Saturday, 14 November 2015

Grampians/Great Ocean Road Tour (Day 2)

The second morning of my Grampians/Great Ocean Road Tour, I woke up in a hostel in the middle of the Grampians. Indeed, the advertisements didn't lie when they said I'd wake up and be surrounded by kangaroos. Real kangaroos, no wallabies. According to our tour guide, you could not only make up the difference by comparing their sizes, but also their tails. Kangaroo tails are much thicker and muscular, handy when trying to stand on two (or is it three?) feet, hopping around, or boxing. Yes, I truly witnessed two boxing kangaroos:
The kangaroos on the left weren't dancing or hugging, they were actually fighting.

After the kangaroos, it was time for some hiking again. Our next destination within the Grampians National Park would be The Balconies, some rock formation which would also be accompanied by a stunning view. Before getting there, I passed some interesting rocks. Rocks, rocks, rocks, that's all you'll really see. Maybe a kangaroo too. I could've sworn I saw something hopping in the distance, and of course I tried to chase it, but of course I couldn't catch up with it. So I continued my hike, looking forward to this magnificent view of the mountains, just to be met by a blanket of mist. The sky was literally white and nothing could be seen in the distance. Guess what, though, the rocks (a.k.a. The Balconies) were still visible.

Random stacked rocks, make me wonder who or what did that.

The Balconies (left) and our stunning misty view.

Time to get into the bus after this. First stop was the Brambuk Aboriginal Culture Centre, where we'd yet again face the cruelties of colonialism. Second stop: McKenzie Falls, which allowed for another hike through the mountains. This time, with no disappointing view. The waterfall was not huge, but still impressive. By the time I got there, I started to develop an appreciation for rocks, as they were quite nice to sit on while just staring at the waters. The hike itself took maybe 1-2 hours back and forth. Enough stairs and bridges to help me, so it was not a difficult hike, but still enjoyable due to its surroundings.

The hike to McKenzie Falls.
One of the last views  during the tour would be a last glance from higher-up. What we were looking at was called Hall's Gap. I'm sure there must have been some story attached to it, but since it's been a month, I really cannot recall. Overall, it was a grey view due to the weather, but it was still nice to stand there and take a good deep breath of fresh air.

Hall's Gap. Looks like a huge volcano filled with water if you asked me,.

As you can see, I've got much less to say about this second day of the tour simply because it was less packed. I think we started to head back for Melbourne around 2 o'clock, which saddened me a bit. Perhaps I would've liked a stop in between the Grampians and Melbourne, then again I guess that would be too much to ask for 239 AUD.  In the end I did get to see a lot of picture-worthy sights, especially due to the first day. It is hard to travel around the Great Ocean Road on your own when you don't have a car, so going for a tour is definitely a better option. I tried figuring out how to do it by public transport, but believe me, it seems an impossible and expensive task.

These two days were probably just fine for what I paid. The tour guide was nice and the tour itself not packed with too many humans, just a nice little group. The hostel we stayed at in the Grampians was just an average one, but good and clean enough for a night's sleep. The one time we got lunch it was nice enough to fill your stomach, and the tour guide made sure there were enough TimTams in the bus. Of course, I took advantage of the latter as I sat in the front. Perhaps I would've liked lunch on the second day as well, but since the tour consisted of natural sights, I didn't really have to pay for many extras. This is what kept my wallet happy.

Overall, the tour was so-and-so, mostly because the second day was less exciting and packed than the first. I am not sure if just booking a Great Ocean Road would've been a better idea, since I stayed for about 5-6 days in Melbourne and I would probably end up bored. I heard that another nice option would be going to Phillip Island, where you'd see a lot of penguins waddling from the water to the beach to take care of their eggs. They call it a Penguin Parade. It's up to you whether you'd like to exchange the McKenzie Falls for these penguins.

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