WALKS IN THE GRAMPIANS, VOLCANO COUNTRY AND THE SHIPWRECK COAST
Experience Spring in Victoria this year! Come with us and delve into history on the Shipwreck Coast where the landscape is spectacular and stories come to life. Explore fascinating geologic features through ‘Volcano Country’ in the UNESCO listed Kanawinka Geopark. Be fascinated by the dramatic sandstone features and rich forests in the Gariwerd / Grampians NP.
The Shipwreck Coast
The first part of our sojourn focuses on relatively recent history of the era of the great clipper sailing ships and the early days of maritime commerce between the colonies of Australia and the old world. Those were dangerous times and many ships came to grief on this coast as they attempted to ‘thread the eye of the needle’, the narrow passage marking the entrance from the vast ocean to the narrow confines of Bass Strait leading to the heads of Port Phillip Bay. Often they were in contrary and dangerous seas relying on inadequate instruments and bold (or foolish) captains. Over the next few days these times will come alive as we hear stories, visit historic places and walk the coastline.
Kanawinka Geopark www.kanawinka.org.au
On the next part of our trip through Western Victoria we leave behind the majesty of the ocean and enter a very different world where volcanoes were erupting a brief thirty thousand years ago to as recently as six thousand years ago! We are travelling through an area where it is easy to imagine rivers of lava and plumes of ash erupting from the flat plains. This part of the Geopark is known as the ‘Cones and Flows Precinct’ and we will spend the day exploring some of the features as we make our way to Halls Gap.
The Gariwerd - Grampians NP http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/grampians-national-park
… to him who likes to escape for a while from the conventionalities, and to be brought for a while face to face with nature in her solemn, grand and eternal beauty, we say: try the Grampians. Guide for Excursionists from Melbourne, 1868
The Grampians was declared a National Park in 1984 after a long conservation campaign. Covering 167,000ha this dramatically beautiful park is home to more than 1000 species of plants, including 26 that are unique in the world, and more than 260 bird species. This rich diversity rests on geologic formations that are about 430 million years old, originating from an ancient sea that lapped the coast where the Grampians peaks rise today. Subsequent tectonic plate movements uplifted, folded and faulted the region resulting in the dramatic features that characterise the Grampians.
For at least 20,000 years Aboriginal culture has been an integral part of the Gariwerd landscape and today traditional owners play an active role in managing the park and sharing knowledge and understanding.
The walking here is truly spectacular and we will take you on classic walks that showcase the splendour of Gariwerd!
Tour Highlights include:
- Lodging at Cape Otway Lightstation in the historic Lightkeepers House including lighthouse tour.
- Hike on three classic parts of the Great Ocean Walk
- The Shipwreck Coast and Great Ocean Road: Loch Ard Gorge, Bay of Islands, The Arch and The Grotto.
- Walk in lush ancient myrtle forest at Melba Gully Reserve
- Indulge in tasty treats at Apostle Whey Cheese and G.O.R.G.E. Chocolates!
- Experience the acclaimed Flagstaff Hill maritime village and the ‘Shipwrecked’ night show.
- Hike in Volcano Country at Mt Eccles NP and Byaduk Caves.
- Visit to Brambuk Cultural Centre in the Gariwerd/Grampians NP
- Two days hiking in the Gariwerd/Grampians NP
The tour is fully accommodated - carry only a daypack!
- 2 nights at Cape Otway Lightstation (self contained – shared bathrooms)
- 2 nights at Anchors Beachhouse Port Campbell (self contained – shared bathrooms)
- 1 night in Warrnambool at the Olde Maritime Motor Inn (ensuite rooms)
- 3 nights at Boronia Peak Villas Halls Gap (self contained – shared bathrooms)
For more information on walk gradings, suitability of walks and weather conditions please visit our FAQ page.