Rocks star way out to our east

Photo of Stephen Scourfield

STEPHEN SCOURFIELD rolls round the great granites

And there’s more ... (well worth visiting)

YORKRAKINE ROCK

Just over 25km north of Tammin, Yorkrakine rises 340m and covers 160ha — a big rock with a strip of native flora around the base.

DATJOIN ROCK

Some call it Brockman’s Hideout, for Datjoin Rock is where Lionel Arthur “Barney” Brockman camped in caves with his wife and 12 children when he broke parole and went on the run from police in 1970.

Now it’s a popular picnic spot, 18km east of Beacon on the Burakin-Wialki Road. There’s a narrow track entrance to the well and camping areas and no caravan access.

JILAKIN ROCK

East of Kulin on Holt Rock Road, there are shady picnic spots and an easy walk to the top for views over Jilakin Lake.

Jilakin has the most isolated known stand of jarrah, 150km from the main jarrah belt.

YEERAKINE ROCK

About 12km south from Kondinin on Sloan Road, surveyor-general John Septimus Roe is said to have been the first European to visit the rock, when he camped here in 1848. A rock catchment was built in 1927 to save water for Kondinin.

A Light Horse Memorial silhouette statue has been built for the Light Horse Brigade soldiers from the local area who died in World War I.

And put these on the list, too ...

Billiburning Rock, a short drive north of Beacon, in a nature reserve on the Bruce Rock East Road. There are two pioneer wells at the picnic site. In Beacon, Crimpy’s Tank was built in 1966 as a water catchment.

Petrudor Rocks, 33km east of Dalwallinu, is “picnic perfect”.

Eaglestone Rock, near Brown, along Brown South Road, Nungarin Shire.

Sandford Rocks Nature Reserve

Hunt’s Dam on the north side of Merredin

Frog Rock in the Yilgarn, 25km south-east off the Great Eastern Highway from Parker Road out from Moorine Rock.

Mt Moore at the Talgomine Reserve North of Merredin

Kevill’s Lake near Quairading

Granite boulders at Kokerbin Rock

Moorine Rocks

Kangaroo Rock south of Merredin

Kokerbin Rock, Shire of Bruce Rock

Bulgin Rock Reserve, south off the Great Eastern Highway, 10km east of Meckering and 12km west of Cunderdin, on Collins Road.

There are plenty of granite rocks and reserves in the Wheatbelt. I’ve visited many (most, actually), but we all end up with favourites.

Here are just some ...

WAVE ROCK

Hyden’s Wave Rock is worth plenty of time. Whatever you do, don’t just call in, take the picture and go again. The whole rock formation is worth walking and exploring slowly, as is the whole area.

Wave Rock is formed from 2700-million-year-old, pre-Cambrian granite. The big wave that’s so famous is about 110m-long (yeah, stand there, facing down hill, one foot in front of the other, slightly crouched, arms out, surfer-style for the picture).

At The Humps, another granite formation set in woodlands 16km away, there’s Mulka’s Cave, with more than 150 hands stencilled on the walls and ceiling.

The legend surrounding this cave says that Mulka was born cross-eyed and hopeless as a hunter, though he was physically huge. He started eating human children and, when his mother told him off he murdered her, too. The local tribe killed him.

Walk inside Hippo’s Yawn and you’ll see just why the cave’s called this.

Also head out to King Rocks and Graham Rock — locals will be pleased to point you in the right direction. Try to track down a copy of Rowl Twidale and Jennie Bourne’s handbook Walks on Hyden Rock.

There are 227 plant species around the rocks of Hyden. For those of us that love the inland trees, there are salmon gums, York gums, gimlet, mallets and morrels, sheoak, sandalwood and quandong.

And there are plenty of birds.

There’s good accommodation at Wave Rock.

ELACHBUTTING ROCK

Bonnie by name, bonny by nature. Drive to Mukinbudin, 300km east of Perth, and then on to Bonnie Rock where there’s a great crop of granites, perhaps most impressively, Elachbutting Rock, about 100km north of Westonia and down good gravel roads. It has big, colourful waves similar to Wave Rock, caves and a 40m-long tunnel. It’s surrounded by natural bushland. The name Elachbutting is said to mean “that large thing standing”.

