Over the June long weekend I went for a leisurely stroll through the Grampians in Victoria with a school mate Josh and his brother. Neither Josh or I had hiked there before, so in the end we picked the hike with the toughest description that formed a loop – and man we picked well!
The Major Mitchell Plateau walk climbs from the bottom of a valley up a long but gentle track that follow the side of a ridge line right up on to the Plateau. We picked the weather window perfectly, with rain for a few days before hand the area was lush and the creeks were all running. Plus we started the walk in dense cloud and fog (which would come and go the whole weekend) so that until we were well up the side of the plateau we genuinely didn’t know what we were getting into.
The views when the clouds did seperate were spectacular!
On that first night the campsite was absolutely packed, to the point where a group of older club bushwalkers went around and hassled everyone to make sure that everyone had permits! Being jammed in did have the advantage that we met our neighbours and had some great chats – we got along particularly well with a group of outdoor ED people from Melbourne. They were telling us all about how they had a car at the end of the second day and were going to drive into town to get indian and beers for dinner. We of course put in an order, half jokingly.
The second day of our walk has a heap of hills, often quite steep so I am glad we had dry weather otherwise I imagine parts of the track could have been treacherous. However the track is in the process of being massively upgraded for the future Grampians Peaks Trail which I can’t wait to do once it all connects up. One section consisted of beautifully made stairs on the way up, and then sketchy(ish) narrow footpads on the way down, so it will be really interesting to see what the final track is like.
We were treated to a lot more views on the second day as well which was a treat.
When we arrived at camp we were in for a treat. Our friends from the previous night had beers and snacks for us! They even brought us home some indian! Thank you so much crew!
On Saturday morning I woke up bright and early excited about what my week had in store. Starting with a long drive from Alexandra I was heading south to Wilsons Promontory and the southern most point of mainland Australia.
My early start unsurprisingly started late with four or five coffees as Terry kept refilling my glass, and then rain, wind a fog made for an interesting drive down to my starting point at Tidal River. What google said would take 3.5hrs ended up taking 5.5hrs due to meal breaks, stops to admire the mist filled Blue Gum forests, and slow Saturday drivers.
Arrive at the information centre at 2:30pm I was a little concerned about whether I’d have time to do the walk I wanted that day, but 15 minutes chatting to the ranger set me up with an achievable route for a 5 day walk, confirmation of expected walk times and off I set. Continue reading
Tonight I have been tidying my room. This means going through boxes of old documents I know long need and receipts from adventures long ago. Finding a folder of bank statements made me thing of some of the more fun things I did in 2007, one of which was the Great Ocean Walk in Victoria. This post will mostly be a few happy snaps, and is totally out of date, but the walk was amazing and I would recommend it to anyone.
Back in 2007 I was part of the UNSW Outdoors Club and enjoyed the company of their members of several trips including a rogaining (click this link if you mistakenly think it is a hair treatment), caving and bushwalking. One of the most enjoyable trips was to join a mate Ian, his brother and two utterly novice hikers on a 6 day bush walk along the Great Ocean Walking track. This 100km covers the section of coastline not occupied by the Great Ocean Road, known for being the most scenic coastal drive in Victoria as well as being a whole lot of fun in a gutless corolla.
Starting from Apollo Bay, and ending at the Apostle Bay visitors centre the walk is almost entirely isolated and away from the road, traffic and other people. It is well equipped with shelters and water tanks and the scenery is mind bogglingly good, especially with the luck we had.
I won’t go into the details of the walk because they are probably covered in a better more up to date manner by Parks Vic, however some of the highlights of the trip included:
- The anchors of long wrecked ships washed up on rock platforms
- Long isolated beaches
- Campsites with cooking shelters on wet evenings, and the sort of conversations that can only happen after 5 days straight with the same people
- being absolute shown how hiking should be done by a pair of 70+ Canadian women who were walking substantially faster, and more efficiently than us kids.
- Dunnies with views. Seriously good views.
- The whole walk!
To summarise the trip even further here are a few happy snaps!