Our 4th day road trip will take us back to Perth with a stop at Araluen Botanic Garden. Before leaving Wave Rock, we made our way to the airport about 1km from the main road for a look-see. On the way, we passed more small lakes by the roadside but unfortunately not pink. The road to the airport also leads to Lake Magic as well as Wave Rock Resort.
Directional sign opposite to the junction to Wave Rock. Just a few meters to the left is the cafe and visitor centre.
Small, shallow lakes just by the roadside.
Wave Rock airport building.
The back of the airport.
Fenced taxiway. The runway is at the far end. It’s an airfield rather than an ‘airport’.
Right in Hyden’s town centre coming from Wave Rock, to your left and opposite IGA store, you’ll see a stretch of tin sculptures. There is a tin horse pulling a wagon, a tin truck, tin men, tin women, except rin tin tin.
Tin sculptures in Hyden town centre.
A truck and tin men on bicycles seemingly peddling a dynamo to produce electrical power.
The entire line of sculptures. From Perth, it will be on your right opposite IGA store.
The majority of Western Australia’s country roads are long and straight until it disappears into infinity. We must complement the authorities for maintaining it in such good condition. Rarely do you see patch-up works and if you do, they are properly done. At no time did we ever see any pot-holes even when the roads are being used by huge and heavy vehicles. Unlike our roads back home, pot holes are big enough for a cat to literally swim in.
The long straight roads of Western Australia.
On some stretches, the trees are more denser and greener.
Power of women halting traffic.
Some kind of wheat machinery taking up ¾ of the road. Took us many kilometres to overtake.
You’ll see many of this ‘road-trains’ in the countryside.
Don’t know what this vehicle is called, but it’s super long.
The road from Hyden to Perth passes along the country’s wheat belt. Some fields has had their wheat harvested while others awaiting harvesting. We stopped by one of the fields to see the wheat as back home we only have paddy.
Wheat belt near the township of Corrigin.
Close-up of the wheat. It’s golden ripe waiting for harvesting.
Round bales of wheat straw on harvested field.
Counting the wheat bales.
1st leg of our return road trip to Perth, a stop at Corrigin after a 115km drive.
Leaving Corringin town heading towards Perth, you would hardly miss a dog cemetery. It’s by the roadside on your right 6km after town on a small patch of land. After a short stop, we proceeded our journey to Araluen Botanic Park for another 193km, a drive of 2 hours. Posts relating to the park are here. From Araluen, we still had time for some window shopping at Belmont Forum, Perth before heading to our hotel in the CBD..
Corrigin dog cemetery, just by the roadside.
Not a large cemetery though.
As the signboard says. The town of Brookton has a railway line intersection close to the BP petrol station. It is a nice spot to photograph which I regretfully didn’t.
Field with small yellow wild flowers.
193km away from Corrigin, we reached Araluen Botanic Park. An a further 41km, we reached Pensione Hotel.
Entrance to Araluen Botanical Garden. Posts for Araluen can be found here.
We spent a night at Wave Rock Caravan Park in a self-contained cabin. Various other types of accommodation are also available here. It includes Ensuite powered suites, self-contained ensuite cabins, backpackers accommodation, caravan sites & camping sites. Facilities in the park includes swimming pool, barbecue area, spacious and clean camp kitchen, toilets, disabled facilities, laundry with washing machines, clothes dryers, clothes lines, playground, cricket pitch, campers kitchen, on site kiosk and covered eating area. And best of all, all sites are within walking distance to the base of Wave Rock.
From within the Caravan Park looking at the entrance we came in.
The kiosk cum office at the entrance of Wave Rock Caravan Park.
Our so-called ‘self-contained cabin’ is located directly opposite the Kiosk close to the entrance. The cabin is a one bedroom self-contained ensuite cabin. It can sleep four people with a double and single bed in the bedroom and a single bed in the living area. There is a small fully equipped kitchen at the dining/living area with TV & air-cond. The bathroom comes with hot/cold showers. It’s just like any hotel room although it looks like a 40′ shipping container from the outside. Free wifi is however only available at the communal kitchen. In mid October, the cabin cost $130 per night.
Our cabin for the night just across the kiosk.
One bedroom, ensuite bathroom and kitchen cum dining/living area.
The kitchen cum dining/living area, the bedroom at the far end and a bathroom in between.(L) The bedroom. (R). Credit:tripadvisor.com
Getting to the base of Wave Rock is a short walk away from our cabin. If you drive, it’ll take less than 30 seconds. Initially we tried booking for a room at Wave Rock Motel & Wave Rock Resort, unfortunately they were both fully booked. Wave Rock Motel is in Hyden town 4 km away, while Wave Rock Resort is 1.5 km away, closer to Lake Magic. Staying at the cabin is actually a great option. The close proximity to Wave Rock will enable you to visit it at your convenience and do it as many times as you wish even if it’s at night. Trust us, you’ll not be disappointed putting up here. Hotel amenities in the bush!
Slightly ahead of our cabin, turn left at the information board for the vehicle parking area to Wave Rock. From outside of our cabin, the top of Wave Rock and the water retaining slabs can be seen.
From the vehicle parking area, looking toward the information board you turned earlier.
Rest area and toilets at the vehicle parking area.
One of the few information boards regarding the surrounding environment before entering Wave Rock.
Tiled passageway to Wave Rock from the parking area. Further ahead, the path is a gravel track.
