Last week Bron and I headed off to Halls Gap (in the Grampians)for four days of rest and recreation.I reflected on how fortunate we were to be able to (with just a little planning) pack the car with clothes and supplies,drop the dog off at the kennels and head off north- west of Melbourne along the Western Highway.
After driving for a little over and hour we decided to pull off the road under a nice treed spot and got the thermos out and enjoyed a welcome hot cuppa after that a change of drivers kept us both enjoying the trip as either a driver or viewing passenger.
The weather was perfect as was our journey with the exception of a minor hiccup when the Tom-Tom even with the latest Maps downloaded sent us off in the wrong direction some where before Beauford,no doubt due to the almost 10 kilometers of new highway under construction,only to correct itself shortly after.
We stopped at the Ararat Hotel that was over a 100 years old and in its original art-deco design having that old world feel about it,especially with all the seniors lunching there.
Whilst it was still sunny there it was getting a bit cool and windy so our expensive hot meal($10 each) was most welcome and set us up for the remainder of our journey.
We hired a one bedroom Cottage that was exceptionally roomy and comfortable with every mod-con you could name and it was situated only five minutes drive from Halls Gap.
Nestled in the heart of the Grampians,Halls Gap is a typical small countryside town with a comprehensive range of accommodation and things to do.There is in excess of 160 kilometres of walking tracks to explore in and around the area including The Pinnicales,Lake Bellfield,Lake Fyans,Reeds Lookout and many many more.
Next morning and all fitted out in our hiking gear we drove to the” Wonderland Loop” car park and set off on the two and a half hour return journey to the Pinnacles where my 68 year old legs realized they were no longer 25 year old legs( I never knew they could quiver so much) but the weather was faultless and the sights along the way were absolutely amazing.
On returning from that conquest and looking forward to our next challenge we drove on to “McKenzie’s Falls” and boy was that steep(The old legs went into quiver mode once again) and after descending about 80% of the way down and knowing we would have to climb all the way back up to the car park again wisdom kicked in so we enjoyed the views and headed back home to the cottage.
Being the thrill seekers that we are(yeah sure)next morning we drove off to “Reeds Lookout” and oh boy,what a magnificent jaw dropping never to be forgotten experience to have,you could almost see to the horizon with mountains and bush land,we followed a track for one kilometer to see the “Balconies” as shown below.
Our second night there was also a site to see as there was controlled burning of bush land in progress close by the cottage and the orange/grey coloring , heat of the flames and the smell of eucalyptus lent it self to be well worth seeing.
Of all the travels around OZ that I’ve been on I don’t believe I have ever seen so many kangaroos which must be a boon to the town for all the overseas visitors to enjoy.
Our four days of travelling, hiking,seeing the glorious milky way in all its splendor,eating out in town,visiting the Brambuk Indigenous Cultural Centre all combined to a great short stay holiday that we are going to return to and venture on to more of the exciting walks of the Grampians.
I would highly recommend a visit and stay to Halls Gap as its only about a three and a half/four hour journey easy drive to see a small piece of our beautiful country.