Category Archives: Travel

Grampians – Camping in the Rain

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So we did it. We packed our tent and headed to the Grampians. The weather forecast said not to, but we couldn’t change the dates our dog was being looked after so instead of cancelling, we soldiered on with gumboots and brollies packed and hope in our hearts. That dog is holding me back from my travel dreams and I blame him for all my woes. All of them.

meeps car xanthe car

 

A three hour car trip demands in car entertainment and these seat back activity packs were a winner.

We arrived and chose a camp site close to the playground. Everything was puddles. And mud. And Kangaroo shit – but that is always there – not just when it’s raining.

The kids like jumping in muddy puddles, so they really enjoyed it for the most part. I threw my toys when the tent started leaking and we changed our accommodation to something warmer and drier – and less muddy. I’m so glad we did otherwise it would have been a very unpleasant – and damp – night.

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Thumbs down to rain inside the tent!

The kids loved the adventure of packing the car and finding our new accommodation in the dark and rain.

The lovely Michael at Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist park was so nice. He helped us find alternative accommodation close by (as their own cabins were all booked out) and he also refunded our camp-site fee which was unnecessary but much appreciated.

The next morning, Darren went back to get our very soggy tent while I stayed in the motel with the kids which was definitely the better part of the deal.

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Kangaroo at our motel

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The kids insisted on having their photo taken with the big ice-cream

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Waiting for breakfast

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Chocolate pancakes with ice-cream!

After a delicious breakfast, and a visit to the fudge shop to stock up, we drove into the mountains and into the clouds, turning back when we could no longer see the road ahead. With nothing left to do that didn’t involve more mud, we went home a day early. :(

The Grampians are still gorgeous in the rain, with low clouds making it look all the more magical. The weather stopped us taking any of the walks which was disappointing but we will be back… in the less wet months.

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Hanging Rock

hanging rock

We spent a great day, yesterday at Hanging Rock, Woodend, Victoria.

We invited our only Melbourne rellies, Jemma and Grant to come out and play with us. I thought the big walk might be too much for the kids, so we did a quick base walk, which afforded some nice views of the rock but was pretty tame and quick. We had a BBQ lunch and then walked up the summit trail. The walk up to the summit takes about an hour return and I think the kids did amazingly well to make it with minimal complaints – better than I did! While not too strenuous, it is a bit steep in parts and also the steps are a touch high for my short arse. The muscles in that area are not happy.

Hanging Rock receives no funding from the state as it is not a State or National Park, so they do charge entry fees, that you actually pay in a ticket machine to use on the way out.

The price for us was $10 per car. Not too bad for a day out.

The BBQs are coin operated at $1

There is also a cafe and gift shop and discovery centre.

Here are some happy snaps of our walk to the top.
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Werribee Open Range Zoo

Werribee Open Range Zoo:

Werribee open range zoo

It had been a very long time since we visited this zoo. We used to live near Werribee and had a zoo membership, but that was years ago!

The zoo has undergone a few changes in those years. It is still the animal friendly open range zoo it always has been but with new and shiny features.  For a start, the safari trucks are heaps nicer than they used to be!

worz safari bus

Old safari bus, now used as interesting garden art and signage.

Werribee open range zoo Zebra Werribee open range zoo Rhino Werribee open range zoo Werribee open range zoo meerkat Werribee open range zoo giraffe Werribee open range zoo camels Werribee open range zoo hippos Werribee open range zoo blue tongue lizard

The thing that makes Werribee open range zoo great, is the thing that makes it not so great. The large open range-ness is awesome for the animals, but not so awesome for seeing those animals! It’s a case of playing “spot the cheetah” whenever we go and of all the times I have been I have NEVER ever seen a bandicoot. Ever. The animals are no doubt, happier than they would be if kept in smaller enclosures to ensure visibility – so I certainly don’t want that to change! Take your zoom lens!

Werribee open range zoo lawnmower

They are currently upgrading the Australian animal area, so during our visit we didn’t even see a kangaroo. Seriously. We did see some fake animals and a guy mowing the grass though.

Slightly disappointing.

If you are planning a trip to Werribee Open Range Zoo, I highly recommend you research your trip and plan your day to make the most of your visit. Check out the website and plan to visit the “meet the keeper” talks. Otherwise you’ll just wander around being annoyed that all the animals are asleep or invisible.

We never plan our trip in this way and always regret it! Next time I WILL plan it out and go to all the things!

Tip: Take a picnic lunch – there are plenty of areas to sit and eat. You can buy food there or even go to the restaurant there, but it’s always busy and the prices are as to be expected – pricey.

Another tip: Take a towel and perhaps a change of clothes for your children that will run around in the hippo sprinklers and get soaked.

Werribee open range zoo sprinkler worz wet meeps

Prices:

Adult Every day $30.00
Child (0-3 yrs) Every day FREE
Child (4-15 yrs) Sat, Sun, public/school hols FREE
Child (4-15 yrs) Mon – Fri outside holidays $13.20
Concession Every day $23.00
Seniors Every day $24.10

Another tip: Buy your tickets online so you don’t have to line up with the masses.

*This post was not in any way commissioned or endorsed by the zoo