16 May 2017
Today we explore more of the Grampians National Park, including the spectacular MacKenzie Falls. Then we have a long drive through to Adelaide.
We are up for breakfast at 6.30am and ready to hit the road again to explore more of the mountains. It is very cold again and with a mist down in the valleys. We head straight to the tops again to make the most of the views before the wind comes up and lifts the mists. We have a brisk trek out to a viewpoint at ‘the Jaws of Death’ – another rock formation surrounded by magnificent views of the mountains and valleys.
We meet another bus that will take 6 of our group back to Melbourne and we gain 4 people to continue on to Adelaide. We will try to coordinate the remainder of our sightseeing so that we can do the ‘prisoner exchange’ in the mountains rather than back at Hall’s Gap, which will save us at least an hour’s travel. To fill in a bit of time, our group heads out to a reservoir lake for a bit of a walk and to see where the river that feeds our next stop plunges down the dam.
Our most spectacular visit of the day is to the MacKenzie Falls. There is a steep climb down into the valley to the pool at the bottom of the falls. We take photos from all different vantage points and then continue on a bit further down the river. It is just beautiful and standing out on a rock that the river plunges under, we can feel the force of the water dropping down beneath us. This is all delaying the inevitable climb back up the steep staircases back up to the bus – but we make it (surprisingly well considering the climb from the day before).
Then the ‘prisoner exchange’ happens with lots of farewells to our new-found friends, and group photos, before the buses head off in their separate directions. Even with saving an hour, we still have approximately 7 hours’ drive through to Adelaide broken only by a lunch break, a short stop at Pink Lake (a salt lake) and at a wildlife park with albino kangaroos, and occasional toilet stops. It is mostly flat and fairly uninteresting countryside and most sleep in the bus. I sit up front with Kelly – it certainly makes the trip seem a lot shorter when you have a good conversation going.
We get into Adelaide at around 7.30pm and drop people off at different destinations. I am staying at the Central Adelaide YHA along with 4 others (including Kelly who picks up new passengers in the morning to take back to Melbourne). Yani and I check into our rooms and a quick shower before heading into Chinatown for dinner. Poor Kelly still has to clean out the bus and do paperwork, but we bump into him back at the YHA so the three of us head to a very eclectic pub nearby for farewell drinks.
Next morning we all have to be up early to head in our separate directions – Yani is continuing on to Uluru and Alice Springs; Kelly back to Melbourne and I have 2 days on Kangaroo Island.
The Great Ocean Road and Kangaroo Island Adventure:
Day 1: The Great Ocean Road
Day 2: The Grampians
Day 3: The Grampians to Adelaide
Day 4: Adelaide to Kangaroo Island
Day 5: Kangaroo Island to Adelaide
For this and other similar trips see:
Peregrine Adventures (Comfort and independent tours)
Geckos Adventures (for 18 to 30s)
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