Travel: The Best Walks in the Grampians

What is it that makes us want to climb mountains? It’s a really universal urge, I feel. I’m getting really into hiking lately, partly inspired by my fitness focus (I’ve been all about the bootcamp, surprisingly). Not to mention that I happen to live in such a beautiful place, surrounded by gorgeous walks. This weekend was my second trip to the Grampians and this time we focused on staying to the south and centre, rather than the north.

Grampians Mt Rosea

On Sunday we spent the day clambering up Mt Rosea, which is one of the longer and more challenging day hikes in the Grampians National Park. I’d really recommend this for anyone looking for a more challenging walk away from the crowds. We started by heading up Stony Creek Road from the Mt Rosea carpark, which is definitely the best direction to challenge this loop as you get to clamber up and then take an easier walk down again. It should take around 2 hours to reach the top via the Gate of the East Wind. Any aches and grumbles will soon be silenced by the unbelievable views that greet you once you reach the top. These are widely agreed to be among the best in the Grampians and the great news is that the difficult climb means you’ll get to enjoy them in peace, without the crowds of families that can be found on some of the easier walks.

DSC_0140

DSC_0141

From the top, you need to make sure you turn left from the summit towards Burma Track, an old 4WD track. Be careful though as the signage isn’t great and the path itself is a little overgrown. Just make sure you turn left at any intersection and you’ll reach your original destination eventually. Also I came pretty close to being bitten by a snake, so watch your feet! After jumping at a noise, I turned to notice a large black snake slithering in the other direction. I couldn’t help but wonder how far away the nearest snake bite kit would be.

Other walks I really recommend include:

  • Mt Sturgeon for panoramic views to the south
  • Wonderland Carpark to the Pinnacle for iconic views and a challenging climb
  • Mt Difficult for a really challenging walk with waterfalls

DSC_0087

DSC_0050

DSC_0144

DSC_0042

DSC_0049

Advertisements

Travel: Autumn in Tasmania

I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to do a post on my trip to Tasmania. I’m just about ready to organise going on my next one. My hubby is a massive history nerd and had been begging me to go with him so he could check out the old penal colony and see a really important part of Australia’s history. I was also keen to check out MONA and the gorgeous landscape. I have to say Tasmania surpassed all our expectations and more to the point where we’ve officially added it to our ever-expanding list of dream places to run away to.

best 3

best 7

One of my favourite things about Australia is how it feels so young, and yet so old at the same time. The frothing surf and rugged cliffs of Wineglass Bay have an almost timeless quality to them. You feel as if you could be there at the dawn of time or the end of the world and it would still look the same. And when you visit the penal colony, it’s so beautiful but you can imagine how oppressive the same sprawling forests and narrow causeways would have felt to a prisoner there, only really held captive by their fear of being lost in the wild. We were only in Tassie for a long weekend but it felt like weeks, I can’t wait to go back.

best 6

best 9

Alex in Tasmania

If you’re planning a trip soon – here are some things you can’t miss in and around Hobart:

  • Wine Glass Bay
  • The fish farm / truck just before wine glass bay (look out for signs on the way)
  • Port Arthur
  • Ethos Restaurant
  • MONA

best 5

Style: The Weekly Beautiful

IMG_3380

There’s nothing like good friends, food and fresh, sea air to bring you out of a slump. I had a bit of a bad start to the weekend after having a mini crisis of confidence in my new writing class (putting myself out there + public speaking= no fun). Luckily things ended on a much better note with wine and sunset gazing at the beautiful pier in Albert Park. It’s nights like these that make me realise how much I love living in Australia. Even when you’re at your lowest, you’ll come across something so heart-stoppingly stunning that you realise how small your problems really are.

IMG_3376

IMG_3368

IMG_3366

IMG_3357

IMG_3388

I also got to check out Carsten Höller and Jean Paul Gaultier at The National Gallery of Victoria. Getting stuck into a bottle of bubbles in the tea room meant we were super late for the exhibition and were the last ones in. Being a stickler for schedule, I was anxious for everyone to get a move on but as it turned out, this meant we got the place to ourselves and even spotted model Andreja Pejić having a low-key moment with her family. Sometimes a plan falling apart is the most wonderful stroke of luck!

IMG_3351

IMG_3349

IMG_3346

 

Travel: A Day in Regional Victoria

With dusty highways and sun-soaked golden plains; this is a place to get lost in. Jump in a car and escape the city for a drive across the expansive landscape of regional Victoria. From hidden bush walks to family-owned wineries and gold-rush pubs; the area around Daylesford and Kyneton is perfect for savouring the last days of summer.

wpid-DSC_9934_.jpg

wpid-DSC_9860.jpg

DSC_9922

It’s not hard to sense ghosts of the past if you’re willing to switch off and open up. While some tourists insist on loud and obnoxious conversations atop Hanging Rock (yes I mean you, you awful Aussie couple who felt the need to recount your whole life story), this is a deeply spiritual place. One to reflect upon and feel your own insignificance.

wpid-DSC_9891_Josh.jpg

A darker, foreboding atmosphere serves as a reminder of the macabre past. Let’s not forget that this is the area where bandits roamed, treasures were hidden and aboriginals were slaughtered. Apparently many aboriginals still find it difficult to visit Hanging Rock due to an uncomfortable sensation of unfinished business. There’s even a waterfall of blood named after the infamous bushranger Mad Dan Morgan (really).

wpid-DSC_9914_Aladin.jpg

DSC_9915

Lunch at The Royal George Hotel

After flicking through a tired 90s walking guide in a local winery and spotting an image of a paradise-like gorge, we finished the day trekking through Lerderderg State Park. My obsession with True Detective went into overdrive as we started to see creepy structures made of vines and branches. Unsure of whether we were heading towards an evening swim or our grizzly deaths at the hands of a mystic cult, we continued with growing uncertainty. Finally we turned a corner to find the dried up gorge still had a small swimming pool, where we cooled off before making a sharpish exit before the sun went down. That is not somewhere I would want to be lost in the dark.

wpid-DSC_9964_Sanna.jpg

wpid-DSC_9971_Peter.jpg

wpid-DSC_9937_Josh.jpg