Duke of Edinburgh Grampians Hike:
During the Easter break, ten students, along with teachers Ms Pirrottina and Mr Oataway, set off on a three day/two night hike through the Grampians as part of the Duke of Edinburgh expedition. It was an amazing experience for all involved.
We all mustered at GLC around 6 am, and boarded the bus with our gigantic packs to the Grampians. Along the way, we discovered that one of the tyres had popped, which caused a bump in our early-getaway plans with an unexpected pit stop. We eventually made it to Halls Gap, and after putting our gear on, having a small chat and consulting the map for directions, we began our hike.
We saw so many amazing areas this day, including “Silent Street”, a narrow path between tall walls of dark grey rock. We visited “the Pinnacle”, a mountain peak 609m above sea level with stunning views of the mountain range and the surrounding farmlands. Towards the end of the day, we arrived at Bugiga campgrounds. The sites were on circular wooden platforms and were entirely surrounded by bush. Unfortunately for some of the girls, some bush rats came to say hello and gave them quite a fright! After setting up our tents, we collected water (another 1.4km hike!) and cooked dinner over our trangias (camp stoves). With full bellies and tired legs, we said our goodnights and went to bed.
After a good night’s sleep, the team cooked breakfast together, packed up our tents, and set off again. Roughly an hour into our trip, we came upon a plateau with spectacular views of the mountains. With the sun pouring down through the fog, it was a sight to behold. Another highlight was Eagle Point, where rocks jut from the cliff in the shape of an eagle’s head. We decided to have lunch here and soak in the incredible view. We continued through the Ravine of the Great East Wind, and the Grand Staircase, a stretch of rocky, gradually rising steps. To the relief of the entire group, after almost five hours, we arrived at Mt Rosea, the highest point in the Grampians, at 1009m above sea level. From here, it felt like we could see for ever. That night we camped at Burrough Huts. A few of us stayed up and made a small fire, where we roasted marshmallows and laughed about funny stories in our lives.
We woke up early on the last day, packed up and had our official group photo. There was a famous kookaburra at this campsite known for stealing food, standing about two metres from us while we all ate breakfast. Thankfully, none of us had to share with it, although we’d heard some stories about others who weren’t so lucky. We then had a fun game of Frisbee before heading off on our final leg of the journey.
Our final highlight was Lake Wartook, a very large lake surrounded by mountains, with the skeletons of submerged trees covered in low-lying fog, and flocks of cockatoos flying through the sky. It was beautiful and certainly a place we’d love to return to.
We finally made it to the Information Centre, which was the official completion of our hike. The bus ride back to GLC was full of very tired, graze and bruise-covered students, who were very much looking forward to the comfort of our own homes.
We’d like to say a very big thank you to Mr Oataway and Ms Pirrottina for giving their time to take us on the hike, and looking forward to the next one!