small things

 

Point Nepean
on the path to Gunner’s Cottage
echidna buries its head

Fort Nepean
on the cliff’s edge
admiral butterfly follows dragonfly

Sandringham Village
at the cafe entrance
barrister shoes white moth

Sandringham Beach
ladybird walks internal bind
of book on Forgiveness and Other Acts of Love

Croajingolong National Park – Shipwreck Creek to Seal Creek Hike

grace touring

We acknowledge that we walk on Bidawal and Nindi-Ngudjam Ngarigu Monero Country, and offer our respect to Elders past and present.

The sound of the rolling waves makes for a good night sleep at Shipwreck camping ground. We woke refreshed and ready to walk. Down to the beach, through the creek and across the heathlands. The three hour return walk saw us nearly stumble on two snake, beautiful creatures. Be sure to bush walk with a first aid kit. Mobile reception is dodgy in this part of the land. FYI first aid procedures for snake bites can be found here. The isolation of the wide open beach at Seal Creek calls for a skinny dip, but take care – the water is wild! For details on how to get to Shipwreck Creek press here

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Cape Schack and The Peninsula Hot Springs

grace touring

We acknowledge that we walk on Boonwurrang Country and offer our respect to Elders past and present.IMG_4744.jpg

The contrast between the ancient volcanic cliffy landscape with the pristine wild beaches makes Cape Schanck a dramatically beautiful place to visit at any time of the year. Cape Schack is only a 1.5 hours drive from Melbourne. To avoid tollways, From Melbourne, take the Nepean Hwy, turn left at White St, right at Boundary Rd, Left at Springvale Rd, then right onto the Mornington Peninsular Fwy. When the Freeway ends go left at Boneo Rd, continue till you reach Cape Schanck Rd, turn right and continue to the car park. For a short but spectacular walk take the circuit from the car park kiosk that leads towards the cape. Enjoy inspiring views of Pulpit Rock and Devils Desk, and meander over the black rocky beach.

For a longer walk and some more of…

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Maits Rest

With respect to Elders past and present, we acknowledge that we walk on Gadubanud Country

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2.5 hours from Melbourne, along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, just past Apollo Bay, there is spectacular ancient wonder to be explored at Maits Rest. An easy self-guided 800m circuit takes you through cool green temperate rainforest thick with grandfather gums. A wooden boardwalk built over the tree-fern gullies and moss-covered roots, makes the forest available for young and old.

For more adventures in this area press here

Alpine National Park

With respect to Elders past and present we acknowledge we walk on Taungurong and Kurnai Countryrock in the snow.jpg

Bushwalking with the snow falling – magic – near Falls Creek snow walk.jpg

The ferny friends of Victoria’s Alpine National ParkIMG_4416.jpg

Kiewa River raging in winter – Near Fainter Falls and Bogong VillageIMG_4424.jpg

Fainter Falls in full motionfainter falls.jpg

snow coat over greensnow fern.jpgFor detail on Adventures in Victoria’s Alpine National Park press here

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Werribee Gorge – 1 hours drive from Melbourne’s CBD

With respect to Elders past and present we acknowledge that we walk on Wathaurong Country  IMG_3578

Pack a hearty lunch and prepare for rock scrambling and cliff rim hugging. Only a 1 hour drive from Melbourne (8km west of Bacchus Marsh) this place is a playground for experienced bushwalkers. The Circuit Walk is one of our favourite – Allow about 4.5 hrs for this 10km adventure. Start the walk at the Quarry or Meikles Point Picnic Area and expect spectacular views along the rocky rims and serene sounds deep in the belly of the gorge.

To find more on Werribee gorge press here

Lanjanuc – Mount Alexander Regional Park

With respect to Elders past and present we acknowledge that we walk on Jaara Jaara Country