There’s a toilet.

YANNEYMOONING

On the corner of Elachbutting and Echo Valley roads, 75km north of Westonia, the big granite rock formation of Yanneymooning is framed by a 513ha bushland reserve. I’ll put money on you seeing the ornate dragon lizard (Ctenophorus ornatus) scampering around at such speed. It’s on the road to Elachbutting Rock — an ideal combination.

BERINGBOODING ROCK

Beringbooding Rock, out by the old rabbit-proof fence line just outside Bonnie Rock, is a beauty. The settlers built low granite walls around Beringbooding Rock to channel rainwater into a tank that was built in 1937.

To build it during Depression years, 100 men on sustenance labour were taken by rail from Perth to the town of Bonnie Rock. The number of weeks’ work they were given depended on the number of children they had. Over two years, they built a 2.3km-long concrete wall around the rim of Beringbooding, to channel into the 2.2 million gallon tank.

The stone cairn on the rock had been constructed by H.S. King in 1889. In 1893, he and Alfred Wernam Canning surveyed the 1891km rabbit- proof fence to stop the rabbit invasion from the east and went on to build the Canning Stock Route. It’s a good spot for camping and caravanners.

CHIDDARCOOPING

About 50km north of Westonia town site and set in the 5262ha Chiddarcooping Nature Reserve, there are granite outcrops, breakaways and pools.

The reserve is home to the lesser bottlebrush.

BALADJIE ROCK

This is a big, dramatic rock, on the southern edge of the Baladjie salt lake.

And Baladjie is a real treat. Sculpted by the elements, with caves, overhangs and fractures, ponds, sheoaks and alive with birds. The white cheeked honeyeaters sing. In one cave, I once saw three peregrine falcon chicks on a ledge.

It is on an unsealed track off the Koorda Bullfinch Road, and with plenty of spots for camper trailers, camping and caravans.

But the track becomes very slippery with even a little rain (I once only just made it out).

And there are more well-worth visiting...

YORKRAKINE ROCK

Just over 25km north of Tammin, Yorkrakine rises 340m and covers 160ha — a big rock with a strip of native flora around the base.

DATJOIN ROCK

Some call it Brockman’s Hideout, for Datjoin Rock is where Lionel Arthur “Barney” Brockman camped in caves with his wife and 12 children when he broke parole and went on the run from police in 1970.

Now it’s a popular picnic spot, 18km east of Beacon on the Burakin-Wialki Road. There’s a narrow track entrance to the well and camping areas and no caravan access.

JILAKIN ROCK

East of Kulin on Holt Rock Road, there are shady picnic spots and an easy walk to the top for views over Jilakin Lake.

Jilakin has the most isolated known stand of jarrah, 150km from the main jarrah belt.

YEERAKINE ROCK

About 12km south from Kondinin on Sloan Road, surveyor-general John Septimus Roe is said to have been the first European to visit the rock, when he camped here in 1848. A rock catchment was built in 1927 to save water for Kondinin.

A Light Horse Memorial silhouette statue has been built for the Light Horse Brigade soldiers from the local area who died in World War I.

And put these on the list, too ...

Billiburning Rock, a short drive north of Beacon, in a nature reserve on the Bruce Rock East Road. There are two pioneer wells at the picnic site. In Beacon, Crimpy’s Tank was built in 1966 as a water catchment.

Petrudor Rocks, 33km east of Dalwallinu, is “picnic perfect”.

Eaglestone Rock, near Brown, along Brown South Road, Nungarin Shire.

Sandford Rocks Nature Reserve

Hunt’s Dam on the north side of Merredin

Frog Rock in the Yilgarn, 25km south-east off the Great Eastern Highway from Parker Road out from Moorine Rock.

Mt Moore at the Talgomine Reserve North of Merredin

Kevill’s Lake near Quairading

Granite boulders at Kokerbin Rock

Moorine Rocks

Kangaroo Rock south of Merredin

Kokerbin Rock, Shire of Bruce Rock

Bulgin Rock Reserve, south off the Great Eastern Highway, 10km east of Meckering and 12km west of Cunderdin, on Collins Road.

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