I started my 4 day trip around the Grampians National Park at Dunkeld on the southern edge of this amazing rugged area in the east of Victoria.
The first night I stayed at a campsite about 11km northwest of Dunkeld. It was beside a dry lakebed which was a good walk around. Very serene with Mt Sturgeon, Mt Abrupt and The Piccaninny nearby.
The next morning I set off early to do the Mt Sturgeon walk. Perhaps a little too early as when I reach the summit there was a lot of mist around from the low cloud cover and trying to take pictures didn’t seem to justify the energy expended in climbing the 3.5km trek up. It was majestic though.
After traversing the 3.5km trek down which was much easier than going up, I veered off to the left to do the Piccaninny walk. This was a much easier climb and gave a good view over Dunkeld and back up to Mt Sturgeon and across to Mt Abrupt.
That afternoon I drove the Grampians Way which meandered its way up the western edge of the mountain range and I found my way to Taylor’s lake which is not far east of Horsham. A lovely campsite for an overnight stop. The next morning I was up early as I wanted to check out Hollow Mountain. It was a long walk but it was one of the most strenuous walks as it was virtually vertical to climb. The views from the summit of course made the pain of the climb go away (momentarily at least). After catching my breath I returned to my bus and headed into Halls Gap which is “the heart of The Grampians”. It reminded me of places like Thredbo. A small village with people wandering around in awe of the surrounding beauty and the anticipation of exploring further afield. I had some lunch and then did one of the walks close by. The Venus Baths Loop was an easy going walk which brought me out at the local Botanical Gardens.
For the next 2 nights I stayed at Lake Lonsdale which was about 15/20 minutes out of town along sealed roads. There were about 4 different areas to choose from. All were close to the lake. The first night I picked a spot back from the lake and there were only 2 other campers there. It was very windy and the lake was quite choppy and there was plenty of dust around. The second night I chose Diggers Rest and found a spot close to the eater but with plenty of grass and the lake was as calm as could be. Only one other caravan came in to stay.
Day 2 at Halls Gap and I drove up the steep and winding Mount Victory Rd to the Carpark for the walk up to The Pinnacle. This was a challenging walk but again so rewarding with such a spectacular view down to Halls Gap and the northern area of The Grampians. Next was a trip further up the range to Boroka Lookout. From a different angle it looked over the township and across to The Pinnacle. Stunning views. I then went to MacKenzie Falls and did the various walks there.
After returning to Halls Gap I drove out to Stawell the home of the Stawell Gift (see seperate post). After another night at Lake Lonsdale I drove to the Mount William carpark before taking the walk up to the top. At 1167 metres it is the highest point in The Grampians. The walk is totally up a road 2km in length but the steepness of it makes it so challenging. Again the view is awesome as you appreciate the vastness of the Grampians.