Facts About Wave Rock Australia – Everything you need to know!

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Last Updated on June 26, 2021 by worldoftravelswithkids

IWave Rock Perth is, without a doubt, one of Western Australia’s iconic destinations!  The huge rock which looks like a wave crashing down is a lot of fun and has been one of Western Australia’s most popular attractions for years.  In fact, I’d say that along with the Pinnacles North of Perth and the Tree Top Walk in the South, Wave Rock Perth should be on your Bucket List.  However, if you are traveling with the family, you’ll also need our tips for Things to do in Wave Rock, Australia!

Rock Waves around the world are places that appear water (or waves) have solidified in time – in Western Australia, The Wave Rock has gained attraction as it seems like a surf wave has been captured in time.

The other famous rock wave is The Wave, Arizona – we’ve provided a little bit of information below comparing the two famous places!

Let’s get started, with some Wave Rock Facts for Kids, which will get you excited for your next trip to Western Australia!

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Facts About Wave Rock For Kids

Facts About Wave Rock In Australia

Where Is Wave Rock Australia Located?

Wave Rock is located in the Wheat belt of Western Australia; some 300km southeast of Perth, the capital of Western Australia.

Facts About Wave Rock For Kids

What Is Wave Rock?

It is a natural rock formed like a tall crashing ocean wave. The “wave” is about 14 m (46 feet) high and around 110 m (360 feet) long.  The gently sloped formation has caused a great deal of interest from both the general public and geologists for many years.

Wave Rock Australia

What Does Wave Rock Perth Have In Common With Other Famous Rocks?

Wave Rock is a granite inselberg that has been weathered over millions of years by wind and rainwater.  Did you know that Australia’s other famous Rock, Uluru/ Ayers Rock is also an Inselberg?  If you are curious about rocks, you’ll love our Uluru Facts For Kids.

How Old Is Wave Rock Western Australia?

The age of Wave Rock is mind-boggling – it is 2.63 billion years old, made of granite, with multi-colored stripes created by the rain washing chemical deposits, carbonates, and iron hydroxide, down the face of the rock, forming vertical stripes of greys reds, and yellows.  The wave-like shape was formed by the gradual erosion of the softer rock beneath the upper edge over many millions of years.

Wave Rock Australia


What Is Wave Rock’s Indigenous History?

In Australian indigenous dreaming (history/stories) the rainbow serpent represents a deity, who gives life as well as creates and destroys nature.   It is believed that the serpent travels from one waterhole to another (where the indigenous people would gather), blessing the people when pleased and causing destruction when enraged.

The local Ballardong indigenous people believe that Wave Rock was created by the Rainbow Serpent when she dragged her swollen body over the land after drinking up all the water.

Wave Rock Australia

How Did Wave Rock Western Australia Become Famous?

It is hard to believe that until the 1960’s Wave Rock did not have an English name.  That all changed when James Hodges, a keen photographer had his photo of the rock feature at New York’s World Fair in 1964.  After the picture was published in the famous National Geographic Magazine tourists began to visit Wave Rock Australia.


How Does Wave Rock Australia Compare To The Wave Arizona?

The Wave Arizona is located in the United States and is on the slopes of the Coyote Buttes in the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness.  It gets its fantastic wave shape from Navajo Sandstone dunes that have calcified both vertically and horizontally, with slow wind and water erosion have created the peculiar and very unique rock wave.

The Wave Arizona began to be formed 190 million years ago.  This makes it much younger than the Wave Rock Perth, which is a very ancient  2.63 billion years old,

Given Wave Rock Australia is located in the outback, it is not inundated with thousands of visitors each day.  On the other hand, to visit Coyote Buttes North (The Wave) you need a permit, which is offered on a lottery system.  The process sounds quite fascinating and it’s not guaranteed you will get a permit to do the hike!

Things To Do In Wave Rock, Hyden, Western Australia

For us, our long-awaited Western Australia winter escape came with a winter blast, a huge front of storms and rain across the state, and temperatures falling below zero overnight in our destination: The Goldfields.   Unfortunately, the terrible weather meant that we didn’t explore Wave Rock’s local area as much as we had planned.  There are plenty of things to do in Hyden and we were bummed.

