Hyden – Home of Spectacular Wave Rock
When we reached Hyden, the town where the famous Wave Rock and other tourist spots such as Hippo’s Yawn and Mulka’s Cave are located, my excitement heightened. Because of the same interesting tourist spots, the town became famous to visitors and guests, and being enjoyed with over hundred fifty thousand visitors every year.
Our first stop in Hyden was not far from Wave Rock. We stopped here to have a quick look of the famous rock called Hippo’s Yawn which said to be connected to Wave Rock. Many visitors are curious to see the rock as it is one of the tourist spot to enjoy in the area and a great place for photo souvenir. The name of the rock derived as it is because the rock shape shows its resemblance to the yawning hippopotamus.
After a short visit at Hippo’s Yawn, the next destination of our group was for our lunch. We arrived at the Wildflower Shoppe and Wave Rock Cafe where it consist of many establishments inside of it, all of businesses inside are related to tourism. Its location is just at the other side of Wave Rock Road and incorporates the Wave Rock Visitor Centre, Cafe and Country Kitchen, Wildlife Park, Wildflower and Souvenir Shoppe, Lace Place, and Tours and Airport Booking Office.
Along Wave Rock Road
Our group had pre booked lunch at Country Kitchen where we had a buffet lunch. During lunch, I was able to mingle with other tourists. When I was done with my lunch, I explored the place and found lots of interesting stuff inside it. The shops inside sells different kinds of unique things as souvenirs and gifts.
Model T Ford (1919)
One of the noticeable displays seen inside the Wildflower Shoppe & Wave Rock Cafe is a vintage car that is Model T Ford (1919). The classic vehicle became a great spot for visitors photo souvenir shot where I had one for myself.
Model T Ford (1919)
The entrance of Wave Rock Wildlife Park is in Wildflower Shoppe, I explored it after lunch time. I thought its just like a mini-zoo, but the park is three hectares of natural bush land which nice haven for the native and exotic animals. During the visit, I found an interesting creatures that I haven’t seen by my naked eyes before.
At the Entrance to the Wildlife Park
Bobtail Lizard (Tiliqua rugosa)
I found a little creature called bobtail lizard, while exploring the park and it’s not inside of any fence. I had a chance to see it up close and its like wildlife animal enjoying its freedom. This Tiliqua rugosa which is another name of it is also known as shinglebacks, stumpy tails, pinecone lizards and boggi.
Some of the animals that I was able to capture with my camera in Wildlife Park were black swan, sulphur-crested cockatoos and wombat.
After visiting the Wildlife Park, we returned to our bus to visit Hyden Rock where the Wave Rock can be found. The drive towards the rock was just few minutes from Wildflower Shoppe since it’s just around the corner. We reached the parking lot and then we walked towards Hyden Rock. I was really excited at that time because I knew for myself that in few minutes I will be able to reach and see the main feature of the tour which is the Wave Rock. During the visit in the area, I was able to do Wave Rock Walk and Hyden Rock Walk.
Wave Rock Walk
Looking towards the parking
Looking towards the Wave Rock
The Wave Rock Walk starts from the parking lot up to the Wave Rock itself. Wave Rock is a natural rock formation, a granite cliff with 15 meters high and 110 meters longs with a shape of tall breaking ocean wave. Its shaped has been caused by weathering and water erosion which have undercut the base and left the rounded overhang. It has cultural significance to one of the aboriginal people called Ballardong, and they believed to be created by rainbow serpent (often seen as creator god in aboriginal religions in Australia) when it dragged its swollen body after consuming all the water in the land.
After enjoying the Wave Rock, I had a chance to trek the Hyden Rock following the Hyden Rock Walking Trail which gave me a chance to see more about the rock and its surrounding areas from the top. I enjoyed my time and took a lot of photos including the Lake Magic from a distance and other chain of salt lakes.
Hyden Rock Walk
Walking Trail Towards the top of Hyden Rock
Hyden Dam – are now used as backup to the town water supply
Chain of salt lakes
Lake Magic and The Humps
Some information learned about the said lake are its clear salty water and the its base is made of gypsum which also used as fertilizer. The lake is just 1 km distance from Wave Rock.