The communal kitchen & washroom at the Caravan Park. In the background are caravan lots.
Tables & chairs at the communal kitchen.
There are lots for caravan and tents as well, powered or otherwise.
Children playground at the caravan park.
Visiting Wave Rock in mid October, you will be rewarded with varieties of wild flowers of different forms and colours which by itself is an attraction. They are scattered on the grounds among the bushes, trees and clearings. Beware though, picking of WILD flowers is an offence.
The last attraction for our 3rd day road trip takes us to Hippo’s Yawn, near Hyden. The drive from Emu Point to the Hippo’s Yawn is a 353km drive and takes close to 4 hours. On our way, we passed many pink coloured lakes which could be salt lakes. Our normal 2WD car prohibits us from driving up close to the lakes although it is near to the main road. So suffice by just taking photos from the roadside.
Passed by many pink lakes on the way to Hyden. These lakes are not large and looks shallow.
This lake not so obviously pink as the lake above. Could these be salt lakes?.
Driving route from Emu Point to Hippo’s Yawn. Click to enlarge.
From Hyden, we drove a further 4km passing Wave Rock Caravan Park, (the entrance to Wave Rock) straight to Hippo’s Yawn about 700m ahead. Direct vehicle access to the Hippo’s Yawn off the main road (Wave Rock road), via a 200m gravel road is a much better option than walking 1km from Wave Rock.
Gravel entrance and car park in-front of the Hippo’s Yawn.
Being the second most visited site in Hyden after Wave Rock, the Hippo’s Yawn is a 12.6m giant granite boulder with a cave weathered out at its middle to form what appears to be, a hippo opening its mouth. It is located 5km outside Hyden but close to the Wave Rock. Finished taking photos and selfies, we back-tracked to Wave Rock Caravan Park to check-in to our cabin where we spent a night.
Ah .. ha, caught the hippo yawning.
The Hippos Yawn is about a 1km walk from Wave Rock. You can walk or drive to Hippo’s Yawn.
Some facts about the Hippos Yawn.
After a late lunch, we visited Wave Rock, that irresistible force that brought us to Australia for the first time. Although Ayers Rock is our prime destination, driving 3,670km (one way) from Perth to Uluru is out of our league. Domestic flight and accommodation at Ayers Rock are rather high thus making Wave Rock, our realistic alternative for the moment. Entrance to the Wave Rock is situated at the vehicle parking area, a 30 second drive from our cabin or a few minutes walk.
Hyden rock, where Wave Rock and the Hippo’s Yawn are located, emerges from a flat surrounding land 4km outside of Hyden township. Entrance to the Wave Rock is through Wave Rock Caravan Park. Drive about 150m in and there is a vehicle parking area towards your left that can accommodate cars, buses, caravan, etc. There is an entrance fee of $10 per vehicle payable at the ticket machine in the parking area or in the kiosk at the entrance.
A $10 entrance fee per motor vehicle payable. You’re exempted if you stay at the Wave Rock Caravan Park.
At the entrance to Wave Rock, there are sheltered information display boards detailing history of the rock and its geology. Initially on tiled passageway, than gravel path, leads you to the rock face through trees and undergrowth. In spring, you will find orchids and flowers growing on the grounds. Walking around Wave Rock, you will find interpretive signage enlightening you on the history of the rock and its surroundings. It’s a short walk from the parking area to the face of Wave Rock.
Board welcoming us to the Wave Rock.
Tiled passageway to the Wave Rock.
From here on,it’s a gravel track.
That way to Hippos Yawn, the opposite to Wave Rock. It’s a shorter walk to Hippo’s Yawn if you start from the parking area instead of the base of Wave Rock.
The iconic Wave Rock is a granite cliff hanging like an incredible 15 metre high 110m long giant wave, poised to crash. The concave granite face of Wave Rock with its vertical coloured stripes is caused by weathering and water erosion that created its present form. Water from springs running down the rock dissolve minerals adding to the colouring of the stripes. Crystals from Hyden Rock has been dated to being 2.7 billion years old, being amongst the oldest in Australia.
During our visit to Wave Rock at 5:20 pm, we were about the only people there. We guess most of the visitors are day trippers and would have left by late afternoon. It’s a 4 hours drive to Perth.
o—– Wave Rock —–o
Towards your right, at the end of Wave Rock, there is a dam with a steel stairway by its side leading up onto the rock. It is an easy climb up the stairway and worth it for the spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. A 3.6km walking track leads up, over and across the rock than to a walking trail that links up with nearby Hippos Yawn and across to Lake Magic, Wave Rock airport and back (refer guide map below).
Towards the end of the base of Wave Rock, take this track to climb up the to the top.
Walk till you reach the dam where there is a metal staircase (blocked by the signboard) to climb up.
Staircase by the dam’s side. The dam isn’t big actually. Wonder whether it’s sufficient for Hyden’s community.
Some facts about the catchment area.
The dam on the catchment area is for drinking water for the town of Hyden.
Guide to your 3.6km walk of the surroundings. Credit:kondinin.wa.gov.au
The rock is a catchment area for the town’s water supply A a two feet high concrete retaining slabs are erected along its top directing water to the dam nearby, apart from small stream running to the dam.
On top of Wave Rock, concrete slabs erected to catch rain water that is funneled to the dam.
Nice evening view before twilight above Wave Rock.
View overseeing the Wave Rock Caravan Park where we stayed overnight.