The Grampians National Park is one of Victoria’s jewels.
If you think of the Great Dividing Range as starting in north Queensland, sweeping south inland of Australia’s east coast and around the bend into Victoria the Grampians is where it makes its last desperate attempt to be mountainous. And a very scenic effort it is.
It and Wilson’s Promontory are the two Victorian parks under the greatest visitor pressure. At peak season the crowds are really bad, but don’t expect to feel lonely the rest of the year.
It has given Parks Victoria every opportunity to indulge itself in regulations, warning signs, railings and outrageous penalties. The rock climbing fraternity are the latest victims.
For a photographer who likes to use a drone as one of his cameras the frustration is immense. Drones cannot be flown without written permission on any Parks Vic property no matter how remote or lonely. Which locks away most of the great landscapes in the state.
Nonetheless it’s still worth a visit. My intention was to do some waterfall photography but I also felt the need for some exercise so I got there early with a view to climbing Mount William, the highest point. Although there was nothing on the Park’s website I found the Mount William Road closed. My 4 km hard hike had turned into a 24km hike, I wasn’t that early.
I settled instead for a ramble up to the Pinnacle via the Grand Canyon and Silent Street a 4.2km return hike from the Wonderland car park. There are plenty of excuses available to the photographer to rest along the way.
The view from the top is heavily polluted with man made constructions but with careful placement of the camera, towns, dam walls, railings, signs and tourists can all be avoided.
From there it was off to Mackenzie Falls for the late afternoon light.
Swimming, of course, is forbidden.