Because of some technical problems, i.e. sleeping and packing the car, we left Melbourne, Altona to be exact, a little bit later than we had hoped for. Not to worry, we only had one stop and it was going to buy me a little gift for my birthday. An iPod radio transmitter for the car so that we have good music to listen to for the roadtrip. This little gadget will turn out to be a wonderul (we still use it!!) gift for this trip.
The drive from Melbourne to the Grampians, for the novice and prudent, is about 5 hours long. So we took our time, stopped for some fruits and a little bit of food on the way, a pit-stop here and there, and we finally arrived in the area of Hall’s Gap, our final destination, at around 8h30pm, pitch dark. There were so many Wallabies hopping by the side of the road by that point that we had to drive really slowly. So we started to look for an open camping place, a free one if possible. We went to a couple of camping grounds, but they were all closed because of the huge fire that burnt the three quarters of the forest over christmas 2005 (only three months prior our trip). So we decided to camp at the Hall’s Gap camp ground, right in the middle of the city with all the holiday caravans. Very nice location, and great place to pitch a tent.
As I just mentioned, a naturally occurring fire burnt about three quarters of the Grampians National Park over the Christmas holiday season in 2005. It was pretty much heartbreaking to see the forest in that state, but we have had the chance to see the wonders of nature at its best. According to the rangers, the fire started in the southern region of the park, where a lightning struck a tree and ignited the enormous fire, and very quickly made its way through the whole park. As the photo shows, the gum trees are very quick and efficient at recovering from bush fires, it is definitively nice to see that nature has already started to recover in some places.
One of the side effects of the huge fire was to bring out most of the animals closer to the city to have something to eat, and so we’ve encountered some of the most beautiful wildlife in the park and around the city. Among others, we’ve seen Kangaroos, Echindnae, Corellas, Rosellas, Goannas, etc. Browse through my new set of pictures on flickr.com and see for yourself. We of course have an enormous amount of pictures that we will share with most of you when we come back.
We also visited a drier region of Victoria, set along the Murray river. This region, Mildura Outback, is very beautiful and has some very interesting National Parks. Among the places we visited, you will see the sand dune at Perry Sand Hills, which were amazing to visit.