The You Yangs are a small group of small mountains between Melbourne and Geelong. There is a sign for the You Yangs along the freeway that we take to get to the Great Ocean Road, so for awhile I have been curious about the area. So today that was our destination, You Yangs Regional Park.
The You Yangs got their name from the Aboriginal words that mean “mountains in the middle of the plain,” which is an accurate description of the region. In 1802, explorer Matthew Flinders was the first European to walk to the highest peak here, which now bears his name.
We had a drive of about an hour (longer than necessary because of a huge traffic jam due to construction on the way out of town) and arrived at the parking lot for the Flinder’s Peak hike around 12:35 PM. Our first job was to eat our lunch on a bench overlooking the open plains. The hike to the peak was fairly easy as the trail was wonderfully maintained and even though the grade was a steady assent, it was never difficult walking. As a matter of fact we saw lots of families on this 3k hike because it was a very manageable walk.
There was an overlook near the summit that looked down over a huge display of rock art that depicted a wedge-tailed eagle. This was the project of Australian artist Andrew Rogers who arranged these rocks as part of an art installation in honor of the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006. The eagle is representative of the Aboriginal belief in the creator Bunjil. The rock eagle’s wing span in 100 meters and it is constructed of 1500 tonnes (Aussie spelling) of local rock. It was visible several times during our hikes.
At the summit, 364 meters above sea level, we enjoyed the 360 degree view. We could easily see the city of Geelong and then in the far distance the high rises of Melbourne were visible.
We hiked back towards the car but decided to take a hike that turned off just before the car park. This was the East-West trail, a 4.5k loop trail that circumnavigated the biggest of the You Yangs. This trail was a bit more rugged, more trail-like to us! We enjoyed the regular views off into the plains.
By the time we got back to the car the clouds had moved in, but we never got any rain.
Speaking of rain, we got rained on at last night’s footy game! But we had gone prepared and during the second quarter when the wind started to blow and the rain started to fall we pulled on our rain coats and pants and enjoyed the game in spite of a couple of good showers moving through. The game was lots of fun because we were sitting right in the heart of the Hawthorn Hawks fan section. There were over 71,000 avid (or maybe more accurately, rabid!) fans in the MCG and the Hawks won in a good game. We thank Jim’s colleague, Huw, for the tickets.
This morning before our trip to the You Yangs, we walked to the Prahran Market, our closest public market. The market building had been closed for a month or so while a new floor was poured and other upgrades were made. During this time the fresh produce vendors sold their goods outside, under large tents. I realized the market was back to normal a week or so ago when I went there on a weekday. Well, today was the grand re-opening celebration and we enjoyed the live music and decorations that were all around. There were free samples of food, juice and wine for the taking and I got a nice market bag with some fun little gifts enclosed. We filled up our bags and Jim’s backpack with eggs, meat, cheese, almonds, bread, fruit and veggies (which were not free samples!).
And just because it has been awhile, I went back in the photo archives and found a crashing wave photo!!!!
Today’s high temperature was 15 C. or 59 F., and mostly sunny~a very pleasant day.
I’m not sure what our plans are for tomorrow, but we have a couple of thoughts.