By Jocelyn Watts
Climbing Wave Rock during a fly plague and with the mercury hitting 41 degrees wasn’t the best decision we made on our trip to Western Australia.
In hindsight, visiting the spectacular granite cliff at Hyden, 340km east of Perth, would have been better in the cool of winter or during spring when wildflowers produce carpets of colour over the surrounding landscape.
Instead, with the grey nomad lifestyle still some years away and only a short timeframe now in which to see the south-west corner of the state, hubby and I high-tailed it for Wave Rock soon after our flight touched down in Perth.
Arriving at Hyden about 4pm, we checked into our caravan park cabin and headed straight for the rock, a mere 150 metres from the door.
Hikers descending from Wave Rock swatting flies and wiping sweat from their brows didn’t faze us but, after our trek to the top, hubby joked that he wouldn’t be needing dinner … he’d already swallowed enough flies.
A repeat run at dawn, before the flies had risen for another day of torment, was more enjoyable and gave us time to appreciate the unique foundation.
Wave Rock is 15 metres high, 110 metres long and its shape has been caused by weathering and water erosion, which has undercut the base and left a rounded overhang. In 1960, crystals from the rock were dated as being 2700 million years old, among the oldest in the Australia.
About 1.5km from Wave Rock is another unusually shaped outcrop known as Hippos Yawn, the second most visited site in the area.
Nearby, stones used by Aborigines have been found at early campsites and painted hand marks could still be seen on rocks at the Humps.
A short walk from Wave Rock, a museum housed items dating from the 1870s. Tabacco tins, cigars and a bottle collection gave fascinating insights into early life in the outback.
The Lace Place took us back in time with its exquisite wedding dress collection, gramophone display, vintage cars and a buggy.
A wildlife park introduced visitors to kangaroos, wallabies and wombats. Meals were available at the kiosk and country kitchen.
Visiting Wave Rock was worth the near 700km round drive from Perth, but like most things in life, timing was everything.