We traveled from Albany WA to Hyden, specifically for the kids to see Wave Rock WA.  We opted for just one night in Hyden, and from here, we continued onwards to Kalgoorlie and the Goldfields of Western Australia.  If you are interested then don’t miss our post Top 9 Things For Kids In The Goldfields.

From Hyden, the shortest route to Kalgoorlie is via the ‘Southern Cross Road’.  The people at the Caravan Park were confident that it was well maintained, and it probably would be fine for a little car like ours under normal circumstances.  Given it had rained a lot; it probably wasn’t the best idea to go in a non-4WD vehicle.  We made it but it’s worth remembering this is a quite remote area and always check local conditions before heading off on remote roads.

wave rock from perth

Wave Rock From Perth – How To Get There

As Wave Rock is located approximately 300km (Perth to Wave Rock takes about 4 hours to drive) it is necessary to plan your trip well.  Especially if you are planning to visit Wave Rock for Kids, you’ll want to know the best places to take a break.

There are two ways to visit Wave Rock from Perth:

  1. By joining a Wave Rock Perth Tour – These tours are a lot of fun, and often you can combine visiting other places in the one tour.
  2. Self-drive – If you planning to visit Wave Rock with Kids then by far the best option is to self-drive.  This gives you the freedom to stop on the way.

Perth To Wave Rock Itinerary

It is about 3.5 hours from Perth to Wave Rock which is in the middle of sheep and wheat country.  That means a long drive with lots of wheat and sheep fields in between.  After a while, the scenery might not be the best for kids.   When planning your Perth to Wave Rock itinerary, take a look at our map and decide what route you would like to take to get from Wave Rock to Perth.  Essentially you can make a loop itinerary

  • Stop in York. We have heard that there is plenty to do.  There is the York Ice Cream Co, the Residency Museum (complete with a dress-up room!), and a playground.
  • Or, take a different route.  The Tin Horse Highway at Kulin is a seriously funny 20km stretch of road outside the rural town of Kulin.
  • Don’t miss the Dog Cemetery in Corrigin!

If you would rather leave the driving to someone else, then perhaps a Wave Rock day tour from Perth is a great option.


Top Tips For A Visit To Wave Rock (With Or Without Kids)

Facts About Wave Rock For Kids

Stay Overnight In Hyden Accommodation

There is not much to choose from in the way of Wave Rock accommodation.  We stayed the night in a cabin in the Wave Rock Cabins & Caravan Park – it was about 100m from Wave Rock itself.

We stayed in a self-contained cabin that was rustic but was clean and comfy and provided an affordable place to stay the night.  It had a small kitchen and living area, plus a separate bedroom and bathroom.  We brought food with us and were able to cook a simple dinner and breakfast.  The rate includes entry to Wave Rock.

For most of the summer expect hot conditions around Wave Rock.  You will be glad of the swimming pool for the kids to splash around in.  This was one of the fun things to do at Wave Rock in Hyden.  For more information on Wave Rock accommodation read our summary of the options below.

Wave Rock With Kids

Visit Wave Rock Perth At Different Times Of The Day

One of the advantages of staying near Wave Rock (either at the Wave Rock Caravan Park or the Wave Rock Resort) is that you can visit the rock at different times of day for great photography.  For example, Wave Rock itself becomes a deep red at sunset and offers stunning photography.  Or better still climb up on top of the rock for great sunset pictures.  Taking pictures is one of the most fun things to do at Wave Rock.

Wave Rock With Kids

Do Some Walking

If you wanted to save your Wave Rock visit for the next day, you could choose a sunset walk at Lake Magic.  Lake Magis is also a short walk from the Caravan Park.  As salt lakes go, it is fairly normal.  However, if you make the effort for sunrise or sunset you can take fantastic pictures as the color changes as the sun comes up or goes down.  Kids love running along the shores of the lake after a long day in the car.

For the actual visit to Wave Rock with kids, there is a 3km plus meandering hike through the rocks and salt lakes.  It takes in the famous Hippos Yawn as well as going up onto the rock and seeing the town’s water supply.

hippo's yawn wave rock australia

Don’t Miss the Hippo’s Yawn

Whether you choose to drive or walk the kids absolutely loved Hippo’s Yawn.

We actually ditched our plans for the 3km hike through the rocks and salt lakes due to the freezing winter weather.  Instead, we took the short walk to Wave Rock and the temperature hitting at just 5 degrees for the visit.  Master 2.5 was making his displeasure felt.  He refused to walk so Dadda and Miss 6 decided to do the walk to the Hippos Yawn while Mumma drove the young guy around.

