Lake Elizabeth and the Californian Redwoods

grace touring

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…

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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

Last Import - 5 of 7

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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!

 

The Dandenong Ranges

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

IMG_3225I Hour Drive from Melbourne’s CBD Find the Dandenong Ranges. A great walk starts deep in the Ranges at Eagle Nest Picnic Ground.

National Rhododendron Gardens is also great place to take the kids for a picnic. Paved paths also make it a excellent place if you have a to pram to push around or require wheel chair access. Located near Mount Dandenong and  just east of the Olinda township.

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After your adventure in the gardens, head back into Olinda, (maybe grab a coffee or some Devonshire tea if that’s your thing) then keep going along the Mount Dandenong Tourist road to find

William Ricketts Sanctuary  – Situated among the mountain ash, this is a place that is both beautiful and tranquil. In this natural setting, beautiful sculptures can be found half hidden among the ferns. William Ricketts’vision was one of a modern Australia that embraces Aboriginal spirituality and respects the natural world. A peaceful place for the whole family to meander.Find more adventures in The Dandenong Ranges here

To find one of our Free Grace Day retreats in the Dandenongs click here

To read an adventure story set in the Dandenong Ranges click here

Grace Adventures

Be directed towards awe inspiring locations in Victoria, Australia and beyond. With detailed directions, you can take yourself there, or contact us for guidance – For details on adventures click on this link –  Grace Adventures

Mungo National Park

We acknowledge that we walk on Barrindji Country, and we offer our respect to Elders past and present of the Paakantji, Ngyiampaa and Mutthi Mutthi people.

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World Heritage Mungo National Park, home of the Mungo Lady and Mungo Man, a place rich in Aboriginal history. For current information on conditions at Mungo National Park press here

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Belah Camp ground

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Slither

pace slow we quicken

a cold heart crossing

the sun dust indented

 

it scares us to be so

far into the heath

we choose a branch

 

and wander

and wonder

 

through the grass

some old curse

shedding

 

 

By Rebecca Sullivan

 

Last Import - 3 of 7

Croajingolong National Park – Shipwreck Creek to Seal Creek Hike

With respect to Elders past and present, we acknowledge that we walk on Bidawal and Nindi-Ngudjam Ngarigu Monero Country

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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

Last Import - 5 of 7