Sunday, 11 November 2012

A - Z of Australia - R is for Rocks

I thought of writing about Rottnest Island, is it is for sure my favourite "R" in Western Australia, but I have already written about it under Islands.
There is "Rockingham", a coastal town around 50km south of Perth, where the ferry to Penguin Island departs from, but apart from that there is not much more that would merit a post.
Well what about "Rocks"? They are certainly in abundance all over Australia, big rocks, small rocks, rocks that are considered let´s start with the ones I have visited!

Wave Rock - situated in Hyden, a small town about 300km southeast of Perth, this is a popular tourist spot. This grey and red granite rock formed 2,700 million years ago, which scientists believe was created by the weather, water and chemical erosion, is shaped like an ocean wave, 15mt high and about 110mt long. It is located within the 160 hectare Hyden Wildlife park, and you can wander the park to watch birds and native animals - home to the rare white kangaroo, visit the Mulka cave and Hyppo´s Yawn or drive to the rabbit proof fence. During Spring the area is covered with wildflowers.

To get there, you can either drive from Perth, take a twice a week public bus or a tourist coach, or even fly from Jandakot airport.

My husband and I below the Wave. You can also walk to the top of the wave.

Hypo´s Yawn - another natural creation near Wave Rock, this rock resembles the mouth a yawning hippo.
Nearby is a coffee shop and you can buy a souvenir from the Wildflower shop.

My husband and I inside the Hippo´s mouth
Mulka Caves (Bates caves) - just a 18km drive from Wave Rock is Mulka´s cave, a granite rock with a small cave whose walls and ceiling are covered with Aboriginal paintings done about 30,000 years ago.

There is an Aboriginal legend associated with these caves - Mulka, was the illegal son of a woman who fell in love with a man with whom marriage she was forbidden to marry. Because she broke the rules, she bore a son with crossed eyes. This prevented him from aiming a spear and becoming a successful hunter. Out of frustration, Mulka started catching and eating children, becoming the terror of the area. When his mother berated him, he killed her too. He fled south and was tracked down and speared. As he didn´t deserve a proper burial, his body was left to the ants.
Rabbit Proof Fence  - Not a rock, but since it is in the area, and also starts with an R, visit the fence. There are 3 fences built between 1901 and 1907, with a total of 3253km, used to keep rabbits of the Western Australia´s cultivated areas. 
As a point of interest there was a movie made in 2002, called "Rabbit Proof Fence" based on a book by Doris Pilkington Garimara, which tells the story of 3 Aboriginal girls in the 1930´s, who had been taken from their parents as part of the "Stolen Generation" to a mission in Moore River, and when they escaped they followed the fence to walk back to their family in Jigalong.

Pinnacles - situated in the Nambung National Park, just outside the coastal town of Cervantes, these lunar like limestone rock formations were also formed millions of years ago. Only opened to the public in the 1960´s, the area is now visited by over 250,000 people a year.
Located about 245km north of Perth, via the Indian Ocean Drive, you can either drive, or take a tour bus to the area. 
There is a lookout from where you can see an extensive area of these rock formations - the highest stones reaching 5mt high - there is a walking trail or you can drive along the scenic drive, and get out and touch the rocks.
Visit the Pinnacles Discovery Centre and see the story in displays as well as an insight into the plants and animals that have made this area their home. There are plenty of wild kangaroos and some emus roaming around too. 
The best time to visit would be Spring, as the wildflowers are blooming and the days are mild.
A sea of rocks of all sizes, taken from the lookout
At sundown, I stand against one of the huge rocks
Some of the kangaroos we saw - they run away if you get close
Kalbarri - 590km north of Perth, at the mouth of the Murchison river is the small town of Kalbarri, named after an Aboriginal man from the Murchison tribe, and also the name of an edible seed.
The town is now geared toward tourism and fishing, with about 200,000 thousand tourists a year visiting the town´s main attractions - the Kalbarri national park with the "Z Bend" and "Nature´s window", Murchison river gorge, the daily feeding of the pelicans and the Australian Parrot Breeding centre where you can interact the the birds. There are some lovely beaches, but it was winter when we visited, so they were deserted.

Rock formations looking down into the Murchison River (dry at the time)

Nature´s window - it´s a steep downhill walk to get there, but worthwhile.

Elephant´s Rocks - some interesting rocks this time down south, in the town of Denmark, 450km from Perth.
In one of my favourite beaches in Australia (and I´m not much of a beach person!), these granite rocks resemble elephants from certain angles.
They sit in a sheltered bay and are well worth the visit, as well as nearby Green´s Pool.
There is a car park and as you stroll down the pathway you can just make out the elephants in the Southern Ocean.

My husband on top of one of the "elephants"
You can go down a wooden staircase between the rocks into the little Elephants cove beach, but you are are bound to get wet if the tide is high, but you get a beautiful view of the rocks from down below.
The waters are usually very calm in this area

My brother in law, myself and my sister at Elephants cove
What was your favourite rock?
Do you have interesting rock formations around your area?

So just to end the post, I wanted to relate something I once overheard a tourist ask at the Tourist information centre, and I thought it was funny, as only people that live here can relate to the vastness of this country!
He wanted to know if he could visit both the Pinnacles and Wave Rock in the same day, and he was being told that it would be almost impossible. He would have to drive north 245km, then return to Perth and drive east 300km and return to Perth, making it almost 1100km round trip in a day, taking probably around 12 or 13 hours! A very tiring trip to visit some rocks!


  1. Wow, nice spots in there. I could say that it is really a great place :)
    Pinnacles desert tour

  2. Great and amazing photos you have here, Sami. I wish I could be there to see it in person. Fantastic! :-)

  3. Thanks Mystery girl and Sandra.
    Some of these spots are really beautiful!

  4. Que série de cenários fantásticos! Alguns são absolutamente incríveis. Óptimas fotos.

  5. I am so glad you wrote about rocks! My family (father is a hyrdrogeologist) has a long history of collecting rocks. I even got engaged under a natural rock arch in Sedona. I'd love to see these one day.

  6. Lovely Light: Well, with your love of rocks, then you would certainly love these rocks, some are really huge and amazing.

  7. Fabulous series of images Sami, I remember going on a school excursion to Wave Rock when my two were younger, very impressive. I haven't been to the Pinnacles yet, one of these days.

  8. Thanks Grace. The Pinnacles area deserves a visit too.

  9. Olá Srª Sami, como vai?

    Que lugar esplêndido.

    Se possível, coloque mais fotos desse nosso mundão.

    Um abraço, e até mais.

  10. Wow, some amazing shots there Sami; we certainly live in a fascinating and beautiful country, and you show it off so well in your post. I hope to get to some of these places one day.

  11. You show off our country so well, Sami, it makes me proud. They are fantastic shots, and I hope to visit them one of these days!

  12. Thanks Barb, some impressive rocks for sure!

  13. wow there are some great rocks in aust, but the wave was my fave!!

  14. Thanks for visiting Gregory. You have a super cool blog with great photo tips.


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