Sunday, May 11, 2008

Grampians in May .......

We decided to go away on the weekend of 10/11 May - last chance with Company car and petrol. Even so, didn't venture too far - just to the Grampians. Before I get into the trip story, I have deliberately placed a photo of the Silverband Falls right at the start - take a look at it to the left. Now, what is missing in this photo? If you can't figure it out, I will tell all at the end of the narrative.

We stayed at the Halls Gap Best Western Colonial Motor Inn. I MUST start the story with something about this Motel. We ordered a couple of Best Western vouchers to cover the accommodation costs, but they didn't arrive in time. When we got to the Motel, Kimberley was incredibly understanding and helpful. She volunteered to charge us just at the rate they would receive back from Best Western, then, when the vouchers arrive and we send them on, she will credit the accommodation charges back on our Visa. Absolutely no obligation for them to do this - just a case of GREAT service. Add to this the fact that the room was very nice and the food at their Darcy's Restaurant was worth the trip in itself. To the Colonial Motor Inn and Kimberley, 11 out of 10 on your scorecard.

The Grampians, like most of the State, is very drought stricken, so the various waterfalls were certainly not at their best. All in all, we probably walked about 10 kms on the Saturday, mostly not too arduous. Splitters Falls, at Wonderland, was probably the most difficult. We didn't do the Pinnacle or Grand Canyon. From there we went on to Boroka Lookout where the mist tended to spoil the view a bit. We did notice the novel decking here, where they obviously went to great expense and trouble to save one tree when the lookout was built. I guess, if I can paraphrase the Monty Python song - "Every tree is sacred", they obvioulsy felt that the Grampians were short on trees.

From the lookout, we took a back way round to the Lake Whartook wall. The water level here (as with all the lakes in the area) is well down on the last time we visited. From there a short stint to MacKenzie's and Broken Falls. The guy working at the Kiosk here was very helpful with advice on various places we might find interesting. On his advice we proceeded to Zumstiens where we took the 6 km round trip to Fish Falls. A nice easy grade walk (the most difficult bit was avoiding all the animal poop scattered along the track). Got up close with a kangaroo on the walk back - one of the few we saw on the entire trip.

Sunday morning we saw the Silver Band Falls and then took the Glenelg River Road (all unsealed) west, to come out on the Henty Hwy. north of Cavendish. Into Hamilton for lunch and then home.

Okay, have you worked out what was missing at Silver Band Falls. Here is a closer picture. What would one normally find at the bottom of every waterfall? A pond or pool where the water collects before continuing onwards as a creek or stream. Well, this just doesn't happen with these falls. The water disappears immediately into the bed rock at the base and then proceeds underground for a way. We reckon it's some sort of magic trick, but it does give a very unusual finish to the falls.