Friday, November 16, 2001

Grampians National Park Snapshots

The Grampians National Park is located in north-west Victoria. On the June long weekend, Dad, Mum and I travelled to the Grampians for a couple of days of bushwalking in preparation for Nepal in December. Originally Tony was going to join us but was called away to the States on business.

It took us approximately three hours to drive to Halls Gap from Melbourne. Halls Gap is nestled right in the middle of the ranges.

I fell in love with the Grampians. It seems like years since we've bushwalked and this was a beautiful place. I was hoping to introduce Tony to the Grampians before we left Australia but with his continual trips to the States we just ran out of time!

It rained the first night we arrived and continued on and off throughout the weekend.

One of the major attractions is "The Balconies". Unfortunately the track to it was closed because it was being upgraded for wheelchair access. However, we didn't miss much. This is the view from Reids Lookout just near the start of the track.

I'm not sure whether the correct name for the lookout is "Reed", "Reeds", "Reid" or "Reids". We saw all permutations on the signs and maps.

The ranger advised us that the falls were the best attractions to view on a rainy day.

This is MacKenzie Falls, the major waterfall in the park. And that is Dad (all 5 foot 2 inches of him) beside the falls.

There are quite a few walks around MacKenzie Falls.

I think the second-last walk listed in the photo on the left is one of the more popular walks.

This is a photo of Halls Gap and Lake Belfield taken from Boroka Lookout.

Lake Belfield is nestled high in the mountains and, in the photo on the left, is about to be enveloped in rain clouds again. Below the lake is Halls Gap.

The next day Dad and I decided to do a more strenuous walk up to Chatauqua Peak.

This local resident stopped to ensure that we did not trespass on his property.

After taking this photo we turned around to see a group of locals had gathered on the track behind us.

We never made it up to Chatauqua Peak. This is where we stopped because my shoes were not suitable for climbing : I kept slipping.

This photo makes me think of the movie, "Picnic at Hanging Rock". Who knows how many school girls have disappeared up there?

We walked along a ridge to reach this point.

This is the view from the ridge.

On the way back to Melbourne we stopped at the Chinese Museum at Ararat. This is a photo of the figurines on the roof.

Did you know that Ararat is the only town in Australia founded by the Chinese? A group of Chinese miners heading for the Victorian goldfields found gold in the local creek. By the time the European miners found out, the Chinese had established a camp around the main lode.

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