Thursday, 3 July 2014

The Grampians and Wimmera, Victoria (June 2014)

Last year, we spent a week in The Grampians and loved it so much, we decided to book it for a month in winter. Unfortunately, we couldn't have foreseen the January bushfires that burnt out 52,000 hectares.

Where we were staying bordered the Grampians National Park. Thanks to the owners’ fire-fighting efforts, the all timber cottage (photo below) was saved. However, the surrounding area wasn't so fortunate. Much of it was charred and it still had that burnt smell (not a nice wood fire smell either). The blackened skeletons of trees provided little cover or feed for wildlife and most of what had survived had gone. We saw a few emus (photo below), Wedge-tailed Eagles and the odd magpie, but that’s all. But the Australian bush is nothing if not resilient and there were signs of regeneration everywhere.

Unable to explore the Grampians National Park as we’d planned gave us the opportunity to explore areas further afield that we wouldn't have otherwise seen. We even caught a glimpse of the rare Mallee Fowl (sorry, no pic).

Where we stayed
Taken from the back deck of the cottage
Not exactly our usual type of lunch spot, but we didn't have much choice that day deep in the park.

Epicormic growth

The grass tree is one plant that does love fire (so long as it's not too hot)

Red Rock - Grampians NP 

Mountain Dam - Rocklands State Forest

Mount Arapiles - Natimuk 

Water skiing at Lake Albacutya - not the best photo, but the signs says: Speed Limit 5 Knots

Part of a mural - Albacutya

Kangaroo and joey - mum cleaning while bubs naps