Into the Grampians….

3 Jan

Not, of course, the mountain range in Scotland, but the huge range in South Australia (part of the range that runs all the way from the North Coast near Darwin and finally gives up around 13km from the sea in South Australia)

And now, off to the Grampians. A stop at a volcanic caldera where the surface has sunk, yielding a deep basin – we can see emus at the bottom, but the whole thing looks like a scene from Jurassic Park.

Volcano (6)Asses Ears Lodge (3)

We’re staying at the Asses Ears Lodge, which is a great place with kangaroos roaming the grounds and dogs that look startlingly like dingos. The sunset is gorgeous, and I stick my head out of the tent for half an hour simply to watch the stars.

Asses Ears Lodge (6)Asses Ears Lodge (10)Asses Ears Lodge (8)Asses Ears Lodge (11)

The sunrise tempts me out of bed at 5:45 too, and I wander round in search of more kangaroos to talk to – sadly, they bounce off into the distance before I can get close enough.

Sunrise at Asses ears (4)Sunrise at Asses ears (9)

The trip the next day yields views of that species of psycho in a tutu called the emu – completely bonkers birds – and more kangaroos. There’s a plague of locusts in South Australia too, which means that every now and again the bus shivers to the impact on the windscreen.

There’s a waterfall walk in there to the MacKenzie Falls…

McKenzie Falls (8)McKenzie Falls (15)McKenzie Falls (22)McKenzie Falls (26)

A climb through the other Grand Canyon…

The Grand Canyon ( (4)The Grand Canyon ( (5)The Grand Canyon ( (10)The Grand Canyon ( (12)

The unbelievably dramatic vista of Reid’s lookout…

Reed Lookout (5)Reed Lookout (11)

Reed Lookout (8)

And then some time wandering round the Aboriginal Cultural Centre with some REALLY cool art

Brambuk Centre (16)Brambuk Centre (17)Brambuk Centre (19)Brambuk Centre (23)

I take a wander out the back of the centre, and find a mob of kangaroos (yup, that’s the right word) out there – Mom stops for a chat, although at one point I am pretty certain Joey gave me the finger. They don’t seem at all fussed by my presence, which is very cool.

Brambuk Centre (2)Brambuk Centre (13)Brambuk Centre (10)Brambuk Centre (3)

And hen the bus drop me off in Ballarat for dinner in a deserted town (brief excitement when we find a curry cafe followed by despair when we find that they’re not actually serving curry) then a bus transfer in Ballarat for our overnight to Adelaide…. aarrghhh… it’s a full bus, and it’s not very comfy….

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