After getting over our jet lag in Glenelg, we drove to Halls Gap the next morning. Limited to just 100 kph, the 500km drive was a rather long, yet very scenic one. I therefore fully recommend stopping by at every tourist destination you will stumble on. It might just be a small roadside attraction, but even these are quite great in a country like Australia.
Having arrived at the Kookaburra Motor Lodge, we were quickly instructed to do every hike at the Grampians National Park and Halls Gap is a great starting point to do so. However, the main reason to visit the Grampians was not to go on a hike – something, I have not done since my school days –, but the Kangaroos, which can be found basically everywhere! Especially the view out of our window was fantastic, as we overlooked a big open area with dozens of Kangaroos.
Venus Bath and Chatauqua Peak
We started our first hike in the afternoon. Along the Stony Creek, we first made our way to the very picturesque Venus Bath. Unfortunately, it was way to cold to jump into the water. From here, we started the climb to Chatauqua Peak. Up there, we enjoyed the view for a view minutes before we started our way downhill. At the same time, it started to rain.
Completely soaked, we reached the valley. After a short walk along the Grampians Road, we made it to the village centre, where we soon grabbed some crisps and a fine Australian wine before heading back to the motel. While Aris went straight to bed, I enjoyed the view on the terrace where I also had a funny encounter with a Kakadu.
The next morning, we started our day with a fantastic breakfast at the livefast lifestyle café before heading to the Grampians Wonderland car park where we started our hike for the Pinnacle Lookout. After a short walk, the hike starts to be a very beautiful one as we start climbing a bit along the Grand Canyon. Via a pair of stairs, we then reach a steadily increasing path which is very easy to walk on. Here we pass the Cool Chamber, as well as the Bridal Veil Falls before reaching our next highlight: the Silent Street. Here we gain a lot of altitude while the crescive is getting narrower and narrower. Luckily there were a bunch of stairs, which made the climb a little bit less adventurous, but still very recommendable. Once we reached the end of the silent street, the Pinnacle Lookout was in sight.
After a few moments of enjoying the view and sitting close to the edge, we then decided to start our descent. Instead of going down the same way, we took the option for a slightly longer path via the Gardens of the Grampians, where we first had to jump from one rock to the other. It was an easy hike through a forest. Back at the Grand Canyon, we then had to be careful not to slip. Especially the last meters back to the car were quite slippery.
While there were a lot of people on the way to the Pinnacle Lookout, the hike was not yet as touristy as you might imagine. MacKenzie Falls on the other hand is perfectly optimised for a huge number of tourists with a very large parking lot, all facilities you could wish for and very wide paths. Going down to the falls is very easy going and the MacKenzie Falls are indeed a sight of its own. This wide waterfall is very impressing, yet if can bring some time with you, you should not stop here. Further down the MecKenzie river, there are the Fish Falls, which are also very impressing on their own. Parking at the Zumsteins Picnic Area is fully recommended, as you don’t have to climb up to get to the parking lot on top of the MacKenzie Falls again, albeit you might miss the less impressive Broken Falls when doing so.
Boroka and Reed Lookout
On the way back to Halls Gap, we decided to enjoy the view twice more by stopping at the Boroka and Reed Lookout. While the Boroka Lookout is easily accessible and did not require any further walking to enjoy the view, the Reed Lookout is also the starting point for a small hike towards the Balconies from where you have a very impressive view. The return towards the car park however was very hard, as my whole body was getting sore. Back in the car, I had some time to relax before we headed towards our next destination.
The Silverband Road is a fantastic road to drive on when going down towards Halls Gap. It is just plain fun due to the curvy characteristics of the road and the overall scenic drive. The Silverband Falls are also located on the road and while this waterfall is rather small, it is still a fun little hike from the parking lot. Even if everything was hurting in my body, this small stop was a great addition to a day with a lot of very impressive hikes.
Pictures Grampians National Park
Back at the motel, we relaxed ourselves a bit, before we headed to the Paper Scissors Rock Brew Co. to celebrate the Aris’ birthday. We had a fantastic dinner and some great craft beers. I would be glad to come back one day for more, as I was really impressed by everything Halls Gap is offering. I had a blast and even though we basically started our journey across the country in the Grampians, the two days we had, were the highlight of my holiday.
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