Up and at ‘em early. Crowds in the park meant that it would be nice to see the sites with not so many people around. We hoped.
Through Halls Gap, and up the winding road into the upper elevations of the park. Sure enough, no one there. Well, one car plus us. This gave us a chance to get some peace and quiet with the park.
View from Reed Lookout.
Praxy by the lookout tower.
Wild fires are a huge issue here. In 2006 the fires were so severe, that the park had to be completely closed for a year. Even some of the pavement got burned. There were some fires in 2015, but not near as serious. You could hardly tell it 1 year later.
This would be quite a place to work. I love views like this.
About a 1 mile hike to and from The Balconies.
This used to be (and still is to people that disobey the signs) a great place to sit for a picture. It’s at least 500 feet down from the end of those rocks. The lower one looks quite precarious, not much support remaining under it. Looking at google images…
(The Balconies) will show some pictures of brave people on these rocks in much better lighting. The overcast just ruined my pictures from an artistic standpoint. But it is what it is. I don’t have endless days to return for perfect conditions. I suppose I could photo shop ‘em, but I’m too lazy.
Back to the car and the parking lot was almost full. That’s perhaps 40 cars in the time we were walking back and forth to The Balconies. The sleepyheads were finally awake.
Next stop was MacKenzie Falls. Back out to the main road and it was busy with cars heading somewhere. MacKenzie Falls was that destination.
This alone was worth the trip from Adelaide. First thing was to walk out to the overlook. As we set out, it became obvious we were getting worn out. Praxy’s knees were bothering her and I had a serious hitch in my left leg. We’d come this far, so we toughed it out. And here’s the results.
Cool, there’s steps…
..and people at the bottom!
This required some investigation, sore legs or not! We walked back, dropped off our warm clothing, and took off down those steps.
The top of the main falls.
Most Australian waterfalls are rather a disappointment as they are nearly dry. This one was the exception.
Whew. People were streaming down the steps at this point. I took refuge on a rock to shoot these pictures, Praxy got a picture of me!
Quite a bunch of people from all over the world.
The overlook from below.
We walked down below the falls a bit, it was a 3 kilometer walk to a trailhead. Not for us, so time to return. Up all those steps. Wait!
One of the locals out looking for lunch. These little guys are pretty brave. It would have been easy to grab one.
Didn’t try to cross on the stepping stones. Too many people. I was trying to put it off, but no getting around it. Those steps were still there. SIGH! Here we go!
Puff puff puff…
Whew, now for the final overlook a few hundred yards upstream.
The upper part of the cascades. There are a series of waterfalls tumbling down the sandstone cliffs.
This was the end. Both of us were exhausted. Back in the car to sit down. Two days later, we’ve both recovered.
We took the long way back to Ararat via Horsham and Stawell. NO TRAFFIC in the park. Everyone, all those cars crowded on the road, were going from Halls Gap to MacKenzie Falls. Hardly saw a car until we reached the main highway.
The drive back to Adelaide the next day was mostly uneventful. Miles and miles of wheat and sheep. We paralleled the rail route for the Overland train for hundreds of miles. Four days from now we’ll go back through Horsham, Stawell, and Ararat on our return to Melbourne.
The rental car has been safely returned to downtown Adelaide. That is just about all the driving I’ll be doing. I took the bus back from town to Mount Barker.
Though I never got really super comfortable with driving on the wrong side, I feel confident enough now that I would do it again. England? India?
The following posts will be covering our return to the US.