Smithsdownunder
Our journeys around Australia

19-Dec-2004
   

We have driven north 100kms from the coast to revisit the Grampians National Park. This is a very mountainous area with lakes and waterfalls.

This is Mount Abrupt (827mtrs) on the way into the park from the south.

Mount Abrupt
Boroka Lookout

The place has been sanitised a bit since we last visited 8 years ago. We were able to sit on the rock ledge at the Boroka Lookout but it is all fenced off now and this is as close as we could get.

The lake in the distance is Lake Bellfield and the road is winding through Halls Gap, which is the main town in the area.

Halls Gap from the Boroka Lookout.

Another famous landmark is The Balconies but no more posing at the end of the ledge any longer as it too has been fenced off.

The Balcony

The Balcony lookout
MacKenzie Falls

As its summer now (yes, the temperature has been up to 38 in the shade for a few days!), a lot of the waterfalls have dried up but Mackenzie Falls were still flowing.

Can you spot Ali doing her hair shampoo ad thing in the pool at the bottom of the falls?

Mackenzie Falls

We went on a walking trail to Hollow Mountain. The Park brochure said it was a 'Medium' walk (As opposed to 'Difficult' at Kalbarri Loop if you remember), just 3km with a bit of 'Rock Hopping' and a clamber up a steep bit.

My navigator was up for a bit of rock hopping so we gave it a go.

The Navigator takes to mountain climbing.

Rock climbing - Hollow Mountain
My sherpa waiting at base camp

The track gradually rose until we got to the rocks and then we started climbing, gently at first but getting steeper all the time. About halfway up, the going changed. At this point my sherpa come navigator decided enough was enough and set up base camp. I followed the track to the top (400mtrs) and I think Ali made the right decision! The view from the top was excellent though.

My sherpa resting at base camp.

We visited a very old aboriginal shelter called Manja where there were some old paintings. Can you make out the hands on the wall?

Aboriginal rock paintings at Manja Shelter

Manja Sheler
Wild flowers These flowers were alongside the track leading to the shelter.

We camped out in the bush in the shadow of Mount Difficult. It was a wooded area and we found a nice clearing to park the caravan in.

Bush campsite in the Grampians.

Bush camping at the Plantation campsite
Our new En-suite

In the evenings we were visited by kangaroos and woken in the mornings with the cry of kookaburras. The kookaburras usually woke the parrots and then the noise level rose dramatically.

As we were bush camping, we had the chance of using our new en-suite facility for the first time. The black bag at the top contains water that is heated by the sun. The bag has a shower rose and a tap so at the end of the day, climb in the tent and turn on the shower. Ali is in there somewhere.

Our new En-suite facilities.