Day 9: To Robe

A lot of driving had to be done today, while we had about 350km to cover in total. Starting off at Halls Gap in Victoria, we had to cross into South Australia to get to where we neded to be that night, which is Robe.

The weather now definitively turned for worse, as there have been gail force winds all night long. When combined with rain, one can imagine the night was quite restless. In the morning however, it lightened a bit, and we were lucky enough to wake up to the Kangaroos feeding on the grass lawn in front of our cabin. That is a sight for sore eyes! Right after we went out for our breakfast (pancakes!) we stumbled upon a field filled with a few hundred Corellas. These are a small white species of Cockatoo with a blueish eye patch and a red cheek, but without the tell tale Mohawk on the tops of their heads. A great start to the day after all.

Leaving the Grampians, the weather again showed its ugly face, as it started raining, and kept on raining for about an hour, after which we continuously had small showers interspersed with the occasional sunshine. When driving on Australian Highways, you have to drive on a two lane narrow road where you are on the left lane, and the right lane is for the oncoming traffic. And yes, you most of the time are allowed to get up to 100 km/h. Even if you do not go that fast, you can bet on the fact that the other traffic is, including the ones driving on the other side of the road. With very high winds, and limited visibility due to the rain, this was not a comfortable drive down to the coast.

Everything went well eventually, and we safely arrived at our destination within the time we had estimated it would take. Because of the fact that we changed States, we also changed time zones. We were in +8, right now we are in +7,5 from the Netherlands. Weird.

The town of Robe is pretty deserted at this time of year, which makes it hard to get something to eat. Most restaurants are closed, or close after lunch, but we managed to find a nice Malaysian restaurant (Don’s), who actually served good food at reasonable prices. And with our stomachs filled, we are preparing for an even longer day of driving tomorrow, going all the way to Cape Jervis to catch the ferry to Kangaroo Island. The rain has let off since this afternoon, and let’s hope it will stay away tomorrow. Even if it only is for the pictures. 🙂

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.