Mt. Feathertop (Oct 15-16, 2016)

Mt. Feathertop is not only Victoria’s second highest peak (1922m) but it’s also a great weekend trip (and our third such trip in Australia)!  There are a number of different approaches to Mt. Feathertop, however, we ended up taking the easy route (from Harrietsville, up Bungalow Spur).

There are a number of reasons for this.  Mainly, our mate brought his tinder date along.  I’m not even joking – a girl who had never met our friend (nor any of us), agreed to come along when he said he was going to “climb a mountain” that weekend.  Now, when we kiwis/appropriated kiwis say that we are going to “climb a mountain”, we mean that we are actually going to climb a mountain.…  not just go car camping of whatever it is other (normal?) people do.

Overall, she did great!  She was super fit and she essentially climbed most of Mt. Feathertop in heeled boots (not even kidding).  She only stopped at a point where the track was covered over with snow and it was actually quite wet, steep and slippery.  But seriously, points all around for going tramping in heeled boots.

For the rest of us, it was a great excuse to knock off one of the highest peaks around, see some snow, and remind our legs why we keep them around.

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Walking up through some lovely bush

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Amazing day to climb Feathertop

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Snow covered ridgeline

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No mate, no more tinder matches up here… (Just kidding, I think he was ringing his mum)

From Federation hut, it was maybe a 90 min return to summit Feathertop (even in snow).  We ended up returning back down the bungalow spur track to the car park, and helping out some fellow trampers by returning them to their vehicle (versus them plowing their way along the razorback to Mt. Hotham).  We’re always happy to help out fellow trampers because inevitably, we’ll be the ones needing a hitch someday.

Completing the rest of the razorback circuit is on our list of things to do.

Happy Bushwalking!

The Grampians (16-17 July 2016)

Hey readers – so I just found this post sitting in my “drafts” folder.  My apologies that I’m only getting around to posting it now.

So we’ve actually managed to get out and about here in OZ already. We’ve got some friends who are just as keen to get out amongst it as we are, so we’ve already started exploring our new corner of the world.

Given our new location, we decided to hit up the Grampians which is a classic Victoria trip, especially in winter (in summer it is apparently ridiculously hot and dry).

Day 1 consisted primarily of walking along what we would ordinarily consider a road, but was actually a track! This would be a great “intro to tramping” track. Nothing too technical or scary.  That also meant we were a teensy bit bored with the walk and scenery…  It’s possible that New Zealand has ruined us for all other scenery and we’ve become tramping snobs.

However, we still want to explore our new landscape, spend time with our friends here, and keep up our pack fitness.

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What Australia considers a track to be

I was very excited to spot some Australian fungus. This one I’ve identified as Tremella mesenterica or literally “Yellow Brain”.

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Tremella mesenterica

 

We also took in an absolutely incredible sunset from the top of Mt. Thackeray.  Definitely the highlight of the trip for me.  Mt. Thackeray is about a 1km 1 way trip which involved some actual navigation and rock scrambling (a welcome change at this point after road walking all day), and took us roughly an hour.  Well worth it.

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Sunset from Mt. Thackeray

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Can’t help but love this shot

Sunday we had a bit of a sleep in and late start.  The track was much more varied and interesting (more like a tramping track).  I enjoyed going past the fortress.  We also came across this fabulous campsite, literally called “bush oasis”.  It would be a very pleasant stay in autumn or spring, I think!

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Bush oasis campsite

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And finally, yes, we literally saw Kangaroos everywhere when we were walking.

Of course, one of the main differences between Australia and NZ tramping (apart from lack of Mountains and lack of water), is the wildlife.  There were literally kangaroos jumping through our campsite at night.  Yes, we continue to encounter wildlife wherever we go.

Happy tramping – er, or is it bushwalking now?