The granite rocks of the Wheatbelt Way are in my opinion one of the region’s greatest natural marvels. I love looking down over eucalypt woodland from the peak of a granite rock, the winter sun warm on my back. I also love to finish the day with cooking dinner over a campfire, a sky full of stars pulsing with magic above me. I can just feel these kinds of things doing me good.
Set amongst peaceful woodland, many of the Wheatbelt Way rock reserves allow free camping, and all of them are free to explore and within easy access of Perth.
Below is my list of Wheatbelt Way rocks, in my own particular order of preference, but there are plenty more to explore!
Eaglestone Rock, Nungarin
Located 21 kilometres north of Nungarin, Eaglestone Rock is one of the best granite rock reserves around. Not only is it a free camping reserve, it includes some really interesting rock features and it is shouldered by a large expanse of salt lake on both sides. When I visited the salt lakes had water in them, though they are just are spectacular when they are dry.
In winter water in Lake Campion laps right up to the edge of Eaglestone Rock.
Secluded picnic area can be found at Eaglestone Rock.
There is also a beautiful protected camp site area right in front of the rock with a table and a toilet nearby. I also love the winding access road that travels around the reserve, with salt lake views and some fantastic rock features on both sides.
Fantastic rock features to explore at Eaglestone Rock.
The camping ground at Beringbooding Rock, Mukinbudin.
I drove 70 kilometres north of Mukinbudin to Beringbooding Rock, where I was greeted by a large shady free camping area right at the base of the rock that included a fire pit, tables and a toilet. There is also an enormous concrete tank that catches water from the rock visible from the camping area. A small catchment wall that follows the perimeter of the rock feeds this tank. The tank in fact holds over 9 million litres of water and is the largest rock water catchment tank in Australia.
Beringbooding has the largest rock water catchment tank in Australia.
From the camping area it is just a short walk around the base of the rock in a north easterly direction (following the catchment wall) to get to the gorgeous Kangaroo Soak shown in the photograph below. There had been rain before I visited, so this natural amphitheatre had a beautiful glassy pond at its centre.
The Kangaroo Hole at Beringbooding Rock.
The view from the top of the Kangaroo Hole.
The colours and wave in the granite at the Kangaroo Hole are unique.
It was a privilege to enjoy such a gorgeous free camping area, with so much natural beauty right at your doorstep.
Elachbutting Rock, Westonia is a large sprawling monolith.
Shady seating along the walk trails at Elachutting Rock.
Elachbutting Rock is a Wheatbelt Way goliath, with this sprawling monolith and its reserve the kind of holiday destination that will keep the kids busy for weeks. Located 100 kilometres north of Westonia, the reserve also features the amazing Monty’s Pass, a 30 metre narrow cave created by a rock slip and a spectacular Rock Wave. Both of these are highly recommended and be accessed from the first carpark you come across upon entering the reserve. There is an extensive access road that takes you right around the rock, and the generous and well shaded free camping area on the other side of the rock includes picnic tables, fire pits and a toilet.
The entrance to Monty’s Pass at Elachbutting Rock.
The spectacular Wave at Elachbutting Rock.
Amazing views from Billiburning Rock, Beacon.
Billiburning Rock is a gorgeous and spacious rock reserve located 30 kilometres north of Beacon. The rock itself is easy to climb and amazing views of surrounding woodland are returned for very little effort. On the day I visited the scent of a native lemon grass wafted in the air as I meandered to the top of the rock. A scenic “rock wall” forms the western side of the rock, which positively glows at sunset. Two generous free camping areas and an access road runs immediately below the rock wall. Each camping area has its own fire pit and table and there is a toilet between them.
A rock wall of boulders to explore alongside the campground at Billiburning Rock.
Enjoying the view out over the woodlands and agricultural land from the top of Billiburning Rock.
There is even a third free camping area close to the entrance of the reserve, if you don’t have lots of time to look around.
