17 More Things to Do in Wave Rock, Hyden

When I mentioned to family and friends that we were off to Wave Rock they asked, “Have you been there?”

“As a child, yes,” I replied.  “Why?”

“There’s nothing out there,” they answered.

Well.  Let me tell you.  There is far more to see than just Wave Rock.  Actually, there are 17 things to do in Wave Rock and surrounds of Hyden, Western Australia.

In this Post About Things to See and Do in Hyden You Will Learn About:

Click to Jump to Your Interest
* The history of Wave Rock
* Things to do at Wave Rock
1. The Wave
2. Hyden Rock
3. The Breakers
4. Hippos Yawn
5. Lake Magic and the circuit walk
6. Mulka’s Cave
7. Gnamma Trail
8. The Kalari Trail
9. Hyden Street Art
10. Wildflower season
11. The Rabbit-Proof Fence
12. Golf
13. Wildflower Shoppe
14. The Lace Place
15. The Miniature Soldier Museum
16. Wave Rock Wildlife Park
17. Pioneer Museum
* Wave Rock location
* Wave Rock accommodation
* What to pack for Wave Rock
* Wave Rock entry fees
The striated naturally formed Wave Rock in Hyden, Western Australia

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Wave Rock History

The granite Wave Rock formation began over two and a half billion years ago with the last 60 million years of weathering causing the wave formation.

You will find many Aboriginal Dreamtime stories relayed on storyboards throughout the area as the Aboriginal Indigenous Australians were the first to inhabit this region.

In 1829 white man settled in Western Australia but it took until the 1920’s before they ventured this far inland – to farm some of the driest pastures in Australia.  During the tree clearing process, Hyden Rock was found and used as a place to camp.

Wave Rock is just part of the greater Hyden Rock named after a young man called Hyde who camped at the rock whilst cutting native sandalwood trees in the 1920’s.  Somehow when Lands Department came to name the rock it was written Hyden Rock.  But, it did not become a tourist attraction until a photo of the wave was entered and won a New York international photo competition in 1963.

This transformed the neighbouring town of Hyden (3km away) from a local farming town into a tourist location.  Now over 100 000 tourists a year come to see Wave Rock.

17 Things to Do in Wave Rock

Walking Trails at Wave Rock

If you pay your entrance fee at the Caravan Park Kiosk you will be provided with free walking trail maps and a car pass.  Alternatively, you can pay to park your car at the ticket machine.  However if like us, you have stayed at the Wave Rock Caravan Park then entrance and the Wave Rock maps are included with your night’s accommodation.

Now you don’t really have to walk all these trails – you could drive from one location to the next, but most of it is an easy stroll on dirt trails.

By the way, there are also lots of toilets at the Wave Rock parking lot, bins for rubbish and doggy poo bags if you forgot to bring your own.  There are no bins (or poo bags) along the walking trails so please be respectful and carry your rubbish back to the car park.


Top Trip Tip
Wear a hat and add water and a camera when packing your day trip bag


1.      The Wave

Ok, so this is what you came to see.  A 15m high, 100m long, wave-shaped granite rock with striating colours of ochre, chocolate, charcoal and fawn.

It’s impressive.  We are here on an overcast day and it still looks magnificent.

Take your time to ogle it from all directions and don’t forget to have surf.

Surfing Wave Rock, Western Australia


Top Trip Tip
Try to visit no later than 9:30am, this is to beat the heat, the tourist buses and day trippers.


2.      Hyden Rock

At the end of the wave, you will find galvanised steel steps up to the top of Hyden Rock.  The trail on top of the rock is well marked out with small steel bollards to follow.  Signage is dotted along the way to advise what you are looking at.  Like:

  • the Hyden dam that serviced the town’s water for many years
  • views over the salt lakes
  • out to the Humps
  • looking over the Hyden gold course
  • all the different flora

One thing I’d like to add here.  Hyden and Wave Rock are dog-friendly however if you are going up Hyden Rock be prepared to carry your dog up the steps as your dog won’t be able to negotiate the steel grate steps.

If you have kids, hold on tight.  There is little to stop your kids running off and over the edge.  You may want to consider something like reigns or a backpack seat carrier*.  Prams aren’t going to work up here either and you will struggle along the dirt trails with a stroller too.


