Road Trips Western Australia Road Trip

Doing the Loop – Margaret River, Wave Rock, Esperance, Rockingham

After two glorious days in Margaret River, where we tour wineries, take in some e-bike riding and take a peek at the Margaret River Surf Pro; it’s time to move on.

Ross mentioned Wave Rock to us when we were in Perth.  I’d first seen images of Wave Rock on a TV show called Off the Beaten Track in the 1970’s by Mike and Mal Leyland. It was video with rather washed out colour, which was the norm at the time, but it left a lasting impression.  Made a mental note at the time to see this unique rock formation.  Fast forward 40 years and here’s the chance!

Wave Rock

Wave Rock Western Australia
Wave Rock – Hyden, Western Australia

As the name suggests, it is a unique rock formation that gives the visitor the impression of a huge breaking wave.  If the discovery and geomorphology of the rock is of interest, read about it here – Wave Rock details.

Wave Rock is adjacent to the town of Hyden, and is roughly 340 km east of Perth along sealed roads.

Our accommodation for the two nights is a cabin in the Wave Rock Caravan Park.  The weather this time of the year is cool/cold nights and mild days.  The added incentive to stay in a cabin is the south west coast of Western Australia is experiencing extreme weather conditions of high winds, driving rain, local thunder and small hail.  We know it’s going to be heading east and will catch up with us while we’re here.

We arrive just on sundown on the Wednesday evening and get our gear into the cabin.  It’s cold, but we grab a torch and walk the few hundred meters from our cabin to the base of the rock. Sitting there, and looking up to see the splendour of stars in the sky is one of life’s great experiences.

The next morning, cloud is starting to drift in.  It does provide us with a beautiful fire red sunrise.

There are walks around the area.  There’s a short stroll to Hippo’s Yawn, a rock formation that’s worth a look.  Longer walks can be undertaken along well marked trails.

Hippos Yawn - Wave Rock
Hippo’s Yawn – Wave Rock Western Australia

Wave Rock to Esperance

The eastward moving weather finally reaches us. It’s wet, cold and windy on the Friday morning we leave Wave Rock to head down to Esperance, a trip of about 370 km.  Still, it’s good to be on the road and heading south.

We check into our accommodation (The Jetty Resort) and plan the next days activities.  High on our list of things to see is Lucky Bay in Cape Le Grand National Park. The weather has let up Saturday, and we get some blue sky.  The drive from Esperance is on sealed roads and takes less than an hour (64 kms).

Certainly worth the drive.  We’re greeted with turquoise water and white sandy beaches in a pristine environment.  Lucky Bay is well known for its mob of kangaroos that camp on the beach.  They’re tourist friendly, and don’t really mind people taking photos.  Probably the most photographed kangaroos in the world.

Lucky Bay - Western Australia
Beach dwelling kangaroos – Lucky Bay Western Australia

Later in the day we do the Great Ocean Drive, which is a loop out around the Esperance coastline, back past the Pink Lake (which is no longer pink anymore).  There are a number of small bays that are simply beautiful.

The weather is cool this time of year.  When it warms up a bit towards summer, it would be a place we could easily spend a couple of weeks kayaking and exploring the nearly national park.

Esperance to Rockingham

It’s Sunday, and time to leave Esperance.  Today is a ‘driving day’; a 700 km drive to Rockingham south of Perth.   We backtrack to Ravensthorpe, then King Lake, Lake Grace, Dumbleyung, Wagin and then up the Albany Highway into Shoalwater at Rockingham.

We refuelled at Dumbleyung.  A quick glance at the Jeep’s dashboard, and it shows an outside temperature of 10 degrees, and that’s in the middle of the day.  The wind would blow a dog of its leash.  Standing outside the door of the servo is a fellow having a smoke, as you do around service stations.  He’s dressed in shorts, short sleeve shirt and boots.  As I get out of the vehicle he pipes up “Jeez mate, that winds got hooks in it, hasn’t it?” Murder by understatement.

We stay at a unique BnB called Manuel Towers run by Manuel and Ali, who are wonderful hosts.  We’re very happy to be here, as the weather is bad.  Wind, driving rain, local thunder and small hail.

Manuel Towers - BnB Rockingham
Manuel Towers – 14 year labour of love by Manuel and Ali (Shoalwater Western Australia)

Nevertheless, it gives us time to check out the vehicle.  We’re unsure of a couple of things, so we drop into Rockingham Jeep, where Jason looks after us very well.  They’re extremely busy in their workshop, but finds the time to sort us out.  Much appreciated.

More on the Western Australia Road Trip

Next stop: On To Geraldton – The Journey North Begins

Previous Stop: Margaret River – The Road Trip Begins

Read about our Top 5 Places to Visit in Western Australia

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