After 6 months of city dwelling, it was definitely time to get out bush for a few days – but where to go? We opened our West Australian atlas (old-fashioned but the geography doesn’t change much around here!) with the challenge of finding a place that:
• neither of us had visited before – quite hard as Ian was born and bred in WA
• within 4-5 hours travel time from Perth
Within 3 minutes we found the perfect spot in the Wheatbelt region – Wave Rock, only 326 kms away, with a caravan park 2 km away from Hyden.
And what an amazing landform it is. An enormous granite rock 15 metres high (same as a 3 story apartment) and 110 metres long. It has been beautifully sculpted over many millenia into the wave shape that makes you want to get your surfboard out!
The rock walls are stained in bright orange and black from the chemical reactions caused when water drips slowly over the tiny mosses, lichens and algae on the rockface.
Just loved Hippo’s Yawn – perfect name!
Many trips and walks have been designed to explore the area, and most of these are included in the ‘Granite and Woodlands Discovery Trail‘, a useful resource booklet for visitors.
We drove out to Mulka’s Cave and The Humps…. the name Mulka’s Cave comes from an Aboriginal Legend believe to be associated with the cave. Mulka was the illegal son of a woman who fell in love with a man with whom marriage was forbidden. The legend is complicated and violent, but is there to try to stop ‘wrong-way marriages’ and also to prevent children wandering away from the group. Note the rock art on the walls below:
Hyden is a terrific town to visit
• a good pub with mallee roots on the fire, and local wines (that doesn’t happen everywhere) including a nice bottle of Shiraz from nearby Lake Grace
• excellent meat from Hyden Quality Butchers – lots of envious people were sniffing the air when we cooked our favourite lamb shank recipe for dinner on Saturday evening out at the caravan park!
• the Living Art Sculptures were inspirational. This is a clever ‘walk through history’ created by local people, using old machinery and metal junk to tell the story of Hyden.
As in most country towns, shops are not open on Saturday afternoon or Sunday so that local people can ‘get a life’.
All in all it was a very refreshing break and great to get back on the road again! Happy to answer any questions people may have about this region, or hear your own stories.