Not only is Wave Rock the most unique formation you’ll ever see, it’s also one of Western Australia’s most famous natural landmarks. The drive from Perth to Wave Rock takes four hours and passes through the scenic wheatbelt region along the way. A weekend trip to Wave Rock offers the perfect intro the Australian outback and a fascinating insight into Indigenous culture and history.
You might be wondering if Wave Rock is the only attraction in this area. You’ll be pleased to know there are plenty of fun things to do in Hyden that make your drive to Wave Rock worthwhile. The small wheatbelt town of Hyden is home to a number of fascinating natural formations, museums and even a wildlife park!
A visit to Wave Rock makes an excellent stop on your Perth to Esperance road trip but it’s also a great weekend getaway from Perth. I’ve created this 2-day Perth to Wave Rock road trip guide to help you plan your perfect weekend escape.
In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know including the best Wave Rock tours, what to pack, where to stay in Hyden and all of the attractions that you shouldn’t miss.
Table of Contents
Perth to Wave Rock Road Trip – The Perfect 2-Day Adventure
Perth to Hyden Tours
If you don’t feel like driving to Wave Rock on your own, the following tours make it a care-free and easy experience. Everything is already planned for you, transportation and accommodation is included, and the only thing you have to worry about is having fun!
2-Day Wave Rock & Aboriginal Experience – This 2 day tour from Perth brings you to Wave Rock via the historic town of York. On day 1 you will stop in York and have some time to explore the town followed by a visit to the Wave Rock Wildlife Park, the Lace Place and the Miniature Soldier Museum.
On day 2 you’ll visit the Hippo’s Yawn, Wave Rock and Mulka’s Cave before returning to Perth. This tour includes admission to all museums/attractions, 1 night of accommodation in Hyden, breakfast, 2 lunches, dinner, and an experienced tour guide. If you’d like to follow our 2-day Wave Rock road trip itinerary but don’t have a car, this is an excellent alternative.
1-Day Wave Rock & Wildflower Tour – Pressed for time but still want to see Wave Rock? This popular tour is a condensed version of the above. Keep in mind that there will be a lot of time spent sitting in the bus as this tour aims to see everything in one day. The full day trip from Perth lasts for 12.5 hrs.
On the way to Hyden you will stop in York for morning tea. Upon arrival in Hyden you’ll be taken to see the Hippo’s Yawn, Wave Rock, the Humps and Mulka’s Cave, stopping for a country-style lunch in between. The tour includes lunch, transportation, tour guide, entry fees to all attractions and hotel pick up/drop off in Perth.
Where to Stay in Hyden
Wave Rock Caravan Park – If you’re camping or travelling in a caravan then this is where you should plan to stay. This caravan park is perfectly located right next to Wave Rock. Being so close means that you can enjoy a peaceful morning at Wave Rock before the tour busses arrive from Perth.
You will have the choice of booking a powered/unpowered campsite or a self-contained cabin. The facilities include a swimming pool, BBQs, kids playground, washing machines and more. It’s also a short walk from the museums, Wildlife Park and Wave Rock Café.
Wave Rock Hotel – This popular hotel is only 5km from Wave Rock and features a gym, swimming pool, spa and two restaurants. We spent a night here on our last visit to Wave Rock and had a great stay. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, the food at the the Bush Bistro buffet is delicious and it’s located near all Hyden attractions.
Wave Rock Resort – Set next to the picturesque Lake Magic, these self contained villas offer a peaceful weekend escape. Surrounded by nature, this is a particularly nice spot to enjoy a glass of wine and watch the sunset. You’ll have easy access to Wave Rock and the Salt Baths where you can unwind with a relaxing float. Entry to Wave Rock is included in your stay.
Where to Hire a Car in Perth
Check out the best prices for hire cars in Perth using the form below. No matter where in the world we travel, we always use this search tool to find the best price between various operators. They have an option to include full insurance with no excess, which is highly recommended.
The Best Travel Insurance for Australian Road Trips
If you are travelling to Australia from overseas then make sure you have good travel insurance before hitting the road. We use Heymondo when we travel as it’s perfect for adventures such as hiking, surfing, road tripping etc.
For peace of mind while abroad, Heymondo is one of the most reputable travel insurance companies that will provide you with simple and flexible coverage. Whether you are into adventurous activities or simply looking for trip cancellation and basic medical insurance, Heymondo has you covered.
As a reader of The Road Is Life, you get 5% off your Heymondo travel insurance by using the link below!
Essential Items to Pack for Your Wave Rock Road Trip
The weather in Australia’s outback can vary depending on the season. If you’re planning to visit Wave Rock during summer (November – February), you should prepare for lots of sun and 30+ degree temperatures. Don’t forget to pack the following road trip essentials!
Perth to Wave Rock Road Trip – Day One
Aim to leave Perth in the morning and begin the 4 hour drive east toward Hyden. Along the way you will want to stop to stretch your legs and grab a coffee and some food. After 2.5 hrs of driving, you’ll reach the small wheatbelt town of Corrigin.