The entrance to Billiburning Rock.
I was delighted by Marshall Rock. I drove only 10 kilometres south east of Bencubbin and pulled in to find an expansive free camping area with plenty of shade, fire pits, tables, a toilet and even a shade structure. I then decided to follow the access track closer to the rock, and was thrilled to find that within just a few minutes my two wheel drive car was on top of the rock! The access road was gently sloping and easy to navigate, even in a hatchback.
Shady campground at the base of Marshall Rock, Bencubbin.
Winter views from the top of Marshall Rock.
Once there I was rewarded by beautiful views of the surrounding landscape. There is also a table that someone has very thoughtfully positioned on top of the rock for visitors to use. Marshall Rock at sunset is definitely the kind of place that I’d select if I was going to propose to someone.
Enjoy a picnic at the table at the very top of Marshall Rock!
The camping area and entry to Datjoin Rock, Beacon.
Datjoin Rock was a fantastic discovery. It is very easy to access, located only 18 kilometres east of Beacon just off the Bonnie Rock – Wialki Road and there is a lovely sheltered picnic area just as you turn in to the reserve. A short distance further along the access track I then encountered the below amazing granite rock that looks like an enormous nose right on the access track. I was even able to sit in its nostril! There is also a lookout and more to see on the other side of the reserve, and if you feel like stretching your legs, the reserve itself is enormous.
Is it a big nose? A fantastic boulder to explore at Datjoin Rock.
Taking time to stop and enjoy the landscape at Datjoin Rock.
The bird hide can be found at Sandford Rocks, Westonia.
I loved Sandford Rocks, which is located only 10 kilometres north east of Westonia. There is a fantastic bird hide located not far from the parking and picnic table area with images displaying local birds to keep an eye out for. From there I jumped over puddles full of tadpoles and strolled over a large expanse of low lying granite en route to the main rock. The rock face is impressive in its own right, but as an added bonus it also incorporates a couple of interesting caves to explore.
Impressive rock face to be discovered Sandford Rocks.
Interesting caves to explore at Sandford Rocks.
Billyacatting Hill, Trayning is 2024ha of granite and bushland to explore.
Billycatting Hill is a beautiful and seemingly endless nature reserve located approximately 30 kilometres north east of Trayning. A stroll up the main rock provides sweeping views over the surrounding landscape and numerous smaller rounded granite monoliths protrude above the trees like sleeping dogs. Then there is an elongated granite hulk resting amongst the woodland, which looks very much like a sleeping giant lying near his pet hounds. There are also plenty of other interesting rock features to explore, a walk trail that I found useful in finding the best way through the sometimes dense bush, and picnic tables plus a toilet.
Elongated granite hulk resting amongst the woodland at Billyacatting Hill.
Winter views from Billyacatting Hill.
Resting in a between the granite boulders at Billyacatting Hill.
Plenty of interesting boulders to explore at Billyacatting Hill.
The campground at Newcarlbeon Rock, Koorda.
The water catchment rock wall around Newcarlbeon Rock.
Newcarlbeon Rock Reserve is a scenic reserve featuring a large expanse of low lying granite rock which is located 20 kilometres north of Koorda. A small built catchment wall zig zags around the rock to feed a large concrete water catchment tank just off the rock. The wall is very much like a miniature Great Wall of China and is heaps of fun for small children. Newcarlbeon also has an excellent free camping area at the entry to the reserve, with a toilet, fire pit and a shaded gazebo which is wonderfully useful when preparing a campfire dinner.
Newcarlbeon also has a shaded gazebo over the picnic table.
Overall, I find it hard to pick my favourite Wheatbelt Way granite rocks because all of them are beautiful. Not only that, all of them allow me to spend precious time catching up with family and friends in a peaceful natural setting, and at the same time get some fresh air, exercise and sunshine.
By Annemaree Jensen who writes at www.extramilewriting.com.au.