Top Trip Tip
Wear sensible walking shoes


3.      The Breakers

Once you are back down on the ground keep on walking west to the Breakers (there is signage along the trails so you don’t get lost).  I kinda remember the Breakers being a bit more colourful and pretty, but now they are quite dark and charcoal.  Near the Breakers is a large picnic area with car parking, tables, chairs and toilets.

Whilst not as impressive as I remembered it is a short easy 675m walk.  Then turn around and walk back to Wave Rock.

The Breakers near Wave Rock, Hyden

The Breakers

4.      Hippos Yawn Loop

Heading east from Wave Rock is the Hippos Yawn Loop.  The loop is a 1710m walking trail that follows the base of Hyden Rock to Hippos Yawn and then loops back to the Wave Rock carpark through the bush.  If you’ve got the time, take the time and walk the loop, it is quite lovely.

First up I see what I expected to see at the Breakers – rolling small waves of charcoal, chocolate and fawn.

walking along the Hippos yawn Loop Trail near Wave Rock

Along the loop trail

To our left in the bush are clusters of wildflowers.  It is Spring, after one of the wettest winters in Western Australia for many years.  So today we are quite blessed to see the striking mauve bushes and delicate peach, yellow and lavender flowers.

Two thirds along the trail is the Hippos Yawn.  This is where Hyde camped back in the ‘20’s.  It is amazing what nature can create – a large grey hippo’s mouth with the interior a soft white just as if it was the hippo’s palate and a hole right at the back as if you could be swallowed down his throat.

Hippos Yawn near Wave Rock, Western Australia

Hippos Yawn

You’ll also find another car park here and picnic tables.

Walking back through the bush we spot all sorts of wildflowers and there are signs providing information about local wildlife.

When we return to the Wave Rock carpark at 11:30am it is chock a block full.


Top Trip Tip
Be courteous to other travellers, respect one another’s photographic ops.


5.      Wave Rock Walk Circuit: Lake Magic and Salt Lakes

Once you reach Hippos Yawn instead of heading back to the Wave Rock carpark you can continue on to do the Wave Rock circuit.  Alternatively take this 3600m paved walk close to sunset.

The boardwalk takes you over the salt lakes and salt flats in the area.  Salt lakes are formed when water cannot escape due to the area being “terminal” that is, there is no drainage point or plants to absorb the water.

At the halfway mark you will come across Lake Magic it still has water in this lake but with a high concentration of salt.

Lake Magic Hyden looking out to Hyden Rock

Lake Magic


Top Trip Tip
Visit Lake Magic at sunset, perhaps make it the first thing to do on your Wave Rock itinerary on the afternoon that you arrive in Hyden leaving you fresh to do the other walking trails the next day


More Walking Trails Near Hyden

16km from Wave Rock you will find another granite rock called The Humps.  There are two walking trails to explorein this area and Mulka’s Cave.

6.      Mulka’s Cave

From the Humps carpark, a steel walkway leads to Mulks’s Cave.  Storyboards explain the dream story behind the legend of Mulka.

The storyboard at Mulka's cave explaining the legend near Hyden

The legend of Mulka

Inside the cave expect to see over 450 Aboriginal handprints and art.

The steel baordwalk to Mulka's Cave at The Humps near Hyden

The boardwalk to Mulka’s Cave

7.      Gnamma Trail

If you would like to expand on your Indigenous Aboriginal experience follow Gamma Trail along the dirt paths.  Interpretation boards explain the local Noongar Aboriginal Tribe experiences in the area with native flora and fauna.

8.      The Kalari Trail

One such native animal is the lizard (in Noongar – Kalari).  If you follow the 1670m trail up onto the Humps you should expect to see these creatures.

More Outdoors

Can’t get enough of the outdoors?  There’s more.

9.      Hyden Street Art

Back in Hyden town stop by the Hyden Street Art display along the car park on the main street.  A collection of cool and quirk items made from old machinery and scrap metal.  Each statue depicts the characters and history of Hyden.

The Hyden street scape art depicting the yesteryear of Wave Rock WA

Hyden Streetscape Art

10.  Wildflower Season

If you come out in Spring you will be rewarded with wonderful displays of wildflowers.  You’ll get to enjoy them throughout all your road trips in Australia’s Golden Outback and whilst on any of the walking trails.

But don’t think you’ve missed out if it’s not Spring.  There won’t be as many flowers but West Australian natives do flower at varying times of the year.

