It’s a long morning drive to Halls Gap from Warrnambool, approx. 3-4hours. We headed to the Tower Hill Reserve first, a drive-through reserve, though you’re free to park at the carpark and go for a stroll.
Tower Hill Reserve
Emus are common at the reserve,and this one got close to us, looking for handouts, but don’t feed them! To scare an emu away, we were told to put our hands up over our heads so we look bigger and more intimidating. It worked!
After that quick drop-by, it was time to hit the road and head to…
Our first stop was the Brambuk the National Park and Cultural Centre in Halls Gap, a perfect starting point to get your bearings straight, and find out more about the area. It is open daily from 9.00am to 5.00pm.
Here, we learned that Aboriginals first settled in the Grampians 5,000 years ago, pretty recent if you think about it. It could also explain why this region has the largest number of rock art sites in southern Australia. In the national park alone, more than 60 art sites have been identified.
There are five shelters open to the public and accessible by car. Ngamadjidj, Gulgurn Manja, Manja, Billimina, and one of the most important ones – Bunjil’s shelter, near Stawell. We visited the Bunjil’s shelter the day we arrived.
According to Aboriginal legends, Bunjil is looked upon as a God and hero; the creator who provides for all and remains a protector of the natural world, his people and their beliefs. After Bunjil finished his creation works, he transformed into an eagle, flying high into the sky, overlooking and protecting one and all till this day. This kinda of reminded me of Moana!
Each of the rock art sites are protected by grill gates. While it takes away the full beauty of these sites, it’s understandable as a protection measure against vandals.
As the sun began to set, we headed to Reeds lookout.
Another evening, another look at the billions of stars in the galaxy:
Day 2 at the Grampians
We were blessed with sunny weather today- it made for a great start!
Peak of the Pinnacle
Besides these two lookouts – another famous place of interest here is The Balconies/Jaws of Death. However, we were pretty tired from our climb to the Pinnacle and opted to skip it and relax instead, and headed back to our resort, just in time to say hello to the wandering kangaroos on BIG4 Grampians Parkgate Resort! They are a common sight here, coming out in the afternoon/evenings to graze.
Ooh, and a parakeet! They’re all around the Grampians, although you’re not meant to feed them. (Those pizza crusts aren’t ours!) It was quite a funny sight – a tourist fed them some chunks from his pizza, and a whole group descended on him. They started by inching around his table, but as he kept feeding them, a couple of bold ones flew right on his table, landed on this pizza box, and started right at the pizza, and he got a little reprimand from the pizza shop – you’re not meant to feed them as they had a tendency to be aggressive.
Tomorrow, we head back to Melbourne! The time has passed so fast out here, feels like just yesterday we left Melbourne and started the Great Southern Touring Route.