Saturday, 19 November 2016

Grampians - Day 18

The temperature is improving, it was 10.4oC this morning. On the drive to Hollow Mountain we saw a pair of emus rush across the road, (too quickly for a photo, but lovely to see). We looked for Golton Gorge on the way, but the map wasn't accurate enough and there weren't any signs, (later on we found out that it was on the other side of the road, and it was closed!).
Burnt trees on the hills almost look like fur

We followed Mud Hut Creek upstream to some rock steps leading to Beehive Falls. I waited in the cool shade beside the rock pools while Darryl continued on to see if he could get a view (which he couldn't).

I couldn't find out what this it
Scarlet Pimpernel (Lysimachia arvensis)

Kangaroo Apple (Solanum lacinatum)

Darryl climbed Hollow Mountain while I visited the Rock Art Shelter (Gulgun Manja). Hollow Mountain had large rockpools near the top, which seemed strange given how dry it felt. The are is very popular with rock-climbers who were also heading up. This whole area had been burnt out 2 years ago and is in recovery. it is very sad to see the results of the fire, but good to see the recovery. 

View from Hollow Mountain

A tiny birdnest

We had lunch at the Mt Zero Picnic Ground, which had quite a few big shady trees, so obviously avoided the big fire. Darryl went up Mt Zero, while I sat in the shade. Our neighbours from last night were here as well. 

It was a pleasant drive through the Wartook Valley, with rural farming areas, with wheat, sheep, olives and wine. 

The large MacKenzie Falls are on the MacKenzie River. The carpark was quite large but really full, as it is well developed as a tourist spot, with the path down cemented with steps. The first lookout was not very spectacular as all we could see was the water going over the edge, so a little disappointing, but down many more steps we came to the base. Darryl crossed on the rocks and enjoyed the cool mist blasting off the falls. 1.4km further down were Fish Falls, along the river walk. Back up at the top there was a short walk to Broken Falls lookout. These falls were quite spectacular. 

McKenzie Falls


Sheoak (Casuarina spp)

Fish Falls

Fish Falls

Broken Falls

I had planned a couple of other stops, but it was getting late and we needed to get fuel so headed back to Hall's Gap. We had an idiot overtake us on a very narrow, dangerously winding part of the road, while we were stuck behind 2 other slower cars, so he didn't achieve anything. A hot shower was enjoyed again (thanks to Darryl), and BBQ'd lamb and garlic cabbage after happy hour was delicious. The park is pretty full tonight, and 8pm and the flies are still going! Some idiots were still talking very loudly (although a long way away from us) at 2:30am.

Darryl's homemade pig cooks dinner very well with minimal wood

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