We waited at the Hippos Yawn and waited.  Called Coo-ee and called some more.  After the longest time, miss M emerged with her father hobbling behind.  Turned out they’d had to wade through knee-high water most of the way.  The old fella with soft feet was finding it hard to walk with numb toes.  Still, it was an adventure and total highlight for the day.

Miniature Soldiers, Lace Display, And Wildlife Park

These are all contained in one area, just near the gate to Wave Rock.

There is the Miniature Soldier Museum.  The museum is best for those who are military buffs or like to see depictions of battles.  However, even if you aren’t military-minded the toy soldiers are still worth a look.

The Lace Place just next door is also beautiful and interesting with an enormous amount of lace and garments on display.  Don’t miss the beautiful bridal gowns.

The Wave Rock Wildlife Park is best not compared to other wildlife parks; it is quite humble with not a lot to see. However, it does give you a chance to get up close with the kangaroos.

Wave Rock With Kids

Wildflower Season Around Wave Rock & Hyden WA

The Western Australian Wildlife Season starts in late August and is normally at its peak in September!  Hyden would be gorgeous during the season.  We enjoyed the canola fields in mid-winter.  However, we are sure that during the Wildflower season it would be truly spectacular.  Do your research if you plan to visit Western Australia in springtime.  You get to see some beautiful Wildflowers!

wave rock from perth

Float In A Salt Pool

Next door to Lake Magic and the Wave Rock Resort is a salt pool.  It was constructed by a local some time ago.  It’s very deep (about 6m) with a gypsum base.  Given the high salt content it means you float very easily, like in the Dead Sea.  The high salt content is supposed to provide health benefits!

wave rock resort

Other Places To See Around Wave Rock Western Australia

Apart from the different things to do around Wave Rock, there are some interesting attractions to the North of Wave Rock on the ‘Southern Cross Road’.

The road was very corrugated.  It was not particularly well maintained on the way to Mulka’s Cave.  For us, it was a short visit as we saw some Aboriginal hand paintings, and some ’gnamma holes’ (water pools) nearby.

If you are comfortable doing a bush hike, clambering over some rocks then there are some rocks called the Humps.  They are about a 1-hour walk around the top of the rock with rock pools, small vegetation areas, weathered rock sculptures, and great views.  There is even a smaller version of the ‘wave ‘near the cave.

Wave Rock & Hyden Accommodation

Wave Rock Hyden is really located in the middle of the Australian bush.  As such, there are not a lot of Wave Rock Accommodation options.

Wave Rock Caravan Park

Wave Rock Accommodation

We stayed at the Wave Rock Caravan Park (pics and review above).

Wave Rock Motel

The Wave Rock Motel is a typical country motel.  Which means it provides you with a clean room and a good night’s sleep.  The bathrooms have been refurbished, but otherwise, reviews indicate it is dated but a good value.  There is a swimming pool which is great for the kids on hot days.  While the bar is used for the local community.  If you want to mix with the locals while you enjoy a drink.

Wave Rock Resort

The most popular other Wave Rock Accommodation option is the aptly named Wave Rock Resort which are self-contained brick cottages near Lake Magic.  With two bedrooms, kitchen, lounge, and dining area these are the perfect option for families traveling to Wave Rock. Clean and well maintained.  While Lake Magic sounds so romantic, in reality, it’s a little windswept and wild, and often dry.  On nice evenings you can use the outside barbeques or watch the sunset over the lake.   The saltwater pool is nearby.  So, if you are going for a soak you can then return to your accommodation.  You can also walk the 3.6km walk trail over to Wave Rock.

australia wild flowers

Conclusion – Facts About Wave Rock For Kids

We hope you have enjoyed our Facts about Wave Rock for kids.  As well as our bonus section which covers the best of Wave Rock for kids.  Including what there is to do and see and how to get the best out of your visit.  Would you like to visit Wave Rock Western Australia?  Which of our Wave Rock Facts interested you most?


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Facts About Wave Rock Australia - Everything you need to know!







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Hi! We are a multicultural family from Peru, Nicaragua & Australia. We believe adventures can be global – and local – and are one part of our sustainable lifestyle, and raising children who are global eco-citizens.