CJ - With my time running out in Melbourne, and only a couple of weeks to go until I am back on the road travelling again, I figured it was time to get back into the swing of things so booked myself onto a Backpacker tour to the Grampians National Park.
The Grampians are a range of beautiful mountains and landscapes about 3 hours from Melbourne. They were named by a Scottish Explorer who felt that they were very similar to some mountain ranges in Scotlands, hence the name the Grampians! There has been some beautiful weather in Melbourne recently, we have been having a bit of a late Summer, and some of the past weekends have been great in terms of the weather. So why then, when I decide to go to visit the Grampians, out of all the past weekends I could have chosen, I pick the one when Winter decides it wants to start, along with all the rain that hasn't happened over the past couple of months (there are water shortages around most of the country)!!!
So off I set at the crack of dawn with 6 hours of driving in a mini bus ahead of me, with the rain lashing down, and not a spec of blue sky at all!! Am I mad?? Yes I must be!!! But just as we start to climb up into the Grampians a few hours later, the clouds start to clear, and some blue sky finally emerges, and yes a bit of sun too!!! All hope is not lost for a nice day!!
We took a walk down through a part of the Grampians called 'Hall's Gap', which was a lovely walk up and down through the amazing Sandstone rock formations, one in particular called the 'Elephant Hide', and past some rock pools called the 'Venus Baths'. It's hard to believe that this type of countryside can be found in Australia, some areas of it are just so green, and more akin to parts of the UK maybe.
After stopping for some lunch, we then headed over to check out the 'Mackenzie Falls', and the 'Boroka Lookout', with the last stop of the day at a view point called the 'Jaws of Death', or the 'Balconies' which the rock formations are also referred to as. After a bit of a wet and windy start, the day turned out to be very enjoyable, it was just so nice to be out of the city, and in some beautiful countryside!