Monday, August 16, 2010

Let's Go Surfing Now

You would think we would have reflected on our previous driving experience as we made the decision of where to visit on our second trip to Perth. However, the idea of driving 700 kilometers in a day didn't stop me from wanting to visit Wave Rock. I was still in the "we may never have another chance to visit" mode. I am not sure how, but I eventually got Mark to agree to make the long trip. It was probably because I threatened to do it on my own during the week on a tour, and he didn't want to miss out on something great. However, he continued to feel that traveling such large distance, so I could take a  photo of me surfing in the middle of nowhere, was a bit idiotic.
We arrived in Perth early in the morning. The sun was still low on the horizon but we could tell it was going to be a warm day in March. We drove 130 kilometers to our first stop. I just had to call in at Meckering since there was a "big" photo op I couldn't pass up. The draw in this small town is a giant 35mm camera--home to a museum dedicated to photography. Original we had planned to stop for a quick Big Thing photo and continue on our journey, but we decided to go in and check out the displays. The museum's collection was pretty impressive, with over 1,000 items including cameras, projectors, enlargers, processing equipment, slides and movie cameras.

After this stop, we were less than half-way to our destination, so we continued on.  At just after 1:00 p.m. we pulled into Hyden, the small town near Wave Rock. We decided to grab a bite to eat before heading out to go surfing, but the only eating option was the petrol shop.  It looked like a Chiko Roll and Pie would have to do---mmmm the savory snacks of Australian road trips. With full bellies we were prepared to hit the surf. I was a bit worried that the wave would not live up to my expectations.  However, as we stood at the base of the 15 meter high and 110 meter long natural wall I knew the drive was worth it.
There are several opinions on what caused the unique rounding of the face of the granite cliff. Some believe it occurred millions of  years ago by subsurface chemical weathering. Others say wind and water erosion have undercut the softer rock beneath the upper edge and have left a round overhang giving the rock formation am impressive wave-like shape. Whatever the cause it has become one of Australia's most famous landforms.

You can find me surfing the wave in this post

Wave rock became a popular tourist attraction in 1967 when it made a cameo in National Geographic Magazine. Previously, the unusual formation was virtually unknown outside of the local farming community. Prior to the Wave's rise to stardom the inselberg had a much more utilitarian role. In 1951 a retaining wall was constructed long the edge of the rock to direct rainwater into a storage dam. This dam continues to supply the local community of Hyden with water.
In addition to "surfing" the rock face and visiting the dam, we decided to take some time to explore a couple of the walking trails around Hyden Rock. The panoramic view from the summit of the rock was worth the effort.  We also swung by the landform called the Hippo's Yawn.  As we stood in front of the outcrop, trying to envision the large mammal's mouth, I couldn't help but wonder if perhaps someone had accidentally added an apostrophe instead of a comma and if the name should have read  Hippos, yawn.
Unfortunately, we were fighting time and, with over 300 kilometers in front of us we had to hit the road.

1 comment:

  1. Love that "surfing" rock photo but also the one of the building shaped like a camera! :D