Three hours and 45 minutes west of Perth is Wave Rock in Hyden, Western Australia. As the name suggests, this is a rock. But it’s a very large rock—about 50 feet tall and 360 feet wide—with some pretty cool, stripe-y discoloration. The concave shape was formed by erosion, as the granite here is estimated to be 2,700 million years old. Wave Rock is a popular tourist stop—in part because it’s the only thing to gawk at in the Golden Outback’s endless sea of wheat fields. On a recent visit, we spotted Korean selfie snappers, Chinese teens fussing with a drone, and Indian families scampering up the rock’s dramatically curved surface.
If you have a bit of time, walk the .6-mile loop from Wave Rock to Hippo’s Yawn, a granite tor that looks vaguely like the gaping maw of a sleepy hippopotamus. The longer 2.2-mile Wave Rock Walk Circuit also traverses salt lakes, salmon gum woodlands, and bird nesting sites. It costs $10 bloody AUD ($7.56 USD) to park at the Wave, payable at a meter or manned kiosk. Included in the ticket price is access to the Humps and Mulka’s Cave, 15 minutes north of Wave Rock. The former is another giant rock in the bush, which can be summited at 5,479 feet via the Kalari Trail; the latter is a cave lined with Aboriginal paintings estimated to be about 400 years old. Other cheesy diversions surround the Wave, including a wildlife park, miniature soldier museum, and probably a fudge or ice cream shop if you look hard enough, but don’t pay them any mind. Just get your rock shots and go.
Wave Rock, Hyden, Western Australia, Australia; +61-8-9880-5052.