Wave Rock – Day Trip from Perth

Wave Rock

One of the most bizarre rock formations we have seen on our travels is Wave Rock in Western Australia. Wave Rock is a 14 meter tall and 110 meter long rock formation that looks just like a wave. Erosion has created this strange formation out of granite over the centuries. It’s pretty impressive to stand underneath the massive rock that looks like a giant wave crashing down on you.


Wave Rock
The wave is pretty huge!

From the parking lot it only takes a few minutes to walk to Wave Rock. We were lucky and were virtually the only visitors when we arrived on a Sunday. Try to get there early to avoid the big tour groups coming by bus from Perth in the early afternoon. If you walk to the end of the wave, you can climb up a set of metal stairs to get on top of it. To your right you’ll see a big dam filled with water. There is a short concrete wall to keep people from getting too close to the edge of the wave. Although Wave Rock only really looks impressive from below, the views from the top of it over the area are nice as well and are worth the short detour.

Wave Rock top
The views from the top of Wave Rock are pretty nice. You can see the salt lakes in the distance.

Getting there

You can take the trip to Wave Rock from Perth in a day. Wave Rock is about 340 kilometers from Perth in the Wheatbelt region and it should take you approximately three and a half hours to drive there. Wave Rock is well signposted and easy to find. There is a $12 parking/entry fee which can either be paid at the kiosk or at a machine. Cards are accepted and this is not a national park so the national parks pass does not apply.

If you don’t have your own transport, you may consider going on an organized tour from Perth. These day-tours can be a bit pricey and you’ll be bound to a schedule, so you might consider other options such as renting a car for a day. If you’re planning on staying overnight, there is a campsite right next to Wave Rock. Unpowered sites should be around $25 including the $12 fee for parking/entry. If you’re looking for a free campsite, check out Kwolyin Camp 170 kms from Wave Rock. It’s one of the nicest free campsites we have encountered in Western Australia and worth the detour if you’re traveling between Wave Rock and Perth. Free gas grills, running water with a sink, and flushing toilets are among the many amenities at the free site.

Things to do near Wave Rock

From Wave Rock you can head down a short trail to Hippo’s Yawn, another interesting rock formation. The path to Hippo’s Yawn starts to the left of Wave Rock and leads you through a forest alongside the granite rock. Keep an eye out for echidnas and kangaroos, as those can be spotted in the area. The rocks form something looking like a giant hippo’s mouth and have therefore been given the name Hippo’s Yawn.

Hippo's Yawn
The rocks looks a little bit like a giant hippo’s wide open mouth – hence the name Hippo’s Yawn.
Keep your eyes peeled for one of these cute echidnas, they like to be in open areas near the forest to hunt for termites.

There are a few other things to do only a short drive from Wave Rock. Only a few kilometers further on is Lake Magic, a small salt lake that can appear to be different colors depending on the time of day. We visited in the middle of the day and the lake had a nice soft turquoise color, but others have said it appeared to be bright green. Lake Magic has a tranquil vibe and is worth a quick stopover. You will see a large sign for the lake as you exit the parking lot from Wave Rock. You’ll head toward an airstrip and on to a resort of sorts, which was empty during our visit.

Lake Magic
Lake Magic is a small salt lake near Wave Rock, it was turquoise at the time of our visit but might have a green color at other times.

Another 20kms further on is Mulka’s Cave and the Humps. Mulka’s Cave is a small granite cave where hundreds of aboriginal hand prints have been discovered. The cave is just a short walk from the parking lot and easily accessible. There is an interesting information board outside the cave, telling the aboriginal legend of Mukla, who was said to have lived in the cave. Just inside the entrance of the cave you’ll be able to see the different colored hand prints. There are also a few short walks around the cave and up another huge granite rock.

Mulka's Cave
The path leading to Mulka’s Cave. You’ll have to duck to get inside.
Mulch's cave
A few of the different colored hand prints inside Mulka’ cave. Some were pretty well preserved.

A trip to Wave Rock from Perth was well worth it for us, even though it’s not a short drive. The rock formation looks surreal and unique. In spring you’ll be able to see beautiful wildflowers on the way and surrounding the rock. Try to explore some of the other sights in the area as well, to make the most of the trip and the entry pass.