MacKenzie Falls stepping stones

Grampians Week of Walks, as recalled by Mick

Text and photos by Mick Liddell, except where indicated.

We had a wonderful week of walks in the Central and Northern Grampians (Gariwerd) in September 2016, enjoying clear skies, delightful weather, wild flowers in abundance and all the falls flowing. In July our ‘scoping expedition’ of John Langford, Harvey Reese, Jen and Sam Ginsberg, Joan Kenny and Meri and me spent a rather wet four days proving up tracks and the safety of 14 walks, providing options for three fitness levels (see table).

Program - Northern Grampians Week of Walks
Program – Northern Grampians Week of Walks

I circulated a file of all walks with notes and maps and 34 members signed on. We booked out the Halls Gap Log Cabins site and gained a free night, a happy hour room and the place to ourselves.  Each evening offered either dining-in or dining-out and we finished the week with a celebration dinner at the Halls Gap Hotel with enough in the kitty for a shuttle bus.

Monday’s walk commenced with a welcome to country at Brambuk Centre with guides telling of the dreamtime, native plants and their uses, and preservation plans. That afternoon we stayed close to Halls Gap, exploring Clematis Falls and climbing to the ridgeline of Chatauqua Peak.  We spread out in small groups on Tuesday taking Wonderland walks with many going up through Silent Street to the Pinnacles Lookout. Our Scramblers (long walkers) descended the steep front face through the cliffs and boulders of this ancient seacoast.

Wednesday we explored north, firstly the Beehive Falls (I think the most beautiful all) and then the Gulgurn Manja art shelter, followed by a long climb to look into the gape of Hollow Mountain.  In the afternoon light the Scramblers climbed Mt. Stapylton and the Ramblers (medium walkers) climbed Mt. Zero for equally rewarding views.  On a fast descent of Stapylton Sid B. unfortunately stumbled and broke a leg.  

Thursday we went west to follow trails along the MacKenzie River, finishing with hot sausages at Zumsteins picnic grounds. Dividing into three groups on Friday, we all intended to meet at the Borough Huts by end of day. Amblers walked the long way around Lake Bellfield, Ramblers climbed over the Williams Range ridge and Scramblers climbed over Mt. Rosea via the back route.  The steppings stones crossing at the Mackenzie Falls

Saturday’s rewards were short walks to Boronia Peak, an exploration of the pioneer town site and Heatherlie Quarries, an amble up Dairy Creek to the Silverband Falls and a group dinner.  All in all a delightful week of walks for MUAB members to go with our past adventures.    

The title image above shows the stepping stones at the MacKenzie Falls, which were a challenge for some.

To see the photos below, you can click on the right or left green arrows on either side of the pictures. There is also a button at the top right of the pictures to stop or start the autoplay.

To see the video at the bottom, click the arrow at bottom left.

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Video – Local demands right of way on the Boronia Peak trail.