Grampians National Park is a 3 hour drive North East of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia. This nature reserve main feature is its dramatic sandstone mountains. It is also an excellent place to spot wildflowers and animals including emus, echidnas, wallabies and more.GrampiansOn the way to Halls Gap, our trail head destination, we stopped at Lake Bellfield. This recreational lake offers canoeing, fishing and swimming. We saw a parrot while we were there. Lake Bellfield serves as drinking water reservoir and is Australia’s largest water infrastructure.GrampiansFollowing this we stopped at Brambuk the National Park & Cultural Centre to get a map.  3 grazing emus greeted us in the field.  I wish we had spent more time here learning about Aboriginal history.P1130302Our last stop before setting off on our bushwalking was Halls Gap Caravan Park Reserve. There is a restroom and taps for filling water bottles.We began our ascent of 400 m to the Pinnacle by the shorter, but steeper routes. This is a full level 4 grade.  Though the path is well maintained, there are many metal steps. Someone said there may be 1,000 steps. Thankfully the terrain and views are so interesting it helps to keep your mind off this.
My daughter found this little lizard and a wallaby jumped out of bush and bounced across the trail in front of her.P1130332

P1130335The journey was exciting and view from the 715 m pinnacle (not shown) was well worth it. The Pinnacle itself is a narrow windy shelf that is surrounded by a sturdy fence. We found a sheltered place setback from the edge and enjoyed our picnic lunch.

The outcropping is wider than it looks.

We continued the bushwalk by way of the Grand Canyon and Venus Baths to complete the loop. Though it didn’t have 1,000 steps, it was still challenging in its own right.GrampiansAmazingly the terrain continued to change over and over again. It was was hard to fathom we were on the same trail. P1130387The Grand Canyon was like walking through the land before time.  An though we didn’t see in any dinosaurs we found an ancestor.P1130390Up until this point we found the trail to be fairly unpopulated, making it easy to maintain social distancing during the growing concern of COVID-19. Once we approached the Grand Canyon we came upon a large Dutch speaking group. Fortunately, they chose to bypass the canyon for an easier trail back to the Wonderland Car park a short distance from the canyon. Following the car park was Split Falls. Being that it was the end of summer, it was all dried up, but it must be stunning in the Spring. We stopped here for a snack and rest before carrying on. Shortly afterwards we came upon an echnida who seemed oblivious to our presence.
GrampiansThe romantic oasis of Venus Baths was last stop before closing the loop.  In Victorian times ladies used to bath in the pools on hot summer days. The would be a dreamy place to lounge all day.GrampiansThe trail ends with Bontanic Gardens which lead to the camp next to the Halls Gap car park.  A small Wallaby mob were hanging out at the campground.P1130408

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