(21/3/2018 – 24/3/2018)
“Majestic” – is a word I’ve seen written to describe the Grampians and I would have to agree with this!!!! There is so much to explore in these rugged mountain ranges with plenty of bushwalking tracks, 4WD tracks and numerous viewing platforms!!
There are also wineries, waterfalls, flora and fauna in abundance, a multitude of native animals, history and heritage, arts and culture, retreats, parks and playgrounds in this area. There is a variety of accommodation in the Grampians and we chose the Big 4 Grampians Parkgate Resort which was a short drive out from Halls Gap. We had perfect weather to do some hiking through the Grampians. That afternoon we rode our bikes around the park and Mitchell had a play in the kids playground whilst kangaroos and deer were feeding around us. Along with the usual facilities, there was a heated pool, tennis courts, jumping pillow and a games room.
On Thursday morning we were up early and ready as we had a huge hike ahead of us being a 4.2 km hike to the Pinnacle Lookout!!!! I think it had an elevation of over 700 metres. It was definitely a very challenging hike with lots of steep climbing and rock hopping, gosh, felt like a rock wallaby today!!! LOL but it was all well worth it in the end when we reached the Pinnacle Lookout with spectacular panoramic views of the Grampians!! I have to say it was a tough hike due to the steepness. Again, Mitchell did a fantastic job hiking on his own all the way up and back as it took us about 4-5 hours to return.
Later that day we took a drive to Boroka Lookout. It was a winding road up but once we parked, it was an easy stroll through an open stringy bark forest along a sealed track which led to two viewing platforms. Here there were more beautiful views of the Grampians and we could also see the caravan park below. On our way home we stopped in at Halls Gap at the Coolas Ice Creamery – very busy shop with great ice-cream!!! Perfect way to finish a day of hiking!!!
The following day we did a short hike to MacKenzie Falls which were stunning. It is the largest waterfall in Victoria and flows all year round. There is a viewing platform near the top of the falls or you could take the very steep trail down to the base of the falls which is what we did of course, as if we didn’t do enough climbing yesterday!!!! We spent some time relaxing at the falls before making the walk back up again (now, that was exhausting!!!).
We also did a drive to Reeds Lookout and the Balconies (known as the Jaws of Death) each were only short walking trails in to these lookouts from the carpark. Andrew climbed out to the Balconies (where he was not supposed to!!!!) and sat out there, no way was I going to climb over there, I was happy just to stay on the viewing platform!!!!!
Andrew sitting out on the Balconies (Jaws of Death)
We had perfect weather for our 2 days of hikes and drives through the Grampians National Park!!
On Saturday morning we woke up to pouring rain. We were planning to leave today anyway so lucky that we were able to do our hikes in such great weather. We waited for a couple of hours for the rain to ease off so that Andrew can pack up and we travelled up north.
On the way we stopped at the “Big Koala” for photos and we grabbed some coffees and continued up through Horsham on the Dukes Western Highway and across the border into South Australia. We travelled along the Wimmera Highway to Coonawarra.
(21/3/2018 – 24/3/2018)