14th October to 15th October
After we left Kal we headed west along the ‘so called’ Great Eastern Highway, which continues on for about 550km into Perth. I say so called because I would definitely not rate the condition of the road as great, more so it was ridiculously bumpy, so much so that we initially thought we had an issue with the car!!!! We weren’t too sure how long today’s drive was going to be as none of our navigation systems would pick up, recognise or even acknowledge the short cut dirt road that we planned to take just before we reached the town of Southern Cross. Thankfully we had our HEMA 4wd maps which helped us along, however we found that the dirt road short cut was in fact a hell of a lot better than the actual highway, all 137kms of it, it was amazing how smooth and in good nick it was. Our destination today was Hyden, or more specifically the infamous Wave Rock. Hyden is a small country town, with the rabbit proof fence passing near by, that has certainly taken advantage of Wave Rock, setting up a caravan park, café, toy soldier museum, airport, resort, wildlife park and The Lace Place ( home to the largest collection of lace in the southern hemisphere……) all within 100 metres of the rock. Wave rock itself is a granite cliff that is 15 metres high and 110 metres long and is shaped and undercut due to effects of weathering and erosion.
We arrived in Hyden mid-afternoon, set up and went out to explore and walk around the rock. We decided to do the first walk to Hippo’s Yawn, then on the way back we decided to keep up today’s tradition and take a short cut, pretty much straight up the side of the rock in the hope that it met up with another one of the walks, as the map clearly showed it did.
Once up the rock we headed in what we thought was the right direction, however we soon ended up on the other side of the rock near a big patch of black grass……..which funnily enough turned out to be the Hyden Golf Course!!!!! Now even though I was holding the map and telling the others which way to go, I blame Nik for getting us ‘apparently’ lost at yet another bloody golf course!!! After we laughed and joked about the headlines for tomorrow’s news of a family of 6 going missing on Hyden Rock, or even recalling scenes from ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’, we managed to find our way back to the correct walk. However, as we were descending down the really steep section at the end of the walk (well we think it was the way to go down, not sure as we were the only ones going that way….) we did notice and comment to each other about the lack of clear signage and directions, perhaps we have been spoilt by the NT maps and signs that were written for dummies and clearly us!!!
After we had come up with what we thought was an ingenious idea we decided to take photos of the girls pretending to surf the rock (tongue in cheek here as I think 9 out of 10 visitors do the same!!), afterwards the girls decided it was hot enough (near the equator somewhere) to go for a swim in the pool, whilst Nik and I spoilt ourselves with a coffee. After being lost for so long in the bush we were thirsty and dehydrated so this was just what the doctor ordered. After our quick stop over at Hyden, which we hadn’t been planning on doing we were back on the road ready for our next adventure and destination on our OZLAP……….