock at the bottom to form the distinctive shape and then subsequent erosion of the land around it allowed it to be exposed.
The colourful stripes seen on the rock are also caused by a reaction with the rainwater which dissolves chemicals in the granite and then redeposits them as it runs down. Typically these are carbonates and iron hydroxide along with other chemical compounds.
Wave Rock is a good stop off point for those travelling from Perth to Esperance.
There are a number of walks, to take in the rock and its features, which are of varying length:
Here are a few other travel tips to help you get the most out of your visit.
The full address of the rock is Wave Rock Road, Hyden, Western Australia, 6359.
It is located approximately 4 hours from both Perth (340km to the west) and Esperance (380km to the south-east). It falls within two named areas of this part of Western Australia - the Golden Outback and the Wheatbelt region. It is also located in the Shire of Kondinin.
The nearest town is Hyden which is around 5km away. Lake Magic is located to the north of the rock.
By Bus - There is a weekly bus service (provided by TransWA) that stops in Hyden. Perth to Esperance (Tuesdays - approximately 5hrs from Perth to Hyden) and Esperance to Perth (Thursdays - approximately 5hrs from Esperance to Hyden).
By Coach - There are a number of companies offering day trips to book travelling from Perth to visit Wave rock. To cut down on travel time there are also some companies that offer part of the journey by air and then by coach.
By Car - Travelling by car is a very popular choice and many people choose to visit Wave Rock as part of a stopover when travelling between destinations (often between Perth and Esperance). Travelling by car allows the freedom to take in other local highlights in the same visit and the journey to Wave Rock takes approximately 4 hours by road from either Perth or Esperance.
Alternatively a road trip can be planned and a common loop called the Pathways to Wave Rock can be followed. This takes three days to complete - starting in Perth to Hyden, then to Bruce Rock and finally heading back to Perth.
Once in Hyden the drive out to Wave rock takes approximately 5-10 minutes and there is also a sealed walk/bike path from the town to the rock (approx 5km).
Although many people choose to visit Wave Rock on a day trip from Perth, the distances involved do make it a long and exhausting day! So if you have time, you may prefer to stay overnight.
Due to the proximity of Wave Rock to Hyden it is easy to drive or walk from the town and therefore you can make use of the accommodation there. There is not an enormous choice in where to stay, however there are hotels, motels and cottages available to choose from.
There are also a number of accommodation options close to the rock itself including a caravan park and camping (with a pool) within a short walking distance.
There are a few other attractions in the local vicinity to Wave Rock that can be explored by using Hyden as a central location to stay and visit from or as part of a road trip towards Perth or Esperance.
There are also other famous tourist attractions in the wider region that you will definitely want to incorporate into your trip! Don't forget to visit these popular Wonders of Western Australia.
Wave rock is composed by grey and red granite strips. According to geologists, the particular shape of the rock was formed by subsurface chemical weathering followed by removal of the soft weathered granite by fluvial erosion; this weathering occurred below ground level before it was exposed.
The colours of the rock were produced by the rain chemical deposits (carbonates and iron hydroxide) down the face, forming vertical stripes of greys reds and yellows. It is an interesting and sometimes jaw dropping spectacle to see how the rock changes its colors along the day, producing awesome views.
Wave Rock is igneous rock with embedded crystals.
Wave Rock is special due to the unusual formation of the rock that makes it look like an ocean wave breaking. This has formed over 60 million years!
Wave Rock is 340km from Perth which is around a 4 hour drive.
You need to pay $12AUD when you park your car on site at Wave Rock however if you walk/cycle to it there is no entrance fee.
Wave Rock was formed over many millions of years through erosion by water, chemicals and wind and this change is still constantly happening albeit at a very slow rate.
To visit and explore Wave Rock only should take around 1-2 hours. There are a number of trails however that lead you to different parts of the main rock/other rock formations/to the surrounding salt lake and these will take longer to navigate.
Wave Rock is 15 metres high and 110 metres long.
Wave Rock has been a place of significance for Aboriginal people for thousands of years. It was used as a dancing and meeting place for the Ballardong people (part of the Noongar).
Visiting Wave Rock allows you to explore the rock formation itself and also there are a number of other walking trails to navigate. These take you up onto the main rock and to other rock formations and the salt lake. There is also a shop and cafe to visit nearby.
The closest town to Wave Rock is Hyden which is approximately 5km away.
You cannot climb the cliff face of Wave Rock itself, however, you are able to navigate up on the main part of the rock (called Hyden Rock) via steps off one of the named trails.
No, Wave Rock is not a national park.
Yes, dogs can be taken to Wave Rock but they must be kept on a lead at all times.