Categories
Travels

MacKenzie Falls

Quite a few drops of rain have fallen while we have been in the Grampians. And the wind has blown, and it has been chilly. (Thank you for the heater, Denise 🙂 )

The rain hasn’t really stopped us from doing anything, but it has given us a good excuse to curl up with a few good books.

The other advantage is that it has made the waterfalls run. Because Australia is such a dry continent, waterfalls aren’t guaranteed to fall. But when the rain comes the creeks just love to gush over rocks and gurgle through crannies. The Grampians seem to be a rather leaky sort of place. It must be the geology. Water seeps out from crevices and mosses just love it. Boulders can be slick and low lying areas boggy.

The water was certainly enjoying itself at MacKenzie Falls. It was so satisfying to hear the falls and see the sheets of silver cascade down.

The falls were named by an explorer, Major Mitchell, in 1836. Interestingly he tried to find out their Aboriginal name, but couldn’t, and named them after his friend Captain MacKenzie. The Jardwadjali people called them Migunang wirub (black fish floating on top of water).

MacKenzie Falls (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
MacKenzie Falls (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
The falls from the base (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
The falls from the base (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)

These falls are not the Angel Falls, but after 12 years of drought I still enjoy running water in all its forms.

Falls, by definition mean a drastic change in level — there were over 250 steps to get to the bottom. I didn’t count them on the way down, but counting on the way up helped distract my brain from the complaining legs!

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After falling over the edge, the creek continues to burble its way down stream. Along the bank is a very inviting path, saying “Wander on some more. See where I go after this next bend.” It could have lead me the 7kms on to Zumsteins, but I was strong and resisted. Halfway up the steps I wished I had!

Follow me - just one more corner. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
Follow me – just one more bend (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
Categories
Travels

The Pinnacle

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)

There are many walks through the Grampians, most leading to spectacular lookouts. One of those is the Pinnacle. There are two ways up to it. One, from the Wonderland Carpark, is described in the brochure as ‘a strenuous walk to a famous peak’. The other, from the Sundial Carpark, is ‘a medium grade route to the Pinnacle’. We took the second, and that was a good challenge.

It was a lovely walk, along a path that wound up the side of mountains, over rocky plateaus and hopping over rocks and boulders. And it was enough for me! It made me realise that I wasn’t as unfit as I thought I was. All that work at the gym had some benefits! (Although I have yet to see a reason for sit-ups!)

Rock formations along the track (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
Rock formations along the track (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)

The view of Halls Gap from the Pinnacle.

 

(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
(Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)

I couldn’t believe how many people were up at the lookout. Most of them had come from the Wonderland Carpark — fitter that I am! There was a group of young Asian people, who had a ball up there, taking photos of each other, laughing and enjoying their experience and each other’s company.

Like Bourke St up there! (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
Like Bourke St up there! (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
The Pinnacle lookout (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
The Pinnacle lookout (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)

And down there is our caravan park.

Look! You can just about see Alice the Caravan! (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
Look! You can just about see Alice the Caravan! (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)

 

 

 

Categories
Travels

The Grampians — Mt William

The Grampians, from Mt William (photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
The Grampians, from Mt William (photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)

Mt William is the highest peak in the Grampians, so it has a telecommunications tower on top. This means that there is an access road up to the top. However the road is not for mere (unfit) mortals like the Fella and me to drive up! We had to walk. The advantage was that it was a road, and so no rock hopping. (More of that in another post.) The disadvantage was that the incline was fairly constant for all of the 1.8 km we had to walk.

The cairn at the top said that the road was built in 1963. It was quite possible that when we camped in the Grampians as a child that we drove all the way up to the top.

I stopped often, with the excuse of taking photos of the lovely views and wild flowers. Really I was just letting my heart rate settle a little! As you enjoy the photos, think of the effort I went to, just for you!

 (photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
(photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
Looking North (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
Looking North (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
The Grampians, from Mt William (photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
The Grampians, from Mt William (photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
Looking back to the car park. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
Looking back to the car park. (Photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)

 

 

 

Categories
Birds Travels

More adventures with Alice, in the Grampians

The Grampians, from Mt William (photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
The Grampians, from Mt William (photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)

The Fella and I are off having adventures in Alice the Caravan. (Want to know more about Alice? Have a look here.)

The Grampians are a rugged national park in Western Victoria, and are very spectacular.

 (photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
(photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)

Halls Gap is the main town, and its main purpose is tourism. However, it is still a pleasant, informal town. We are staying in a caravan park 4 km south, just below the wall of the Bellfield Dam. The Lakeside Tourist Park is a great place to be. Forget the word ‘tourist’, which in my mind conjures up images of over organisation, like a theme park with caravans! This caravan park is not like that. It is a friendly, relaxed place with great amenities. I especially enjoy the individual shower and toilet. Often showers are cramped, so it was nice to have room to spread out! And delicious hot water too 🙂

It also has a dining room/kitchen complex and a TV. Not having a TV has been great, but I did appreciate watching the footy on the one here last Saturday. I just didn’t appreciate the result!

I have also loved having wild life close by. While the kangaroos only come into the camping area at night, there are dozens of them in the grassed areas around us. I saw a paddock the other side of town that must have had around one hundred in it.

I counted 40 kangaroos in this photo. It is an area next to the caravan park.  (photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
I counted 40 kangaroos in this photo. It is an area next to the caravan park. (photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)

 

 (photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
(photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)

 

This kangaroo is eating in someone's backyard. Can you see another one having a lie down next to the garage?  (photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
This kangaroo is eating in someone’s backyard. Can you see another one having a lie down next to the garage? (photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)

There are also sulphur crested cockatoos wheeling and screeching around the sky. They fly in large flocks, the hooligans of the bush. They are noisy and can be destructive, but I find their cheekiness rather endearing.

Sulphur crested cockatoo, sitting on the awing of the caravan.  (photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)
Sulphur crested cockatoo, sitting on the awing of the caravan. (photo copyright: Anne Lawson, 2013)

I have seen currawongs and magpies, little scrub wrens and finches, and some rosellas. And the wild flowers have a special place for me. But more of them soon.

I hope life is as good for you in your part of the world. 🙂