From a distance, I had seen what they used to call The Humps where Mulka’s Cave can be found and also features walking trails similar to Hyden Rock.
Lake Magic (at the middle) and The Humps (hill from a distance)
Some parts of Hyden Rocks
Low stone walls above Hyden Rock was built in 1928 to channel water to Hyden Dam, up on the outcrop.
The Humps and Mulka’s Cave
After spending time in Wave Rock, the next destination we visited is what they call “The Humps” which is another similar large granite outcrops exist just 16km distance. It is the location where Mulka’s Cave is located. And the details of the legend of Mulka are displayed.
Old Salmon Gums
The Legend of Mulka
The legend of Mulka has major regional importance. Different aspects focus on different parts of Noongar culture, but the story that follows contains the key elements of the myth:
Mulka was the fruit of love between man and woman with forbidden marriage. He was born with crossed eyes that hinders him to become successful hunter. Because of this, he turned to eat children that caused his community to condemn him. Then, he lived in Mulka’s Cave. He even killed his own mother whom really worried about him. Aboriginal people hunt him down until he was caught in Dumbleyung. They left his body for the ants – a punishment for those who break the law.
“Mulka was the illegitimate son of a woman who fell in love with a man to whom marriage was forbidden. As a result, Mulka was born with crossed eyes. Even though he grew-up to be outstanding man of colossal height, his crossed eyes prevented him from aiming a spear accurately and becoming a successful hunter.
Out of frustration Mulka turned to catching and eating human children, and he became the terror of the district. He lived in Mulka’s Cave, where the impressions of his hands can still be seen much higher than those of an ordinary man.
His mother became increasingly concerned with Mulka, and when she scolded him for his anti-social behaviour, he turned on his own mother and killed her. This disgraced him even more and he fled the cave, heading south.
Aboriginal people were outraged by Mulka’s behaviour and set out to track down the man who had flouted all the rules. They finally caught him near Dumbleyung, 156 km south west of Hyden. Becaue he did not deserve a proper ritual burial, they left his body for the ants – a grim warning to those who break the law”
To Mulka’s Cave
The Art Work of Mulka’s Cave
Below are the excerpt that I got from the information board that I had chance to capture.
Mulka’s Cave contains the largest collection of Aboriginal paintings in the south-west of Western Australia. Hand stencils and other motifs occur quite commonly in the region, but while most other sites have fewer than 20 there are over 450 at Mulka’s Cave. This is a clear indication of the significance of the site and the associated myths that connect the areas from the desert of the coast.
Most of the artwork takes the form of hand stencils. These are made by placing the hand on the rock then blowing over with pigment. When the hand is removed a negative impression remains. The reason for making hand stencils are many, but principally they are a form of signature left by those who had rights to an area.
When the cave was studied through mapping and recording, they were able to summarize the result:
A Summary Of The Artwork In The Cave
1. Total of 452 motifs were recorded – front chamber has 131, main chamber has 318 and rear shelter has 3
2. Eighteen distinct motif types plotted, 69% of total (313 in all)
3. Solid sprayed areas are another feature, while other motifs are small simple graphics.
4. Left hand outnumbered right hand with a ration of 3:2
5. Four different techniques were recorded, with stenciling dominating (86%)
6. Printing for 8%, painting for 5%, and drawing for 1%
7. Seven colors were recorded, purple-red for 50%, white for 25%, orange-red for 10% and the remaining being divided between brown red , yellow, cream and orange.
The Art Work of Mulka’s Cave
Before we finally return to Perth, along Lovering Road near Lake Gounter Nature Reserve before reaching the town center of Hyden we did stop along the way to checkout some wildflowers which only blossom during spring season. And there we found lots of pigface flowers or carpobrotus. The other name used for this flower are ice plant, sour fig, and hottentot fig.
Spending time in Hyden for me was a well worth one. There are other places that I haven’t seen due to time limit that we had. I suggest to spend at least whole day in the town to appreciate it more.
1. Plan to visit Hyden ? Please check latest information here.
2. Location : Hyden, Western Australia, Australia
3. Directions to the town of Hyden:
a. Join Day Tours from Perth or
b. Drive towards Hyden WA 6359, Australia
Official Website : Hyden , Wave Rock