Sunday, May 29, 2011

My weekend in pictures

View of Mount Sturgeon from our room at the Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld. The fog was descending by the time we arrived on Friday afternoon. Which of course meant that it was perfect weather for a glass of red in the bar by the open fire:



Mount Abrupt - aptly named:



Mount Sturgeon again, taken in the early morning from the hotel grounds:




We picked the easiest of the Southern Grampians to climb, and made our way up the Piccaninny this morning. The view across the surrounding farmland was worth the effort, and I was impressed to find that I had 3G coverage from Telstra all the way up. (Bike Boy was not so happy with Optus):



The native flora was really pretty - and of course I could name most of them (I'm such a nerd when it comes to plants):











The hotel has also done a fabulous job of landscaping several acres of gardens with indigenous plants:










We took a drive down past Hamilton on Saturday and discovered a couple of impressive waterfalls. I suspect they haven't been all that impressive for many years, but the recent rainfall has changed the landscape a bit:





We also discovered that the Western District was a hive of volcanic activity about 8,000 years ago, and took a tour of volcanic caves, lava tubes, and tumuli that resulted from Mt Napier erupting back in the day:







We disturbed three large kangaroos whilst wandering around near the caves, but I wasn't quick enough with the camera. This swamp wallaby obligingly stood still for us as we walked back to the car though:



So did this one in the gardens of the hotel this morning:



And this fella startled us more than we startled him as we descended the Piccaninny today. He wasn't a bit perturbed by the humans nearby. He was more interested in breakfasting on the leaves of this tree:



The verdict: Definitely worth a visit. The hotel seems a bit pricey for a small country town, but it's equal to any city five-star establishment in terms of accommodation, food and service. And the spectacular Grampians National Park is right on the doorstep, along with plenty of other sights and activities.

Unfortunately, the road from Dunkeld to Halls Gap is closed at the moment due to landslides, as a result of the flooding rain that affected much of the state back in February. So we didn't get to do a driving tour of the mountains, as the detour made it a loooong trip. We found plenty of other things to do though, so it wasn't a big deal. Most people go to Halls Gap to see the Eastern Grey kangaroos anyway - and we have those right on our doorstep at home.

We drove home via Ararat, stopping for lunch at a nice little cafe - great food, but awful coffee. And we called in at the Mount Langi Ghiran winery for a tasting. Of course. Beautiful scenery, lovely wines. Worth a detour. ;)

6 comments:

The Stark's said...

Sounds like a fab weekend. Stunning photos. You're becoming quite the photographer.

Sara said...

those are fantastic pics. But.. how do you get them to centre? I keep failing at it, no matter what I try.

Charlotte Orr said...

Great pics Kek!

Lia Halsall said...

Dunkeld is my original home town and where both sides of my family are from and currently still live. We used to live there a long time ago now. Both myself and my brother were born in Hamilton. Love the photos Kek. xxx

linda said...

great pics! If you had numbered them I could comment on the one where it looks as though the flower is growing out of the stones! ( and not show my ignorance of what it actually is!!)

Kek said...

Linda, it's just a fallen blossom from a flowering eucalypt. I spotted it on the gravel path and thought it was pretty.

:)

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