Head for Hyden to catch one of Australia’s biggest waves – it’s nowhere near the ocean, but it is home to world famous Wave Rock. Over 2,700 million years in the making, the wave rises 15 metres over the outback plain, which becomes a sea of colourful wildflower blooms in spring.
Take a three to four hour drive or a guided day tour from Perth, passing farmland and wheat fields, to Hyden. From there, it’s just a four kilometre drive east to reach Wave Rock and other attractions within the 160 hectare nature reserve, including Hippo’s Yawn and Mulka’s Cave.
The 110 metre long multi-coloured granite cliff of Wave Rock looks like it’s about to crash onto the bush. Pose on the rock face or follow the walk trails around the base and over the top. At sunset, birds burst into song and the sky becomes a riot of colour and sound, creating a unique experience.
Nearby, a collection of over 450 ancient rock paintings cover the walls of Mulka’s Cave, telling the story of a local Aboriginal legend. And from September to December, the surrounding plains are painted with the colours of nature as thousands of varieties of wildflowers come into bloom. You may also spot some of the 40 species of birds that call Wave Rock home.
For encounters of the marsupial kind, head for Hyden’s wildlife park where you’re invited to meet the koalas and rare white kangaroos.
In Hyden, another impressive collection awaits at the Lace Place, which proudly houses the largest collection of lace in the southern hemisphere. Located in the Wildflower Shoppe, pieces include handmade lace from the 1600s and an off-cut from the Princess of Wales’ wedding veil. Other attractions include an 18-hole golf course, a pioneer museum, a toy soldier museum and an observatory. Scenic flights are available, providing aerial views of Wave Rock and the outback plain beyond.
Bakeries, bistros, hotels, fine dining restaurants and cafes cater for every taste, and there’s a good range of options for your overnight stay, with motels and cottages, a backpacker hostel and caravan park.