The Grampians – Chimney PotsOctober 31, 2019
Razorback Track Distraction Hike!December 25, 2019
MacKenzie Falls, Grampians National Park
Day 2, After a long day yesterday hiking around the Chimney Pots exploring the area, and then going back to setup camp and capture some astro photos, Quickly Day 2 was upon us, Todays mission was to head to a section of the Grampians called "The Fortress", But it proved to me more of a Fortress than first thought.
So with our tents and sleeping bags packed up it was time for breakfast, Nothing like a good cold sausage and burger patty to wake you up in the morning, The meal of champions i think so. Once we were set we started to head off, Well at least tried anyway, with about no more than 3 meters of driving the car forward i managed to run over a tree stump and potentially get the car stuck like a sea-saw in the kids playground. But we fiddled around abit and managed to get the car free luckly and we were off once again.
So heading down the Henty Highway back to the grampians we saw our turn off for the Fortress, however there was something not quite right, we found a road closed sign on the side of the road saying that access to the Fortress is closed down, So bugger thats a problem.. Or is it?.. We ignored it as we do and continued to keep driving as we didnt see any any reason for a road closure. We noticed a few signs on the way down saying to tune into Chanel 37 on the UHF radios, so we did that just to see what was going on, Thinking it would be just logtrucks in the area it should really be too much on an issue right?. Considering we were somewhere in a pine plantation.
Going down the road for a few kilometers we see another set of road closed signs, these ones looking more serious than the others, so we drive around those too as you do!. Driving down the road we come across a bridge that looks like its been recently built, we decide to test it out and drive across.. All is good!. Down we go, almost at our turn off we want until we come across some sign-huts used by the construction workers, It was at this point we realized we have driven too far and should probably turn back, It was then we heard a guy yelling TOMMO! out through the CB, "THOMMO! CAN I GET A COPY!?! We Have somebody who has come down the road who shouldn't be here, can i get you to come over and have a look?"
It was this point we chucked one heck of a Uwey and legged it out of there back the way we came, I wanted to give old mate THOMMO some smack talk, but i also thought it would be best to just get out of there. Which is pretty much what happened, So back on the main road we had to think of a Plan B of where to go. After some looking at our maps and GPS's for nearby Geocaches and good locations we came to a conclusion of heading over to MacKenzie falls, As the summer sun was smashing down on us today, and the thought of a cold refreshing waterfall would be perfect!
Picking up a few Geocaches along the way we finally make it to the carpark by midday, Probably the worst time to start a 10+km hike, But we set off anyway. The first waypoint was to reach "Fish Falls" which was a smaller waterfall system along the river, With local knowledge of another cacher explained the water is released from Lake Wartook to supply water to Horsham, and is pretty much always in flow, Good to know i guess. So half an hour in we finally reach the base of fish falls.
We spent quite an amount of time here at fish falls, as I struggled trying to get a good photo angle on the waterfall as it was falling to one side instead to the center like most water falls would, Which i was doing this a couple come along and decide to start sun-baking on the rocks, While their poor 3 year old kid ran around going crazy and the mother chasing the child around, doesn't really make for a relaxing afternoon if you ask me, After playing around here we found the local Geocache hidden in of the of tree branches just off trail, making it an easy find, but when i started to sign the log a whole group of tourists came squishing past me, Great, So much for being covert!!!..
But we move on up stream to finally reach our destination of MacKenzie falls.
Water Trickling over Rocks at Fish Falls
Yes, We finally made it to MacKenzie Falls, But it wasn't quite as peaceful as we had imagined, There were quite a lot of tourists in the area also enjoying the cool refreshing feeling of the waterfall and getting photos, So we spent some time admiring the view of the waterfall, This is quite an impressive waterfall for sure one of my favorites.
So i took out my camera has got some photos as well as some long exposures, but without bringing my tripod for the ride, this became quite the challenge, But i made do by using my ball joint as a temporary tripod to steady the camera for the 30 second long exposures we all know and love. They didn't turn out too badly in my opinion. Once we were finished it was time to see if there were any local Geocaches around the area, and sure enough there was one hiding right on the side of a cliff face, I thought to myself do i really need to go up there and get this one?.. Though the Difficulty was 4/5 and Terrain rated at a massive 5/5. This isn't going to be some easy walk in the park feat.
So i scaled some cliff faces to a point where i was actually legitimately scared, by guts were all tightening up, and i just didn't look down, Onward and Upwards don't they say. So after a bit of scrambling along cliff edges with a good 35 Meter drop below them, I looked down and saw an interesting Green sticker on a plastic sistema lunchbox, BINGO i have found the cache!. Now the next part was getting down there i slowly crawled down and balanced on a fallen tree branch and reached in and grabbed it!. I signed the log and returned it to its location. Then i got out of there as quick as possible before the whole cliff come crashing down, as i already had slipped on a rock and ripped the guts out of the front of my calf muscle, So now the long walk home.
Well almost we found a massive staircase going right up the top of the waterfall, So we climbed the 145 stairs to get to the top, but the views were not really that impressive, it was way more scenic down below. So we climbed back down and completed our return walk back to the car to finish off another day of hiking at the Grampians!
So back to the shops and buy some more of those sausages and burgers for another night of camping under the stars and taking some more photographs of the night sky. But this is where this story ends. Was a great day and will surely come back another time that's for sure!.
GPX Details of this Trip Below.
Total distance: 14016 mDownload
Max elevation: 427 m
Min elevation: 227 m
Total climbing: 548 m
Total descent: -521 m
Average temperature: 35.1
Total time: 03:51:15