Grampians National Park, Day Two


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.

IMG_3976

View from Reed Lookout.

IMG_3981

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.

IMG_3985

This would be quite a place to work.   I love views like this.

About a 1 mile hike to and from The Balconies.

IMG_3989IMG_3991

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.

IMG_3998

Cool, there’s steps…

People at MacKenzie Falls

..and people at the bottom!

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.

IMG_4000

The top of the main falls.

IMG_4003

Most Australian waterfalls are rather a disappointment as they are nearly dry.  This one was the exception.

IMG_4007

Almost there.

IMG_4009

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!

DSCF1323

Quite a bunch of people from all over the world.

IMG_4015IMG_4016

The overlook from below.

DSCF1324

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!

IMG_4017

One of the locals out looking for lunch.  These little guys are pretty brave.  It would have been easy to grab one.

IMG_4019

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!

IMG_4020

IMG_4021IMG_4022IMG_4023IMG_4024

Puff puff puff…

IMG_4025IMG_4026

Whew, now for the final overlook a few hundred yards upstream.

IMG_4028

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. 

2/1/2017  5:20pm

Advertisements

About Ken

I am a federal employee that loves to travel. I don't get any time off during the busy salmon tagging season, March through November. So, I save my leave and explore the warmer parts of the world during the winter.
This entry was posted in Down Under, Mate!. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s