Brief History of Hyden

Hyden, Western AustraliaHyden is a small agricultural town located in the central Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, 340km, south-east of Perth.

The town was named after the nearby Hyden Rock. There are several theories surrounding the origin of the name Hyden, one story is that it was named after a sandalwood cutter named Hyde living near Hippo’s Yawn, another is that it was named after a German prospector Carl Heiden, who lived in the area in the 1890s.

The Early Years

History of Hyden, Western AustraliaThe town of Hyden was established after the government opened the land up to farming in the 1920s. The first wheat crop wasn’t grown until 1927 and the wheat had to be carted from Hyden to Kondinin. By the 1930s a railway had been built from Kondinin to Hyden Rock. The town was gazetted in 1932.

To Keep The Rabbits Out

In the 1890s, thanks to a keen hunter, Australia experienced a virtually rabbit explosion. The Rabbit Proof Fence (State Barrier Fence) was built between 1901-1907 to keep invading rabbits out of the State. The southern section of the fence is located just east of Hyden. The fence runs for 1,832km & is the longest in the world.

The World Discovers Wave Rock

Wave Rock received worldwide attention after a photograph appeared in the National Geographic magazine in 1967.

The rock is a 15m high & 100m long granite overhanging natural wall. The granite wave was created by millions of years of chemical erosion occurring below ground before the rock was exposed. The colour bands that run down the rock face are caused by the run-off of water containing carbonates & iron hydroxide and by algal growth.

To cope with the increasing numbers of tourists flocking into Hyden, the Hyden Tourist Development Company was formed in the early 1970s. They were instrumental in setting up facilities such as public toilets, a caravan park, a wildlife park, drive-in cinema, motel, restaurants, souvenir shops and the Hyden Roadhouse. The granite wave attracts over 100,000 tourists annually.

Hyden Today

The economy of Hyden relies heavily on sheep and cattle production (approximately $35 million), tourism (approximately $5 million) and mining (approximately $1 million). However, like many small rural towns, Hyden has recognized the need to be more economically diverse and not to rely on one or two industries (especially those vulnerable to weather and climatic elements) for its income source. As a result, the community has been actively involved in encouraging and initiating alternative business opportunities that will contribute to the district’s sustainable future.

Things You May Not Know About Hyden

Hyden, Waves Rock, Western AustraliaThe postcode for Hyden is 6359.

The Mulka Cave was named after an Aboriginal legend. The handprints on the inside walls of the cave are said to be that of Mulka!

The first known white people to visit the area were Sandalwooders who were collecting the unique wood to sell to the oriental market for incense.

The Rabbit Proof Fence (State Barrier Fence)was built between 1901-1907 to keep invading rabbits out of the State. The southern section of the fence is located just east of Hyden.

Hyden, Rabbit Proof Fence, Western AustraliaThe fence runs for 1,832km & is the longest in the world.

In 1967, Wave Rock became an overnight attraction following an article published in the National Geographics.

The rock is believed to be over 2700 million years old.

The Grain Handling Facilities at Hyden are among the most advanced in the world.

Hyden is in the Shire of Kondinin. There are three towns within the shire, Hyden, Karlgarin and Condinin and each town has a theme promoting their area. Hyden is “Bush living at its best”, Karlgarin “Small and Proud” and Kondinin “Heritage of red soil riches”.

Where To Hang Your Hat?

Hyden has become a popular tourist destination for over thirty years. With an average of 100,000 visitors per year the town has accommodation to suit everyone’s needs.