Perth August & December 2018 - Day 16
York to Hyden
From York we headed south to the Dryandra Woodland, a nature reserve that had been recommended by several websites. It has a large area of gum forest being restored after earlier logging, and several intersting walking trails, but we did not have the time to do it justice so we moved on. We followed the main highway south to Wagin where we stopped for a coffee and muffin before turning east. We passed Tarin Rock and then went north to meet Highway 40 and east to Hyden. At Hyden is Wave Rock, a strange outcrop of granite that has been reoded into a curved shape resembling a breaking wave. We walkedaround the area before returning to Hyden and the Wave Rock Motel - the only accommodation in the area: and don't they know it. The motel units provided accommodation of the night but they were in need of refurbishment. Without competition it is unlikely that much will chane. Attached to the motel is a restaurant - typically laid back in outback Australian style but the food was good. The best way to eat was to select your choice of meat and cook it how you liked on the indoor hot plates. Plenty to go with the meat including a good selection of salads. Some reviews have been critical of the food and having to cook it yourself but we found it the best part of the whole stay at the Hyden motel. .
The Dryandra Woodland was not well signposted, in fact there were no signs until we had actually entered the area. Then there was a useful map and information board. We drove around Dryandra, not sure what we were looking for. There was an abundance of wildflowers but the main purpose of the area seems to be a camp for groups from Perth. So we moved on south to Wagin, whose claim to fame is a giant ram.
Wagin is a rural town about 225km southeast of Perth. It lies on the Great Southern Highway and also the main rail line. The town was built after the railway was completed in 1889 and today services the wheat and sheep industries. The name of the town derives from the Aboriginal word for the local lake - Waitjen - meaning Emu watering hole. We stopped at Wagin for coffee and to view the giant ram statue at the Wetlands Park.
Hyden and Wave Rock
After leaving Wagin we drove east then north to Hyden. We reached the Wave Rock Reserve in mid-afternoon, paid our parking and entrance fees at the machine in the car park and wandered off to find the wave. Within a few minutes we found the rock, and despite the large number of cars and tour buses in the area, we had the whole rock to ourselves for a few minutes. A well worn trail ten takes you around the base of the rock to "Hippo's Yawn", a shallow cave in the rock that with some immagination could resemble a hippo's mouth. Whilst walking around a guided tour group passed us with the guide pointing out the occasional rare orchid flowers. Now that we knew what to look for we found more of them.
After walking around Wave Rock we drove back to Hyden and to the Wave Rock Motel.It is the only accommodation and eating establishment in the town so we did not have much choice. The accommodation had seen better days but it was functional and the bed was comfortable. Dinner was a cook-your-own affair but the steaks were excellent.
Last updated: 20/02/2019