Sunday, January 6, 2013

Grampians + Great Ocean Road Trip - Day 2

Day 2 - Southern Grampians - Koroit (via Dunkeld)

The day started with a peek behind the curtains to see whether any roos were grazing in the open field located behind the lodge. And well, yea there was just the one some distance away, and a flighty blue bird dropped by to greet me too :)

Having missed dinner the night before, I made a vow not to miss any meals so we attacked breakfast at Halls Gap (Stony Creek) with a vengeance... the crowd was slowly gathering too. Day 2 involved more long drives & a bit more exercise with short hikes up to Mt William lookout & a slightly more elaborate one up Mt Abrupt at the very tip of southern grampian.. so def needed to fuel up & was certainly looking forward to the hikes. First stop - Mt William!

Mt William

Had intended to wake up in time for sunrise at Mt William but that was just one of my ambitious 'if-possible' scenarios :) I was happy to let it slip (& i'm sure the wife was too) only coz Reed's lookout blew my mind away the evening before & I was still recovering from that..

We saw a father pushing a pram up.. so yeaa kinda strenuous but really no biggie
yea.. we weren't exactly in a hurry. Took our time slowly snapping pictures along the way 
Good thing too coz otherwise we wouldn't be taking scenes like this!!
& this..!
& this!
So we eventually reached the top of the official lookout point.. and the scenery wasn't quite right. I had come to expect a vista like this as publicised by Grampians Tourism..

Copyright Grampians Tourism
I saw tourists just staying put at the lookout point - not sure whether they were hesitant or just unaware that greater sights were awaiting them beyond the faint trails & overgrown bushes.. (actually it was quite obvious there was a trail leading to the rocky edges).. so some gallivanting needed to be done..!

Off I went.. reopening the trails, love this shot by vonsy.. me vs wild!

Duly rewarded too :) eat your heart out Grampian Tourism! Here's our version! haha..I look like I have a gut in this shot.
Bitten by the adventure bug.. I wanted more. With this scene, I felt like I was merely recounting what others have discovered ages ago , and while that is fantastic too - I just wanted something different for us u know.. (& the wife can testify that) and that's why we ended up HERE.. hehe:

Our destination reached.. The Punch & Judy rocks as my wife calls them :D
Dragged vonsy along to explore the region.. you can see the entire region is full of shrubs & there is no trail leading to these rocks - pure shoving, pushing, getting scratched all the way to our destination.  
Evidence of just that few sissy scratches incurred.. :) man vs wild 
Well - while we were never really far from civilisation.. it was just fun taking this detour to see the rocks. Still brings a smile to my face thinking about how we tried to shortcut back to the main walking path when leaving the rocks & trying to only appear from the bushes when the 'coast was clear' .. (didn't want to shock nobody).. ah fun times with the missus. lovely memories.

Mt Abrupt

Back in the car after the morning adventure, next on the agenda was Mt Abrupt. It was a long drive south to the very tip of the grampians before reaching Mt Abrupt.. it was a lazy afternoon warm & all so I just took my time with the drive.

And accompanying me were the beautiful ranges along the drive...
Hiking Mt Abrupt I read online people would miss a junction heading straight instead of taking left - well, clearly there's been many visitors who read the same article & have since fortified this junction with several rocks & branches to ensure nobody ends up at Signal Peak (though it triggered my curiosity to check it out one day)

Vonsy is seen here taking the WRONG WAY
The lady & the mountain - Signal Peak in the bg
Evening sun in our eyes.. was definitely getting too warm
We decided to turn back at this point, it had been a tiring morning & a warm afternoon - I did a quick run for another 100m or so just to check out n it was just continued rocky trails all the way to the top with more or less the same bg scene. Didn't really want to exhaust ourselves entirely since we had a long way more n could already witness the scenic vista from where we were.. so we stopped at 2.8k instead of the full 3.3k to the top of Mt Abrupt, took in the view for few good moments & turned back - the rocky path down gave our trail shoes a good challenge too.. we went up pretty fast too .. up & down in around 2 hours? This path would make a beautiful technical trail run..  

U-turning at 2.8k mark.. 
Mt Abrupt (bg) & Mt Sturgeon (fg).. taken just outside of Dunkeld as we left the Grampians


Managed to finally pull into Koroit town at around 630pm - this was where we were gonna spend the next 2 nights - a church! :D given that all the seaside hotels/motels/inns/lodges were fully freaking booked & the only place I could find online was located in this small town 15mins away from Warrnambool.. it was certainly a first for me staying in a church, the owners did a great job turning it into a boutique hotel n I guess more importantly the wife was pleasantly surprised n impressed :)

St Patrick's Hotel located at Koroit, bizarre but beautiful
Dinner - feasted at this place called Izzy's... very nice fish & chips!
Vonsy modelling Koroit

Anyway, after a long day we took our time with dinner to wind down before heading back to the hotel to crash early. The next day we were gonna start our exploration of the Great Ocean Road & we definitely needed the rest!

CLICK HERE for Day 3!

My FB pictures HERE!

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