Cold and rain, that is the weather we dealt with all day, but we didn’t let it stop us from our plans.
Jim had researched some hikes and of course, found one to a high point in Grampians National Park. This 10k loop, named the Wonderland Circuit, left from the town of Hall’s Gap (where we stayed last night) and climbed to The Pinnacle, with an elevation gain of 400 meters (1300 feet). In spite of the drizzle and chill we enjoyed the different sections of this walk.
We started out hiking up along a small creek that tumbled over and around large rocks. The next section of the trail was called the Grand Canyon of the Grampians and it was a narrow rocky walk up another creek that inspired awe around every twist and turn. There were steep sections that were made doable by sets of metal stairs and in other places, well placed huge rocks got us across the creek. All this time there is a steady, misty rain falling and we are basically hiking in a cloud! Oh, and the wind was blowing, too! We laughed when the wind blew the tops off the piles of frog spit that accumulated at the base of the small waterfalls! We once again marveled at the trail construction with a focus on making the trail environmentally stable as well as safe for the hikers.
The final stretch of the trail went through a section called Silent Street and it was a very narrow slot between 2 huge outcroppings of rock. If the winds hadn’t been howling, it would have been silent in this rocky chamber.
We reached the summit and were not at all surprised when our view was a complete whiteout! And here the wind was so strong and gusty that we had to hang on to the handrails that outlined the overlook point on the summit! Here are two pictures of the summit. The first is the photo from the board describing this hike and the second is our version of this photo!
The weather conditions did not dampen our enthusiasm for this hike and we felt a real sense of accomplishment when we returned to Hall’s Gap on a completely different trail. We celebrated with meat pies for lunch, an Aussie tradition.
We had a 4 hour drive back to Melbourne, with a detour to Ballarat so I could buy a refrigerator magnet. Jim and I went to Ballarat one of the first weekends we were here and shortly after that I decided to collect magnets from our adventures, so I didn’t have one from the gold fields at Ballarat. We rectified that situation today.
Britni returned to the apartment shortly after we got home and we spent time comparing notes. She did a great job exploring Melbourne on her own. She went shopping, had tea at a popular teahouse, visited a museum and did lots of walking.
J&B leave tomorrow morning for a few days in Sydney. We celebrated our time together with dinner at Lamb on Chapel, the only restaurant we have visited more than once! We will be sad to see them go, but sure enjoyed our time together!