Camping in the middle of the Australian winter probably wasn’t the best idea I have ever had but I did not have the option to wait until the weather warmed up again. Thankfully our local friends who brought Megan and I down to the Grampians were well versed in the art of Australian camping. They provided us with all the necessary camping gear as well as “swags” which we later found out is a special Australian style sleeping bag. The drive from Melbourne into The Grampians did not take long at all. If my memory serves me right the drive was not more than two hours (although Google maps disagrees I am not ). When we officially entered into Halls Gap, a specific area within The Grampians, we more or less randomly chose a road and began to drive down it. We finally came to a fork in the road where one of the roads was the blocked off by a small gate warning against flooding; beyond it were fallen leaves, a few big rocks and some fallen branches:
The other road was free of warning signs and road blocks so naturally we decided to take the road less traveled. This included squeezing the car between the gate and a random post not far from it. Our side-view mirrors just cleared the wooden posts on each side. Then we bumped along the road until we found a decent spot to park, climbed out and scavenged for a good camping ground.
After clearing a sizable area and erecting our tents we attempted to cook.
The boys clearing out the area:
Cooking ended up being a more tedious task then we anticipated because we had forgotten to pack any kind cooking implement. We tried a few different techniques such as making a “frying pan” out of a cut up beer can and some sticks but the metal melted and warped before we could properly cook the meat. We ended up getting so desperate from hunger that we just speared our kangaroo steaks with some skewers, the one thing we did bring, and roasted it that way. For dessert Megan and I had brought an American campfire specialty to share with our Australian friends: smores. It was funny listening them repeat the word in confusion because they had never heard of it before. We made each of them a gooey chocolaty sandwich and they loved it! Around bites of melted chocolate and marshmallow they kept repeating the word “smore” in their accented English trying to commit the word to memory. Next came the campfire stories but as we were doing this camping trip “Aussie style,” as the boys referred to it, there were certain requirements that needed to be fulfilled. One of which was to listen the to the renown Australian poem A Man From Snowy River (if you would like to see the whole poem: http://www.wallisandmatilda.com.au/man-from-snowy-river.shtml). No one had brought along a copy of the poem but thankfully that wasn’t a problem because one of the boys knew it by heart.
The next morning we had a bit of a sleep in before cleaning up and heading to a few of the famous sights in The Grampians which were absolutely gorgeous!
**Note- I did not take any of the photos in this post. Photo credit goes to my friend Scott Hodges.**