the grampians

hiking (part 2)


Oh, we are so tired. Man … I chose the walk (I can’t blame anyone else) because it was 1. only 4.7 km long and 2. in the Victoria Range, right near Mezzy’s house. And it would have been perfect, except it was the hardest walk I have ever done … Well nearly … Well for a long time. Well DEFINITELY with kids. The sign at the start did say ‘warning strenuous hiking ahead’. Maybe we should have taken more notice …


The kids were troopers. They carried their sleeping bags, mats and clothes, and a water bottle each. Most of the way. The ‘2 hour’ walk in took 4 hours. Steeply up hill, with sand and rocks, and then a big steep slippery descent at the end. And we weren’t going slow. There were a group of teenagers with a guide who took the same time as us. And the walk out took about the same. We thought it would be easier being mostly downhill, but no … A big steep climb at the start out of the valley, and then a few hours with rocks and slippery sand. Every step was a potential fall or twisted ankle.

BUT … It was so beautiful …

We camped at the oasis hikers camp. It had a little creek running through it and an amazing cave/overhang to sleep under. Previous campers had created tables and chairs and benches from stones in the cave (can we notionally nominate this as the recycled/reused/second hand element of the post, because we made good use of them).


Along the was we saw 5 stumpy tail lizards (Jemima patted one of them), kangaroos and emus.

I am not sure I’d do that particular walk again (it was called The Fortress/Mt Thackery overnight hike) with little kids, but really, it was ace! I was so proud of the kids. And it all was so, so, so beautiful. The little spring flowers. The whole place regenerating after the fires. India and I agreed the bush looked like that painting … The Lost Child???

The kids had a great time exploring all the little caves around the camp area.


And Clive’s catering including cream of chicken soup, dehydrated chilli with with brown rice (our dehydrator is great) and chocolate pudding was spectacular!! Poor Clive has the worst blisters. The rest of us just have a couple bruises from slipping over.



hiking in the grampians

When you read this we’ll be at The Fortress in The Grampians. We’re going on our first overnight hike with the kids. Just a couple of hours in to the Victoria Ranges. Up a hill. We’ve got recycled water bottles as we are carrying 10 litres of water (aagh). Jemima is carrying a backpack that is from the op shop. My Gorman t-shirt and Country Road shorts are 100% second hand.
And we’ve borrowed a tent, 2 sleeping bags and 3 sleeping mats. It’s going to be fun. To add to our hiking gear.

The photo above is taken from Merryn’s farm, in the general direction we will be walking.

down on the farm


tractors and farm sheds and the Grampians in the background

We are at Merryn and Pricey’s farm for a couple of days. We left Melbourne in glorious sunshine and travelled west into the rain.

But how beautiful are the Grampians with drizzle in spring … We are so lucky to be able to come to such a beautiful place  ( …and ONLY a solid 4 hours drive away). The farm is in Mooralla near Cavendish on the western side of the Grampians.


Jemima in front of Pricey’s impressive steaming compost heap … with a view to the Grampians and the hills where the bushfires were last year.

We’ve come to bring the 4 roosters back. The crowing was driving me crazy in the city … and 7 chickens is at least 4 too many in Fairfield.

We’ve put them in the farmhouse aviary and they are now exploring the garden. I think they’ll be happy on the farm.

And I have taken some photos of my favourite things on the farm.  I love the old paving that remains from the cattle yards.  I always think a table and chairs would be nice down here.  The view is spectacular.  And the old hay shed that Pricey’ grandpa built is great.  They cut the posts themselves of course.  It would be a fabulous start to a mud brick or straw bale house (we stayed in a house a bit like this in Tassie when the kids were little). And the old dairy is a great building.   And I love the rusty truck (hello little sheep – what are you doing here?).


And look, sun peaking in to the shearing shed.  It is just so … Australian.