Hyden is one of the many towns littered across Western Australia’s Wheatbelt region and makes a great stop on the drive between Perth and Esperance. The rock and its surroundings are yet another fantastic example of all Australia can offer of the great outdoors.
The drive from Esperance to Perth is long. It takes nine hours driving and longer if you stop for lunch. We like a roadtrip and the few different routes between Perth and Esperance seem to offer little difference by way of the time the drive takes, so we vary it and last time drove via Hyden.
Hyden is a small town of about 300 people 350 kilometres east of Perth. The area was first inhabited by aborigines and then settled by white men in the early nineteenth century. The town lies firmly in the middle of Western Australia’s wheatbelt region and the area has been farmed since 1922.
|Wave Rock, Hyden, WA, Australia|
The star attraction for most visitors to Hyden is Wave Rock, which is an outcrop of rock near town, one face of which resembles an enormous wave. It stands in the middle of bush land and is 15 metres tall and 110 metres long. The shape is the result of years of weathering and erosion. The stripey colouring is caused by water runoff. Wave Rock is impressive, especially up close; I challenge you not to strike a surfing pose!
Across the road from the Wave Rock car park is the Hyden visitor centre / shop / café / pioneer museum. This building is also the access point to Wave Rock Wildlife Park, The Lace Place and the Toy Soldier Fort.
|A weird collection of stuffed birds greets you inside the entrance to Hyden Visitor Centre|
Another interesting local feature is the State Barrier Fence (previously known as the Rabbit Proof Fence) that passes to the east of Hyden. It was erected between 1901 and 1907 to protect agricultural areas of Western Australia from an invasion of rabbits from the eastern states. The fence runs over 1,800 kilometres from Starvation Bay, west of Esperance all the way up to Ninety Mile Beach, east of Port Hedland.
The Wheatbelt comes alive with wildflowers in November – December, so to see the area at its best that would be a great time to visit.