By Caz Hatherly
I was fortunate to be part of the recent program to The Grampians with Out Doors Inc. The Grampians is a wonderful place with rugged mountain ranges, amazing walks, and scenic views. The original owners of the land are the Gariwerd people. We visited shelters where we saw ancient aboriginal artwork and paintings. The art was just awesome! You can experience the richness of Aboriginal culture at Brambuk Cultural Centre in Halls Gap which is the longest-running Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Victoria. You will see Aboriginal art, architecture, and multimedia displays as well as local arts and crafts.
We sampled bush tucker at the cafe, which was a great experience. It tasted a bit like chicken or rabbit. Afterward, we went for a coffee in town where you can find some tasty food. You need to be inside when eating any food with meat in it otherwise, the kookaburras will steal it in the blink of an eye.
We stayed in a lovely, cosy mud-brick house in Wartook. The new owners had a massive teepee tent and there was a small open fire where we did a meditation exercise, which was lovely.
They also had a Yurt, which is a circular tent of felt and skins. Its circular shape keeps it well heated and the toomo (the crown opening at the top) ensures fresh air is continually circulated. These were used by nomads in Mongolia, Siberia, and Turkey. We did our Yoga classes in the Yurt. It had a fire in a glass box inside and it was so warm and comfortable inside. After the yoga class, I just wanted to lie there forever!
Another must-see is McKenzie falls. The spectacular falls are one of the largest falls in Victoria and flow all year round. The breathtaking falls cascade over huge cliffs into a beautiful pool below. We had morning tea in a shelter at the base of the falls. Coffee’s always welcome.
Another lovely place to visit is Venus Baths and yes you can swim there. It’s a walk in a very rocky area and the actual baths are surrounded by rocks. You need to be very careful crossing them as they’re quite slippery. Another interesting place to visit is Lake Wartook where you can swim, canoe, kayak or just sit on the bank and admire the lovely scenery.
The Grampians are close to my heart, and I can’t wait to visit them again.