Day 8: Grampians National Park

The neighbours next door told us the night before that they saw the field in front of the cottages was inhabited by a few Kangaroos that morning, but this morning we have no such luck. In order to still see a few animals, we decided the night before that this morning, we were going to walk the Faye’s Creek Loop, a 2.5km leisurely stroll through the forest “with a high chance of spotting wildlife”. That sounds like something for us!

And wildlife we have spotted! A plethora of Kangaroos, and even a flock of Emu crossed our paths! As the sun was still hidden behind one of the two crests, we got really cold during the walk and decided we needed to warm up over breakfast and some nice tea. Now, that is how you start the day well. 

As we intended to do a few walks today, we started off early and drove up the mountain towards a place called Wonderland Carpark. With a name like that, it ought to be good, right? The surroundings were great, but the walk we wanted to do (to the Grand Canyon) was closed. As our second destination would be best accessible from another starting point, we decided to leave Wonderland and head for the Sundial Carpark. The names here are great! From this second Parkin area, we embarked on the trail to The Pinnacle, a really high vantage point over the valley below with the most wonderful track towards it leading though dry Eucalyptus forest and over a lot of rocks. Oh yeah, we have been climbing and scaling rocks for a few hours today! It was awesome! If you ever happen to be in the vicinity of Halls Gap, please go to the Grampians NP and find this trail. 🙂

After returning to our car, we went back to the village and treated ourselves on a nice ice cream, as the temperature had risen to 20+ degrees with virtually no clouds in the sky. Life is good around here!

Tomorrow we have to leave already, and we have a long journey in front of us. The destination: Robe.

Day 7: To the Grampians

We woke up to a very grey sky, and found out it even drizzled with occasional showers. This was not what we had bargained for! As we had a trip planned for this morning, we decided to skip that, and just do everything at a snails pace. Therefore, we had a very long breakfast and even slept in a little!

Leaving Warrnambool for Halls Gap actually proved to be a great idea, as the weather got better and better as our journey progressed further inland. We eventually were tempted to pull out the shorts! Along the way, we have encountered a variety of animals, which all were nice enough to stop doing what they were to pose for our cameras. Among the nices ones were Ibis, various types of parrots in all sizes, a few different species of Cockatoo and even a fox!

After arriving at Halls Gap which lies smack dab in the middle of the Grampians National Park around 1, we went for lunch sitting in the delightful sun, getting our tan on. After filling our stomachs, we went out for a drive into the park to visit the places easily accessible by car. We have visited The Balconies and the Lookouts of both Reed and Boroka, all of which present wonderful vistas of the Gap and the surrounding plains. The Gap itself is a narrow valley in between two crests made of rock being pushed up to about 45 degrees. The town of Halls Gap lies in between these two crests. We have also visited the Mackenzie Falls, where we walked the trail to the base of the waterfall. This is 283 steps down a flight of stairs and quite a tough little walk, but the view of the falls is really rewarding. It however, did end our yearning for some exercise as going back up is strenuous after a long day driving.

The town of Halls Gap is quite famous for the abundance of Western Grey Kangaroos. A story we quickly dismissed as untrue, as we felt it would probably be a exaggerated to be a nice attraction for tourists. It most definitely is not exaggerated. We have encountered dozens of them, all carelessly browsing the green pastures of the town. And not only the publicly accessible greens, but also the lawns and garden of the residents of this town, as the Kangaroos easily scale an 8 foot fence. This is so cool! We even sat down in a field filled with Kangaroos and peacefully watched them feed.

Today is Sunday, and also the last day of the annual Wine Festival in this town. Apparently, it also means that all shops, restaurants and bars of the town are closed, because we had a really hard time getting some food. Luckily, we found a café still open for business, so all ended well tonight. Tomorrow, we have a full day of walking in the National Park planned, so I hope we’ll be able to get a good night of sleep!