This makes a good place to break up the drive and grab some lunch at one of the local restaurants or cafes. From there, it’s smooth sailing to Hyden with just over 1 hr of driving to go.
Wave Rock – There’s no better way to kick off your weekend in Hyden than heading straight over to Wave Rock. This natural formation is truly mind blowing, there are few places in the world where you can find a giant wave in the middle of the desert!
The history of this impressive rock formation goes back nearly 3 million years. Take a walk around the base of the rock to learn about how the wave was formed by reading the various signposts. Make your way to the top of the wave for an equally awesome view over the surrounding countryside.
Don’t forget to capture that quintessential standing under/riding the wave shot before you go! If you visit Wave Rock during spring, you’ll be able to see many beautiful and rare wildflowers growing around the base of the rock. From September to December wildflowers bring this area to life painting the fields in bright colours.
For a really special experience, I would recommend heading over to Wave Rock to watch the sunset. If you’re lucky, you will catch the sky light up in brilliant colours above the rock while the many birds that call this area home fill the air with their song. Stay for a while longer and watch the stars come out for an extra magical time.
Tickets – $12/vehicle
Hippo’s Yawn – Next to Wave Rock, you’ll find the start of an easy 1km loop path that takes you to the Hippo’s Yawn. This remarkable granite rock formation strangely resembles a very large hippo opening its mouth. It’s definitely worth making the effort to see, especially since you’ll be able to capture a unique photo standing inside the mouth!
If you’d prefer to drive there instead of walking, vehicle access is also provided and there is a carpark available too.
Mulka’s Cave – For many hundreds of years, Indigenous Australians have called Wave Rock and the surrounding area home. Evidence of this can be found within Mulka’s Cave, just a 15 minute drive from Wave Rock.
Step into the cave to see the ancient rock art that covers the inside walls depicting Aboriginal stories and legends. The cave itself is actually named after a local legend. It is said that a giant named Mulka inhabited the cave and left imprints of his large hands which can still be seen today.
The Humps – Not far from Mulka’s Cave, the Humps are yet another unique rock formation to see. For those who would like to explore more of the bushland, there are several walking trails to choose from.
Gnamma Trail: This easy and flat 1.2km loop trail takes less than an hour to complete. Along the trail, informative signs tell you about the history of the landscape featuring illustrations of the Noongar elders.
Kalari Trail: A well marked 1.8km path brings you to the top of the Humps for an awesome view of the surrounding landscape. This trail is classed as Grade 3 difficulty as it’s pretty steep in some areas.
Perth to Wave Rock Road Trip – Day Two
Before beginning day two of the road trip, start your day with some breakfast and a coffee at the Bush Bakehouse Cafe in Hyden. This cafe has great reviews and we really enjoyed the food there on our most recent visit to Hyden.
Spend the rest of the morning seeing the highlights of Hyden listed below before making the 4 hr drive back to Perth.
Tickets for the museums and wildlife park can be purchased at the Wave Rock Kiosk. You can buy tickets for each individual museum or purchase the Gold Pass for $20 which covers the Wildlife Park, Lace Place, Miniature Soldier Museum and Pioneer Town.
Lake Magic – This fascinating lake really lives up to its name. The presence of salt and minerals causes the lake to change colours. At certain times of day it might appear yellow, green or even white. Lake Magic is a stunning place to watch the sunrise or sunset and offers some fantastic photo opportunities.
Salt Bath – If you’ve ever wanted to experience the sensation of floating effortlessly in salt water, you’re in luck. You’ll find this unique man-made salt pool only 800m from Wave Rock, right next to Lake Magic. With similarities to the Dead Sea, the gypsum minerals present in the water are said to provide therapeutic benefits.
Wave Rock Wildlife Park – I bet you didn’t expect to find a large wildlife park within walking distance from Wave Rock! Head inside to find all of the iconic Aussie animals such as kangaroos, koalas, cockatoos, emus, camels, wombats and many more. Grab some lunch at Wave Rock Café before or after your visit to the park.
Tickets: $15/adult, $7.50/child
Pioneer Town – Take a step back in time to discover the pioneer history of the wheatbelt region. The museum’s displays feature antique collections and memorabilia dating as far back as the year 1870. Have a look through the historic photo albums to see some of Hyden’s very first residents.
Miniature Soldier Museum – Check out this collection of over 10,000 toy soldiers arranged to show a series of the world’s many wars. You’ll see the Napoleonic War, Russian War, both World Wars and even the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
Lace Place – Admire the largest collection of lace in the southern hemisphere! This beautiful display of antique wedding dresses and lace gowns dates as far back as the 1600’s.
Hyden Street Scape Art – On the way out of town you’ll drive past a row of sculptures made from scrap metal and old farming machinery. These fascinating works of art tell stories of Hyden’s past from the pioneer days of the early 1900’s to the present day.
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