my plan was to continue along the coast into south australia and then turn north. but kris suggested that we’d seen enough ocean for now and that she’d rather spend a little time in the mountains for a change.

so we went in search for the nearest mountain range. we did not have to look far.

the grampians stick out among the surrounding flattish grazing country like the proverbial sore thumb. not only is it the only mountain range in the area, the mountains are also shaped like saw teeth, rising slowly on one side and dropping off steeply on the other.

we learned more about the geology of the place at the local aboriginal cultural center. the grampians, or gariwerd in the local aboriginal language, have been formed from sand accumulated during the devonian period (approx 380 million years ago). at the time the region was part of a coast line, which ran from here towards broken hill.

the sea eroded the east side of the mountains, which explains the steep cliffs on that side. we are told there are many places where this is apparent, from cliffs washed out or petrified ancient sea beds, but we have not seen any of that yet.

we did, however, learn that the cockatoo is the totem animal of this land. there are a few around, especially when there is food on offer.

form our base at halls gap we did explore the nearby stony creek. pretty obvious how they came up with this amazingly imaginative name. it is true, though, that in some spots a bit of imagination is required to call this a creek.

we are told they did not have a lot of rain during the last 12 months. lucky us, ever since we arrived we had quite a bit of it. our drone was pretty much grounded.

a desperate man, looking for any opportunity to get a bit of flying time. it was not easy in the narrow gully, with a few gusts of wind coming through.

the birdlife here is pretty amazing. natalie already has hand-fed the cockatoos and the crimson rosellas. the guy in the picture was a bit more apprehensive.

venus pools just outside halls gap. even with little water it is clear why the locals like this place to cool off in summer.

we’ll be doing a little more exploring over the next two days … or maybe three, who knows.