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Grampians & You Yangs

Mon 15 Apr, 2013 10:01 am

This week end I wanted to explore the Northern Grampians. Lucky for me, the compact car Budget gave was actually a Mitsubishi ASX, which is pretty much a mini SUV. This was helpful on the rubbish gravel roads there, especially the Pohlners road, which is full of tire puncturing rocks, do NOT go there with a regular 2WD, unless you don't care about punctures.

I had never done Briggs Bluff, so it was a great experience. Some rains at times, but dry rocks nonetheless, so easy enough walking, I only saw 2 groups of walkers. Some books rate this walk medium, others hard. Medium is about right. Some elevation gain (about 500 m I think), some steep rocky parts (expected with the Grampians) but it's easier than scrambling over boulder fields, the track is well marked and constructed. Gorgeous views, beautiful sandstone cliffs, some wallabies and roos on the way back, easily in my top 5 walks in Victoria.

The night was a big of a camping fiasco : Troopers Creek, although with only one tent already in it, is on a slope, so I went to Stapylton instead. It was fully PACKED with people, noisy people and kids to top it up, I went around the campground twice and couldn't find a spot. There was room for my tent, just not room for my car. Pissed, and not wanting to go back the horrible Pohlners road to Troopers Creek, I just went home to Melbourne...

So the next day I did the You Yangs. Very different because it's a regional park close to Melbourne and open to dogs. So Flinders Peak sees a lot of people climbing it, it's fairly easy with nice views. And seriously, how many things do you have to name "Flinders" in Australia... ? Next I did the Branding Yard trail, nice for bird watching and this time not a person in sight. Apparently Flinders Peak is very popular and... that's it. People don't explore the rest, and stay at the picnic tables, that's the Aussie way.
View from Flinders Peak

Re: Grampians & You Yangs

Mon 15 Apr, 2013 10:25 am

Don't worry about a few rocks on the road Hallu, Aussie tyres are made to handle them. Just drive accordingly and try to miss the big ones.
What you really must do is avoid whacking your diff (if you have one) or sump with a big rock, automatic BIG problem then.
As for crowds, it was still school holidays so you're always going to find things crowded in a place like the Grampians.

Re: Grampians & You Yangs

Mon 15 Apr, 2013 10:39 am

Hmm ok I thought school holidays were over because it was over a week ago at Uni Melb. And as usual, you don't see a soul on the tracks, but campgrounds are packed... The Aussie paradox. Regarding tires, we had a punctured one at Croajingolong (with a friend's fairly recent Holden) although the road wasn't that bad. Aussie tires have nothing special, but I've noticed that rental cars' tires tend to have a lower air pressure than normal, probably to tackle the gravel road problem.

Re: Grampians & You Yangs

Tue 16 Apr, 2013 3:14 pm

I understand the thing you have with bogans, Hallu. I have it too. I hate them and wish that they'd stop breeding or learn to read/informal vote/etc. But then you complain that there are no people on the tracks. Would you prefer it full of people? I too find it odd that in a country full of so many outdoors type people that it's just a self propagated myth but that's also the beauty. You can have the High Country or Otways or Grampians almost entirely to yourself. Anyway, I'm probably rambling but I just wanted to say; cheer up! :D

Re: Grampians & You Yangs

Tue 16 Apr, 2013 3:44 pm

I don't complain that there aren't people on the tracks, it's actually one of the best things here, I just don't understand how so many people camp without doing the walks nearby. Regarding bogans, I don't know if there were any at Stapylton, I didn't even step out of the car before driving back =)
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