Wave Rock in Western Australia.


Wave Rock

Top choice in West Coast Australia

The multicolored cresting swell of Wave Rock, 209 miles (336km) east of Perth, formed some 60 million years ago by weathering and water erosion. Streaked with colors created by run-off from local mineral springs, it's actually one edge of a larger granite outcrop called Hyden Rock. It's not gargantuan – just 49ft (15m) high and 360ft (110m) long – but it's nonetheless impressive. And when the wind is whispering in the sheoaks, it's a quietly moving place – as it has always been for the Nyaki-Nyaki people.

Best trails at Wave Rock

To get the most out of Wave Rock, pick up the Walk Trails at Wave Rock and The Humps brochure from the visitor centre. A steep walk leads up around the summit of Hyden Rock, passing a dazzlingly insensitive concrete-block wall built along the crest of Wave Rock to stop stone-surfers from plunging to their deaths (you can't see the wall from the base of the rock). There's another good trail to Hippo's Yawn along a shady half-mile-long track from the base of Wave Rock.

Tickets and information

Parking at Wave Rock is $12 per car (pay at the parking meter); or you can save a few bucks by parking out on Wave Rock Rd or the visitor centre and walking in a few hundred metres – pay pedestrian fees at the caravan-park kiosk.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby West Coast Australia attractions

1. Hippo's Yawn

0.43 MILES

Around 1km east of Wave Rock is Hippo's Yawn, a granite cave eroded from the base of a big orange boulder, which does indeed resemble the gaping jaws of a…

2. Mulka's Cave & the Humps

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Amazing Mulka's Cave is an important Nyaki-Nyaki rock-art site, with 452 recorded stencils and handprints, some produced as recently as 400 years ago…