Finally out of the city! After two weeks in Adelaide, we could not wait to see Australia’s endless horizon again. For as beautiful and relaxed South Australia’s capital is, we prefer the rural flair and natural experiences. On our way to the famous Great Ocean Road we decided for a small detour, which led us to the Grampians, a mountain range in the heart of the state of Victoria. On the way there we had over-night stop at a small lake, which again showed how wonderful free campsites can be.
After another night on the edge of Grampian National Park, we enjoyed our breakfast at the resting place “Zumstein”, a former campground, created by the German immigrant Walter Zumstein. On the bank of a crystal-clear creek, we enjoyed our cereals in the morning sun. Well fed and energized, we went on a hike to the MacKenzie waterfall, a long water cascade that ends with a wide waterfall pumeting in a kind of valley bowl. Here we sat in the shade and devoured our sandwiches in front of this impressive backdrop.
After returning to the van we drove to a nearby vantage point with a fantastic view over untouched nature. After all the up and downhill runs, however, we needed new food for man and machine, so we went to the central point of the Grampians, the small village of Halls Gap. There we got diesel for Kifaru and noodles with tomato sauce and sulphur-crested cockatoos for us (the latter only as a spectator). India, of course, could not resist, contrary to all national park rules and her parents’ exhortations, to drop a few noodles for her cute friends.
After a relaxing night we had a visit to the Wonderland the next day, a rock labyrinth, which reminded us strongly of the amazing Saxon Switzerland back home. A climbing group, which was just scrambeling along the strongly eroded sandstone, made the impression perfect. Unfortunately, we lacked the equipment for climbing and the brooding heat made additional sports activities unlikely. So we were all the more pleased about the “cooling chamber” on the edge of the road, a small grotto, in which it was smoothly 10 degrees cooler (thus pleasant 30 degrees).
As the day ended, we went to a nearby lake, from whose low water level a bizarre forest of dead trees had emerged. India interpreted the dusty shore as a huge sandbox and while I watched her digging along, Franka went for a photo safari. This was a successful undertaking because, despite the barren landscape, there was a rich fauna consisting of an osprey, an emu family, two giant kangaroos and a stag.
After another night on the edge of the national park, it was now time to make some milage again, because our schedule was tight. In four days we wanted to be on the ferry to Tasmania and in between there was the unique Great Ocean Road, which of course wanted to be explored extensively. However, this natural wonder requires a blog of its own. So we only give you a short taste in the form of the Bay of Islands, a large bay dotted with partialy quite bizarre rocks. We could hardly get enough of this beautiful sight and every new lookout seemed to give an even better view of the wave-raged rock-needles. But more in the next report. Hear you soon.
Here you can find all photos for this post: From Adelaide to the Great Ocean Road