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  • Writer's pictureHelen Avaient

Must see and do museums, walks, and nature at Wave Rock, Western Australia

When I mentioned to people in Perth that I was looking forward to spending several days in the Wave Rock and Hyden area, most asked, "Why go there just to look at a large rock?" In fact, there are so many interesting and varied things to do, it could take a week to enjoy the wonders this area hosts, other than just the Wave Rock.

Wave Rock Wildlife Park

The Wildlife park is a 3 hectare home of native bushland to many Australian birds and animals. Most of the inhabitants are rescued creatures. Birds, wedge tail eagle, kangaroos, wallabies, reptiles, wombats, emus, llamas, camels, koalas and many more.

There are some very rare and special white kangaroos here. The adult males are called Boomers. Emus are Australian birds but they cannot fly. They also can be found in the park.

It was thoroughly enjoyable strolling around and enjoying seeing so many Australian native animals in one place. Tables and chairs are found throughout the park and well laid out paths guide you around.

Pioneer Town

The caravan park hosts a pioneer general store with many donated items. There are four rooms here showing Australian memorabilia. Photo albums with early Hyden history, crystal from 1850s and a kitchen display from the early 1900s, and glass bottles from as far back as 1870.

The general store room is as a shop of this kind would have been in the early 1930s, tobacco tins, cigars, pipes, chemist items and food containers all jumbled on shelves together.

Early Australian advertising and magazine articles that feature Wave Rock have also been sourced and are on display here.

A T Ford towed this caravan when Jock Bartlet was prospecting at Forrestania from 1930 - 1950.

It is always interesting to look at items used in days gone by and be grateful for the modern coveniences we enjoy now. A big thanks goes to the collectors and caretakers of such precious items.

The Lace Place

This museum was build in 1990 to house the Blackburn Collection of lace. The collection of antique lace dates back to the 1600s. The Lace Place has the largest collection of lace in Australia, and second largest in the world. (The first is at Buckingham Palace). Upon entering, there is a handy booklet that you can reference. It provided details and history of the gowns on display.

One gown’s history was as follows: Was found by a house painter in a bag of old rags in Victoria. He thought it was too good to be torn into paint rags! Indeed it was, and fortunate it is to have now found a home at the Lace Place.

Look how intricate the work is on the two handmade dresses below. You have to admire the patience and perserverance of the women who made these beautiful gowns.

There is an example of how lace is made by hand. Wow, it looks very complicated. This is how lace was made for centuries before the invention of lace making machinery.

Mannequins displayed lace dresses from various eras. Drawers full of lace items and samples of lace were well labelled. Delicate pieces of the display lace are housed in beautiful hand crafted jarrah cabinets.

From handmade lace to machine lace it is amazing how delicate and fine the work is. In the collection are antique laces from the 17th century. There is even a lace jacket worn by Dame Nellie Melba and an offcut of Lady Diana’s wedding veil. Many of the wedding dress collection dates from the early 1900s.

Minature Soldier Military Display

The Alex Smith display hosts over 6000 figurines. Over 50 years of collecting and restoring have gone into this project. The displays are arranged in dioramic form.

The longest display here is a 6 metre diarama of Queen Eliabeth 2's coronation parade. I have to admire the time and patience it took to create these figurines and then to display them. (Although, the animals on the right in the photo below? I do not think they were at the parade, maybe they are on this parade by mistake. oops!)

Wave Rock Visitor Centre

This centre is a visual delight. The fixtures and fittings in the shop are build from natural bush timbers. Vintage cars, old stoves and a dray show the possessions of early pioneers. The model T ford here was towed from a farmers tip in 1987 and restored. It is one of the first automatic cars made by the Ford company. The large granite fire place invites you to sit and enjoy.

Due to a lack of funds to purchase lining for the building, local craftsmen made butterlies and placed them in the roof. Each butterfly takes over 72 hours to make. Hanging from the roof there is a massive wildflower display. Rows of colourful handpicked dried flowers showcase the glorious colours of the local flora.

There is a wide range of Australian souveniers to choose from here. Their prices are very reasonable.

The cafe can seat 200 people in their airconditioned dining room. Or you can choose to sit outside on the deck overlooking the natural billabong with swan and birdlife. Their produce is made on site.

The sealed walk trail is 3.6km (2.2mile) long and takes you from the visitor centre, past the airfield to the Wave Rock Resort. Then past Lake Magic to the Hippos Yawn and along the edge of the granite rock to Wave Rock. Then back to the visitor centre through the caravan park and kiosk. It can be done the opposite way which is fantastic if you time it right to be at Lake Magic for the glorious sunset.

Lake Magic and salt lakes

The lake is formed from gypsum and therefore has clean, salty water.

Due to the salt level, nothing grows in this lake, and it is surrounded by a white sandy beach. The most spectacular sunset photos can be taken over the lake.

The Salt Swimming Purge Pool Therapeutic Pool

Denis Collins constructed a 20m round, 6m deep swimming pool-like gypsum pond whose buoyancy and therapeutic properties are greater than those of the Dead Sea.

Star Gazing on top of Wave Rock

Climb up at sunset and stargaze where the stars feel so close you can almost imagine reaching out and touching them. In country areas there is not the light pollution from citie so the stars shine their brightest. Over a third of the world is so polluted that people have never seen the twinkling night sky! Watch out for shooting stars and remember to make a wish. My wish... to come back and visit this unique area again in the future and for everyone to know there are so many interesting things to see and do here.

Happy Travels!

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