IMG_3669Only a 1.5 hours drive from Melbourne – Walking Lanjanuc (Mount Alexander) has been a highlight of our winter. In Dja Dja Wurrung Language the mountain is Lanjanuc named by the Jaara Jaara people. Lanjanuc has many recreational walking tracks, ranging in degree of difficulty from easy to challenging. It took us 3 hours to walk the track from Leanganook Picnic Ground to Harcourt-Sutton Grange Road, and the walk was not as steep as we expected but the path is rocky. There are spectacular views along the trail, but the highlight for us by far was ‘Dogs Rocks’. IMG_3776Early Europeans named the area in homage to the dingoes that used it as their lair. IMG_3673Lanjanuc is sacred ceremonial ground, which is food for thought and feeling when walking the trail. We certainly felt a sense of spirit in the ancient granite rocks. Some history of the Jaara Jaara people can be found here. An interview with a Jaara Elder can be found here.IMG_3775Ballantine antipoda (southern shepherd’s purse), is a unique tiny plant that grows in patches of moss and decorates the rocks of Lanjanuc. It is only found in this part of Victoria.IMG_3774Walking in winter is invigorating and certainly helps to beat off any seasonal blues, but it is chilly! If you head out this way we recommend wearing layers; pack your gloves, wooly hats, and a thermos of soup! IMG_3660We made a one way walk of it by having our friends park their car at Harcourt-Sutton Grange Road; we then car pooled back to Leanganook Picnic Ground along Joseph Young Drive. The map below is available from the  Castlemaine Visitor Centre – 44 Mostyn St. We always recommend a visit to the local information centre before any walk – It’s a great way to check on the conditions of tracks and call on local knowledge for other adventures. For more information from Parks Vic press here.IMG_3779For intrepid adventurers wanting a longer trail, it is possible to bike ride or walk the Goldfields Track (formally known as The Great Diving Trail) from Ballarat to Bendigo. Mount Alexander is part of the Leanganook leg of the trail. The Leanganook track stretches 60kms from Castlemaine to Bendigo. Find more information on the Goldfields Track here.IMG_3651After the Leanganook track passes over Joseph Young Drive, be sure to check out the views at Langs Lookout. On the way down, watch out for big Leaping creatures on the path.IMG_3761 (2)For those interested in a shorter walk or picnic outing with the kids, try the loop walk from Leanganook Picnic Ground which includes veiws from the South Lookout. We suggest diverging from the loop to include Dogs Rocks on the walking menu, or driving down the road after the loop and parking to picnic at the rocks. IMG_3655To get to Lanjanuc from Melbourne, take the Calder Freeway towards Caslemaine. For a yummy breakkie and a decent coffee by an open fire, try Toggs Place Cafe on Lyttleton Street, Castlemaine. Happy Adventuring!

 

Cape Schack and The Peninsula Hot Springs

With respect to Elders past and present we acknowledge that we walk on Boonwurrang Country IMG_4744.jpg

The contrast between the ancient volcanic cliffy landscape with the pristine wild beaches makes Cape Schanck a dramatically beautiful place to visit at any time of the year. Cape Schack is only a 1.5 hours drive from Melbourne. To avoid tollways, From Melbourne, take the Nepean Hwy, turn left at White St, right at Boundary Rd, Left at Springvale Rd, then right onto the Mornington Peninsular Fwy. When the Freeway ends go left at Boneo Rd, continue till you reach Cape Schanck Rd, turn right and continue to the car park. For a short but spectacular walk take the circuit from the car park kiosk that leads towards the cape. Enjoy inspiring views of Pulpit Rock and Devils Desk, and meander over the black rocky beach.

For a longer walk and some more of the best coastal scenery near Melbourne, go to the other end of the car park and follow the 2.6km Bushrangers Bay Track.

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If you’re keen for a dip at Bushrangers Bay be cautious, the water is wild. You might get lucky if the tide is out and find the perfect rock pool to relax in. We’ve walked this track in all seasons and it always fills us with wonder.

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If you prefer to immerse yourself in warm water, after your hike head to Victoria’s only geothermal hot springs. We reckon this is the best way to soothe the muscles after a strenuous bush walk and warm the bones on a cold day. From Cape Schanck Rd, turn left back onto Boneo Rd, left onto Brown’s Rd and finally, left onto Springs Lane to find

The Peninsula Hot Springs

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The Peninsula Springs is idyllic for singles, couples and families in rain or shine. After 10am, some spas are reserved for those over 16. You could spend a few hours or take a picnic and your favourite book and soak away the whole day. It’s a very popular destination for tourists and locals so make sure to book ahead.

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For more adventures in The Peninsular National Park press here

Lake Elizabeth and the Californian Redwoods

With respect to Elders past and present, we acknowledge that we walk on Gadubanud Country.

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2.5 hours from Melbourne find Awesome forest, lakes fit for the Loch ness, towering redwoods, plus a sweet township that makes a coffee to rival the best of Lygon Street. This stretch of the Great Otway National park should not go missed. Pack a picnic and head out early on the Princess Hwy (M1) towards Geelong. Stay on the Princess Hwy then after Mount Moriac turn left onto Cape Otway Rd. Stop when you get to the town of Forrest. For a great Coffee go to the Forrest Brewing Company (they serve a pretty decent brekky too). After coffee/brekky, follows the signs to Lake Elizabeth 

 

Lake Elizabeth is a great place to camp or visit for the day. It’s about a 1-1.5 hour walk around the lake and it’s worth it! it feels like a playground fit for prehistoric dinosaurs. To book a campsite or for more information on Lake Elizabeth press here

After your visit to Lake Liz head back to Forrest and take the Forrest-Apollo Bay rd. Drive for about 30 minutes then turn left at Beech-Forest-Mount Sabine Rd. When you hit the next fork stay left onto Seaview Ridge Rd. Along this track you will find the

Californian Redwoods

This is truly a picnic spot fit for little red riding hood.

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Grab your blanket and your goodies lie down and enjoy the view.

img_5013If time permits head back to Beech-Forest-Mount Sabine Rd and continue south to hit the Great Ocean Road.(it takes about 3.5 hours to get back to Melbourne this way). Enjoy the magnificent views as you wind along the road. Maybe even book ahead and find somewhere great to stay on this awesome Ocean Road. Or at least stop for a great dinner at the Wye River Hotel

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For more adventures in the Otway National Park press here