See Wildflowers at Wave Rock, WA

Wildflowers

11.  The Rabbit-Proof Fence

The Rabbit-Proof Fence is the longest fence in the world.  It was built in the early 1900’s to prevent a plague of rabbits that were making its way across Australia from the east coast.  Two more sections of the fence were built by 1907.

We saw a glimpse of the Rabbit-Proof Fence just passed the town of Corrigin driving to Hyden.  But the best place to see the fence is 50km towards the town of Norseman.


Top Trip Tip
Add this to your road trip Wave Rock itinerary travelling to or from Hyden


12.  Golf

If you pack your golf bag the 18 hole Hyden Golf Course awaits.

Wave Rock Visitors Centre

If you’re still looking for things to do and see in Wave Rock the Wave Rock visitors Centre houses a few attractions.

13.  Wildflower Shoppe

The visitors’ centre is inside the shop.  You’ll find souvenirs of Hyden and Western Australia along with locally made craft and preserves.

14.  The Lace Place

Entrance to the Lace Place is from within the WildFlower Shoppe at $5 per person.  It home to the biggest display of lace anywhere in the world.

15.  The Miniature Soldier Museum

Next door to the Wildflower Shoppe is the Toy Soldier Museum.  Again entrance is $5 per person.  Showcasing over 10 000 handmade pieces that include a toy train display and a Rabbit Proof fence display.

16.  Wave Rock Wildlife Park

This seven-acre property provides you with the opportunity to interact with native Australian animals like wombats, koala, birds, and white kangaroos (which I have never seen before) in their natural environment.  Entry is $12 per adult and $5 per child.

One white kangaroo and one red kangaroo at wave Rock wildlife park

Kangaroos at the Wildlife Park

17.  Pioneer Museum

Across the road, in the caravan park kiosk, you can visit the Pioneer Museum for $4 per person.  It includes a private collection of Australia memorabilia.

Trip Planning Tips: Things to Do in Hyden and Surrounds

Yes, you could be like some of my friends and family who drove all the way out to Wave Rock, stared at it for 15 minutes and drove on.  But seriously it’s a hell of a long drive just to tick off something on your bucket list.

Take a day or two and enjoy all the things to do in Wave Rock and surrounds.  Here’s what you need to know about visiting Hyden, Western Australia.

Wave Rock Location

It will take approximately four hours to drive Perth to Hyden.

We drive to Hyden via the town of York, stopping in this historic town for a lunch break on the river picnic grounds.

On the way home, we drive via Brookton, which is about midway and stopped for a light morning tea to break up the journey.

However many of the people we met whilst staying at the caravan park are taking longer West Australian road trips.

Wave Rock Accommodation

There are three official places to stay in Hyden and Wave Rock.

  1. The Hyden Motel
  2. The Wave Rock Resort
  3. The Wave Rock Caravan Park – this is where we stayed in the onsite cabins. There are also basic caravan sites and ensuite sites plus camping unpowered sites.

Top Trip Tip
Please note free camping at Wave Rock is not permitted.


What to Pack

When packing for your Wave Rock road trip:

If you’ve got kids, check out:

If you take the dog pack:

  • Dog bed
  • Dog food
  • Bowls
  • Leash
  • Poo bags

Grab the FREE Welcome Gift → All these Packing List Printables

Entry Fees

Wave Rock entry fee is $12 per car.  Your car pass then entitles you to park and visit all the other rock attractions and trails.

Most of the museums are $5 per person except the Pioneer Museum which is $4 per person.

The Wildlife Park entry fee is $12 per adult and $5 per child.

More Wave Rock Information

Official Tourism Websites

Official tourism website for the region are:

More Guides

Rock that looks like a face just one of the things to see at Wave Rock, Hyden

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  • We paid our own entry costs.
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the hippos yawn rock at WAveRock in Hyden Western Australia

Lake Magic fenced by iron rail of emusa looking towards Hyden Rock in Western Australia

The rocm shaped like a wave, lake magic, rock shaped like a hippos yawn and a street art sculture - just some of the things to see in Wave Rock

Sally-Ann
Hi, I'm a Perth born and bred travel tips blogger/writer with 20+ years experience in airlines, hospitality and tourism. I love sharing my travel lessons learned to help you plan for your travel dream with my travel tips for trips. Please follow along to receive all my travel planning tips, packing lists and destination inspirations.

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