While my legs are dangling over the edge, and I’m staring in the infinite depth of the cliff below me, I realize I’ve got a terrible fear of heights. What was I doing here again, balancing on the absolute edge? And –more importantly- how do I climb back up again?
After a 4.6k hike uphill we reached the top of this mountain, which mostly consists of massive rocks. I faced my fear already many times, but I have the feeling there will be more challenges. Mount Rosea, that’s the name of this giant. It stands in the Grampians, a huge national park west of Melbourne. We were on the second day of our four day trip. On our way from Melbourne, we had not having considered all of the supermarkets in the state would be closed for Good Friday- we were forced to do groceries at 7/11 for the first day.
Well prepared, as always.
Camping in the Forest
We couldn’t book a campground for Friday and Saturday night, so we were going to do wildcamping. In the forest, just out of the park. When we’d set up the tent, the guys emptied the ground for a bonfire. Aurelien (from France) found a bucket with no bottom, which we used for the fire. With Kyle’s (USA) gas cooker , we boiled water for our instant noodles. Perfect dinner, sitting around a bonfire.
It was nearly full moon, and the entire area was lit. We strolled around for a bit, but halfway I decided to go back as I was very tired. Kyle said that this would be a start of a horror movie. Even though I cleared my mind from that thought, I walked a líttle bit faster than necessary, and secretly was a bit relieved when getting back in the tent. Not that a little layer of canvas would offer a lot of protection, but still.
Saturday night we slept at a different spot, in the forest. That night we witnessed a true lunar eclipse. Being that far away from the city, it was amazingly clear to see. When the moon had reduced to a black circle with a reddish glow, (shooting) stars were everywhere. Just as I stood by Kyle’s tent to steal some extra layers of clothing, I heard footsteps in the bushes. While I tried to pull a sweater over my head with one hand, I sprinted back to my tent. Sanne (Dutchie) was brushing her teeth, and was not very happy with my statement about hearing someone creeping through the woods.
Despite the scariness of the previous nights, all of us would’ve preferred to sleep in the forest for another night on Sunday. But since we already paid for our camp spot, now we could easily set up our tents in the morning, and had neighbours for a change.
First we drove to Boreo Lookout. Since half of Melbourne seemed to be here, there were no parking spots. So we had to walk a bit further. But halfway up the hill, a pickup truck stopped and let us sit in the back. Once again the lookout point meant climbing fences and walking along the edge. All worth it for the photos though!
After this we’d planned to go to the McKenzie Falls. We had to climb down at least thirty sets of stairs to get to them. Standing at the top gave us a good impression of the height and the power of the waterfall. When we reached the Falls, Sanne and I walked past the rest of the tourists and climbed up a big rock. One look to our left made us realize that Kyle had outdone us already and was almost facing the top of the waterfall.
We walked along the water for a while, and decided to go back up then, to be able to do one more hike before sunset: Mount William. The highest mountain of The Grampians, standing at 1167m. The path that lead to the top, was described as ‘strenuous’ and ‘steep’. Which was very true, but at the top we had an amazing 360 degree view over the entire park. We decided to walk down before sunset, because it was cooling down quickly. Also we had to drive back to the campground, on a terrible road.
Back at our tents, we ate noodles with ravioli, from cut out bottle-bottoms and empty noodle cups, with plastic McDonalds cutlery. Camping makes you very inventive, especially when you forget all of the supplies. I think I’ll never learn. Our neighbours already made a bonfire, so we could sit with them. When I heard something in the dark, I looked on my left and saw two wild kangaroos. Even after 1.5 years in Australia, I still find that very exciting. I managed to lure one of them, who licked my finger, found out I did not have any food and hopped away again.
The last stop on our schedule, on Monday morning, was another lookout point: The Balcony. The name already tells, but this was one of the ‘famous edges’. It started to get a bit foggy, but still the view was incredible. Unfortunately right after that, rain started pouring down the sky, so we cancelled our last hike and drove home.
You can also visit the grampians national park site.