Mountain Tops

Trip Start Apr 08, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  , Victoria,
Wednesday, April 17, 2013

We were now at the base of the Grampians after a leisurely  drive from Colac where we had free camped and met some lovely people that had been there for weeks. Its worth noting at this point if you are using the 'Camp' series off free and cheap camp spots in Australia, (we are on version 5) its an invaluable book that can save you thousands of dollars and time touring Oz, and if like at Colac lake the area is full of retirees (Grey Nomads) and there caravans and they have been there for weeks on end you know its a good spot!

Colac is industrial town, lots of normal shops, an average medium sized town you may not want to visit. But it has everything you need to stock up with for your travels and then a excellent reserve park with waterfront camping, toilets and fresh water, all free and encouraged to use. Local councils that allow this to happen should really be applauded and I'm sure the Grey Nomads put allot back into the local economy as they travel. We just reap the benefits of a clean free stop, its a shame this camping model isn't repeated anywhere else in Europe quite as good.
We dived right into our Grampians tour, we got a bit lost in devouring the views of mountain ranges as far as the eye could see. We love mountain camping and walking. Living for so long in fairly flat South Australia we have been starved of the views we have been brought up with in Europe. SA as I mentioned is a pretty flat state, apart from the Flinders Ranges which are equally impressive but very spread out and a big drive to get to from Adelaide, the Grampians are actually closer and more accessible and there are plenty of people over here from SA for the same reason.
We eventually found a site on the north west site of the Grampians, we had hoped to do some 4WD touring but lots of the tracks were closed after recent fires, so we opted for a leisurely drive through the park first. The bush camping in the park seemed expensive for just very basic facilities with no good views, as your right in the forests and mountains loom down to make you feel like you could be anywhere, we opted to stay in the Black Range Forest at Mountain Dam Reserve where we actually have a great view of the ranges across a eery lake full of dead standing trees. We have the place pretty much to our selves and plenty of wood for cosy autumn fires.
I think we may lay low for a few days.
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