Woah! I never thought a backpackers' place up the mountain can be so much comfortable and warm than the one in the city....
An absolutely splendid place with clean facilities and warm welcome upon our arrival.
I really enjoyed it here and the place feel more like at home and not like in a backpackers. The surroundings are so serene and it just feel so peaceful listening to the sound of the forest (whatever it is)...
If I had more time, I would spend another 2-3 nights here...
Oh! heard that it snowed ard Tim's place on the night that we stayed.. Just further up the mountains.. that was in end May 07.... Winter just arrived...
All for only A$25 per pax (4-bed dorm)....
Unaware of the forest fire that took place in Jan 2006, I was stunned when I reached the Grampians.... Stunned to see burnt, charred, no leaves, "bald" trees everywhere... the smell of the burning forest is still lingering in the air.... No animals can be seen, except for a few wallabees... was told that the 1st wallabee was seen 6 months after the fire...
Another weird findings that the locals found is that the leaves start to grow on the barks, stem and branches of the trees.. something that they have never seen before...
It was very disheartening to see the surrounding.. I was so excited to smell the greens and only to be welcomed by lots of blacks...
Some of you may find these findings very boring but being a Geography student once, I find the aftermath of forest fire very enlightening...
I am sure you can find the before fire pictures in VT and compare to those I took after the fire pictures..... If you are a nature lover, you will feel the heartache...
The Grampians National Park is one of Victoria’s most popular holiday destinations. Declared in 1984, the 170,000 hectare National park is home to a rich diversity of plants and animals, many of which are endemic to the park.
Hosting over 1 million visitors each year, popular activities include bushwalking, camping, picnicking, nature study, rock-climbing, bike riding and fishing. The extensive network of roads makes car touring to surrounding villages another great way to explore.
Since the Mt Lubra fire in January 2006 this ancient landscape has revealed many fascinating features in it’s recovery after fire. Now is the ideal time to visit - to witness both the stunning fire regeneration as well as all of the usual attractions the Grampians National Park is renowned for.
You can follow the recovery of the Grampians National Park through this website http://www.parkweb.vic.gov.au
Part 2 of the day tour commenced with a (1 way) 1 hour walk trail (2 hours to-&-fro) to the "Jaws of Death". This is one of the region's greatest attractions, nicknamed so, because the rock formation looked like an open jaw and this is off a very steep cliff. Formally called the "The Balconies", it is actually two sandstone rocks jutting from a Grampians cliff face.
The Grampians are also famous for the many hiking/walking trails amidst breathtaking scenaries. Eucalyptus trees line many of the trails. Pluck a blade, crush it in your hands and enjoy the fresh wisps of minty encalyptus scent.
DO NOT believe the brochures - there are no way you could make your way into the "mouth" of the Jaws Of Death. The structure is now cordoned off and you can only admire it from afar.
The last major stop of the day was at MacKenzie Falls. There are more walking trails here. For the adventurous, a steep 1-way 30 mins trail down to the waterfall is possible. The view that awaits you at the end of this steep trail is spectacular. Enormous torrents of water cascade over huge cliffs into a deep pool, sending fine sprays of rainbow mist high into the air above a stunning gorge. The waterfalls are flowing all year.
If not, stick to the 1-way 20 mins 1km trail to the lookout platform. This alternative path to a viewing platform at the Bluff offers great views of MacKenzie Falls with easy access for people with wheelchairs. The view was just as stunning.
A little curio about MacKenzie Falls: It is moving upstream every year, bit by bit.
Did a day-tour (8.45am-9.30pm) with one of the big agencies (possibly Greyhound) as I could not grab a place with the backpacker tours.
I missed visiting it every time I was in Melbourne, so on my 4th visit with my family in tow, I made it to the Grampians.
The Grampians is a mountain range and national park in Victoria (Australia), 235 kilometres west of Melbourne. The Grampians are famed for its precipitous sandstone ranges, waterfalls, wildflowers and wildlife. The ranges were named in 1836 by NSW Surveyor-General Sir Thomas Mitchell after the Grampian Mountains in his native Scotland, but are also known by the name Gariwerd, from one of the local Australian Aboriginal languages. The area is a noted rock climbing destination, and it is popular with campers and bushwalkers for its many spectacular views and unspoilt nature.
On the way, the tour went through mainly wool and wheat growing districts.
Halls Gap was the first stop for lunch. This is the gateway to the Grampians. Quiet understated town with a heck of a view behind it. Halls Gap is the holiday capital in the heart of the Grampians and a perfect stepping-off point for all destinations in the park.
After lunch, the tour bus moved uphill to the Baroka Falls Lookout where we did a short walk from the carpark to the lookout, which gives magnificent views of Wonderland, the Mt William Ranges, the Halls Gap township and the surrounding farmlands.
Look out for a "leaping or jumping frog" rock formation along the trail to Baroka Falls Lookout.
MacKenzie Falls is the most visited waterfall in Grampians National Park. It is located on the MacKenzie River off the Mt. Victory Road.
The base of the falls can be reached along a track beside the river from Zumsteins, and there is a lookout point along a short track about 200m.
We were mentally not prepared to walk an hour to reach the MacKenzie Falls. By the time I reach the base of the fall, my legs were as soft as jelly. And you have to be very careful not to slip and fall. The climb back up is very tiring too.
The Grampians National Park is one of the favourite attraction just 3hrs west of Melbourne.
Grampians offers peace and tranquility, magnificent scenery, climbs and walks, easy access to spectacular lookouts and features.
The walking tracks will lead to such magnificant lookouts such as the The Pinnacle, Mackeys Peak and Boronia Peak.
The coach also took us to Boroka and Reid's Lookouts which offers spectacular views across the ranges or township.
It is one of Victoria's National Parks, and it is a beautiful example of our native bushland. It has beautiful bushwalking paths, hiking areas, and the views are sensational. This photograph is taken of one of the picnic areas - it's stunning even on a foggy, rainy day... :)
Seeing Aboriginal Art
Aboriginal culture is an important part of our heritage. My parents, and my grandparents, learned very little Aboriginal history in school, and that history they were given was usually very doctored. It is only now that our country is understanding what happened truly when whites settled Australia, and developing knowledge of the anthropology of the Aboriginals before white settlement. There are many centres throughout Australia that teach tourists about Aboriginal history. I would recommend any place where you can learn a bit more of Australia before white settlement.
GRAMPIANS NATIONAL PARK encompasses a low mountain range north of WARRNAMBOOL. Mount Arapiles large rocky outcrop very popular for rock climbing.
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