14 metres high, and 110m long, the face of Wave Rock appears ready to crash onto a pre-historic surf, now frozen in time.
Believed to have formed over 2700 million years ago, Wave Rock is part of the northern face of Hyden Rock. The shape of the wave is formed by gradual erosion of the softer rock beneath the upper edge, over many centuries. (Click here for a detailed geological explanation.) There are actually several examples of such "waves" in the Hyden area, and if you have the time, it is well worth the effort to see some of the other smaller, but equally spectacular, ones.
The colours of the Wave are caused by the rain washing chemical deposits (carbonates and iron hydroxide) down the face, forming vertical stripes of greys reds and yellows. If you can stay a little longer, it is also worth seeing the Rock at different times of the day, as the changing sunlight alters its colours and appearance.
In addition to being an impressive tourist attraction, the rock has been converted in to a catchment for the town's water supplies, with a foot-high concrete wall around the upper edge of Hyden Rock directing rainfall into a storage dam.
Wave Rock became famous when a keen photographer, Jay Hodges won world recognition for his photograph of Wave Rock at the 1964-1965 New York World Photography Fair. Wave Rock achieved local attention when the photo was later printed in the National Geographic and Walkabout magazine.