Perth Bucket List: Wave Rock & Hippo’s Yawn

A month ago we went on a road trip and headed south-east of the City into what is called Australia’s Golden Outback. This portion of the Golden Outback is referred to as the Wheatbelt area of Western Australia, where you can find rolling fields as far as the eye can see. It is also where you’ll see some amazing geological formations. About a three hour and forty minute drive from Perth is the town of Hyden (Hy-den not Hayden), and here you will find Wave Rock and Hippo’s Yawn!

IMG_3952The rock extends out and over you, and it really is massive!

To me these two places were so worth the long drive out. I was absolutely awed by the enormity of these geological formations. Both are literally what they sound like. Wave Rock is a formation caused by the undercutting of erosion and water seepage, and has been dated to over 27 million years old. Being there is amazing, Wave Rock is 360 feet long and 50 feet tall, and essentially looks like a crashing wave! You can also walk along the top of Wave Rock (there is a safety barrier, please do not go beyond this, the rock is SUPER slippery), and the view from the top is pretty amazing. Once you come back down, Hippo’s Yawn is a kilometer down the road from Wave Rock (or a 25 minute leisurely walk along the bush path that can be accessed from Wave Rock), and to me was the highlight of the trip. It actually looks like a hippo yawning (as you can see)!

IMG_0888 copyThe variation of colours in the rock is also really neat, very representative of Australia’s earth colours – red, orange, and yellow dirt and sand!

There are a number of other things that you can see in the area – we were going to stay with our friends (another 2.5 hours down the road) so we didn’t stick around to see it all. There is a boardwalk along Lake Magic (salt lake), Mulka’s Cave, the Humps, and a number of small attractions such as museums, Aboriginal art, and a wildlife park. You could definitely make a weekend out of it by leaving Perth early on Saturday, staying the night, and coming back on Sunday. Or you could add it as a stop along the way if you are heading south to Albany.

IMG_3950It was way taller and longer than we both imagined, and it was fun to try and sit as high up on the curve as you could. Hard not to slide down though!

When we went it wasn’t too busy, so we were able to get photos without any other tourists, though we did have to wait a few minutes to get ‘our turn.’ This was in late September (spring time here), and the weather was great. At this time it is also super lush (compared to mid-summer), and there are tons of wildflowers!

GuideA note on the admission – this is a per car fee. It appeared to us that many people did not pay to park in the lot and access Wave Rock. To me however, I don’t see paying as an option because in order for these places to stay maintained and open to the public they need the funds from payment. Please pay even if you see others ignoring the signs. At other times of the year they may have more enforcement as well.

Well, one more trip ticked off our Perth Bucket List! If you have the time I would definitely recommend heading out to see Wave Rock and Hippo’s Yawn!

If you’d like more information visit the website:

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