In spring, the distinctive landscapes of Victoria’s Grampians National Park – where vista after staggering vista stretches out in an almost endless 360° scenic panorama – become an irritating distraction from its main attraction!
Because springtime is double the fun in the Grampians when every magnificent view comes with a bonus extra – a unique display of wildflowers especially formulated to match it!
And I’ll prove it! Follow along as I retrace our footsteps through FIVE FAAAAABULOUS wildflower extravaganzas we saw in the Grampians in spring 2012 and 2013 (Oct/Nov)!
Although the scenery takes second place in this post …
1. Boroka Lookout:
Arguably the best-known view in the Grampians, the iconic Boroka lookout high above Halls Gap on a clear day can leave viewers breathless!
Especially when one contemplates the hiking trail from the town below to the lookout – that’s probably even worse going down than coming up!!
Nearby, the flowers on the high plateau cover the rocky ledges and draw the eye away from that gob-smacking view!!
The magnificent endemic Thryptomene(Thryptomene calycina) in full floral flight can be found throughout the Grampians in spring.
BUT … some prefer the pink version.
What do YOU think?
2. Heatherlie Quarry:
Thryptomene is also a staple at historic Heatherlie Quarry, but it takes second place to the orchids along the walking trail from the car park.
It’s hard to imagine this now deserted site in the middle of the bush as the thriving commercial centre it once was.
But exploring the site with the help of interpretative signs reveals its historical connection to many of Melbourne’s buildings.
With vegetation well on the way to re-claiming the bare rock faces left by many years of quarrying, the site is only a couple of good seasons from disappearing into the surrounding bushland.
3. Silverband Falls:
Weirdly, no matter how wonderful the waterfall, my photo of it will almost certainly look like a white line on a dark backdrop.
My shots of Silverband Falls – a recovering natural disaster zone after the twin ravages of fierce bushfire followed by catasrophic flood – are sadly no exception!
So I’ve gone for an arty water shot instead …
… and you’ll just have to trust me that this is, indeed, Silverband Falls!!
Not that it matters with wildflowers like these on offer!
After following the falls recuperation over three visits following the flood, it’s amazing how the vegetation has regenerated. And while the gully may never return to its ‘normal’ state the wildflowers are making a welcome comeback.
4. Victoria Valley:
Running between the Serra Range to the east and the Victoria Range to the west, the wild and remote country around the Glenelg River with the jagged mountain range (at left) silhouetted against the sky is softened by spring wildflowers.
The strong colours – the red of the earth, the blue of the sky, and the green of the plain – are barely noticeable when blanketed with white.
Yes, the ti-tree in full bloom is what passes for snow in this almost-outback off the beaten track part of the Grampians National Park!
Don’t miss it if you want to see a carpet of flowers, a knife edge of rocky mountains and a scattering of wildlife!
5. Mount Abrupt:
The penultimate (LOVE that word!) mountain before the Serra Range sinks into the plain at the Grampians southern end, Mt Abrupt’s impressive peak rises over 800 metres above sea level.
While the view from its peak is one of the best in the Grampians (yes, that’s MY opinion, and I’ll back it up with photos in a later post!) the wildflowers en route to the summit offer a welcome opportunity to stop for a rest photo break.
With an elevation of ~460 metres, you’ll need a LOT of photo breaks over the 6.5 km return trip – if you’re anything like me, that is!!
Hitting these hotspots for a double dose of killer view AND awesome array of wildflowers is just a teaser! There’s a lot more to see – both scenically AND florally – all around the Grampians at this time of year!
BUT … be warned! Wildflowers aren’t the only natural phenomenon to come out in spring … so watch your step!