From Perth to Wave Rock and back again

28 November 2010, Perth, Western Australia.

We’ve booked a tour to take us to Wave Rock. It’s a long day – leaving at 8 AM and returning at approximately 8:30 PM. The Great Ocean Road tour we did was equally as long, so we didn’t think too much of it. We were picked up early – 7:20 AM, and taken to the general starting area for all the tours that Pinnacle Tours has. Talking to our bus driver, we found out we’d be on the road for 750KM or 466 Miles today. Yikes!
Our first stop was at a place called York, which was a non-descript small farm town, as they are called. From what I can gather, there are a few cities (Sydney, Melbourne, a few of their suburbs, Perth), and “farm towns” of varying sizes. I’ve heard Brisbane and Darwin both referred to as big farm towns. These were small farm towns, if they are towns at all.   York was just a bathroom break and coffee, but I saw a bunch of Perthians (just made that up) out for a Sunday ride, and a neat old car.

We were making good time, so we made a few more stops that weren’t scheduled. One was a Dog Cemetery, which was exciting as you’d expect. There was a dog there named Snoopy, but I don’t think it’s the famous one. The Rabbit Proof Fence was pretty cool, as the government tried to contain the plague of rabbits by building a fence 2000 miles long. Not quite the Great Wall of China, but a pretty big undertaking just the same.

From there we went another couple of hundred of kilometers to Hyden, and saw something called Hippo’s yawn, which was just a rock formation that looked like a yawning Hippo. To their credit, it did look exactly like a yawning Hippo. Then to a quick lunch, and to the entire reason we were here.

To be honest, I was pretty disappointed in Wave Rock. I’ve read quite a bit about it, and I thought it was quite a bit larger. It was only about 150 Meters long, butI thought it was supposed to be about 500 Meters. I chalk that up to faulty feet to meter conversions. We were also there in the middle of the day, which is the worst time to photograph anything, but in the end we had a good time, got a decent photo or two, and can mark Wave Rock off our list of things to see. I also had Justine take a photo of me, which may be the only one off this trip.

From Wave Rock, we drove to a place called Mulka’s Cave. The story was horrific, and only got more horrible as time went on (from the link above.)…

The name Mulka comes from an Aboriginal legend associated with the cave. Mulka was the illegal son of woman who fell in love with a man with whom marriage was forbidden according to their law.

It is believed that a result of breaking these rules, she bore a son with crossed eyes. Even though he grew to be an outstandingly strong man of colossal height, his crossed eyes prevented him from aiming a spear accurately and becoming a successful hunter.

Out of frustration it is said Mulka turned to catching and eating human children and he became the terror of the district. He lived in Mulka’s Cave, where the imprints of his hands can still be seen, much large and higher than that of an ordinary man.

According to the driver, this place was called “devil devil land”, and no one lived there after that until the Europeans came. Apparently it was a place where young boys came as a rite of passage, to have the outline of their hands marked on the cave walls. It was an interesting story, if a bit horrible. Usually these types of stories have some basis in fact, and I wonder what the story behind this was. I expect we’ll never know.

After the cave we drove several hundred more KM back to a hole in the wall town of 25 people called Babakin, where we were given one of those tour bus hostage dinners prepared by the local Country Women’s Group. It was only $6, which is cheap for anything, but the food was very bad, but it was our only choice.

Interestingly enough, at least for me, was that we passed almost no cars after leaving Babakin. It was 36 minutes of driving before we saw another car, and even then I think we only saw four or five cars in the hour after we left.

All in all, I’d say it was an OK trip. In retrospect, it might have been better to go to the Pinnacles, but photography would have been equally as difficult, and I’d not dreamed of seeing those. We saw a lot of the Western Australia countryside, and learned a moderate amount. Things such as

  • There are no wild Koalas in Western Australia. It lacks the correct kind of gum tree.
  • Female Emus’ lay eggs and leave. The male Emu’s then care for the young.
  • Kangaroos may be a plague upon the country, but they are exceedingly hard to find. We might have seen one, but it probably was a Wallaby.