'There's nothing like staring at the greatness of Wave Rock, formed 2700 million years ago. What's more, I'm standing at its slope of granite!'
Seeing the geological grandeur of Wave Rock, near Hyden, was one of many great experiences on Kian Hou’s backpacking adventure through the south-west of Western Australia. Spotting humpback whales from the coastal city of Albany was also a highlight for Kian Hou, who travelled with two male friends from Kuala Lumpur.
“We started from Perth, but had very little itinerary planned beforehand because we’re all casual men. After touching down in Perth, we rented a car and headed east to Hyden, and then down south to Albany. We then travelled west along the coast, before completing the square up to Perth,” Kian Hou said.
Their journey followed much of the South-West, Beaches and Goldfields Drive, a longer eight-day loop that also takes in Esperance’s white beaches and the grand old gold town of Kalgoorlie. With less driving time, Kian Hou and his mates were happy to head straight to Hyden, passing rolling farmland and rustic wheatbelt towns on the four-hour trip.
Here the trio saw Wave Rock – the formation that draws thousands of tourists a year to Hyden. Standing 15m high and 110m long, this granite cliff looks remarkably like a huge wave, frozen in motion. Geologists believe the rock has been shaped over 2.7 billion years by the elements.
The area’s other natural rock formations include The Humps, Hippo’s Yawn and Mulka’s Cave, home to a rich collection of Aboriginal rock art. The region is a haven for native birds, and visitors can see rare white kangaroos in the local wildlife park. The scenic 18-hole golf course is open from June to October, and colourful wildflowers cloak the golden plains between September and December. Hyden also has a pioneer museum, observatory and a large collection of lace.
From Hyden, Kian Hou and his friends did the four-hour drive to Albany, which sits on the state’s rugged southern coast. Here they spotted migrating humpback whales, which Kian Hou said was “a new experience for all of us.” The trio spent time soaking up Albany’s scenery – a patchwork of green seas, rock formations, white beaches, tall forests and national parks - before curving up to Perth via the Margaret River Wine Region.
Now back to his normal routine of “school and lectures” in Malaysia, Kian Hou is nostalgic for the relaxed road trip he shared with his friends through Western Australia’s south-west. Next, he’d love to visit the Red Centre or Darwin and the tropical Top End, places where he can go “deep into nature”.
“Australia is such a golden land where you can find everything - cities, friendly people, a harmonious lifestyle, wildlife, nature and the outback. I’m a Malaysian, but my trip to Perth has such an impact on me that I want to do PR for Australia,” he said.