Hiking the Grampians National Park…

Belated Happy New Year everyone..!

What better way to start the new year than by climbing a mountain..?

The Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia © Michael Evans Photographer 2014  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
A 6 image panoramic view of Mount Stapylton from the top of Mount Hollow – © Michael Evans Photographer 2014

After the excesses of the festive season we headed up to the Grampians National Park to walk off the Christmas Pudding, and while not strictly climbing in the true sense of the word, these 5 days of hiking and scrambling were certainly very invigorating and I definitely worked off a few kilo’s. We both love to get away after Christmas and see in the New Year while enjoying the beauty of this region, which is located approximately 230 kilometres west of Melbourne. We stayed in Halls Gap, which is perfectly located for visiting all of the best hike’s in the region; it also has several restaurants and a good pub, definitely a must after a tough day’s hike in the heat!

Halls Gap from the Pinnacle,the Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia © Michael Evans Photographer 2014  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Halls Gap from the Pinnacles… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
The Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia © Michael Evans Photographer 2014 - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
The path on the way to the top of the Pinnacles… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
The Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia © Michael Evans Photographer 2014  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Mel enjoying a well earned rest at the top… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
The Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia © Michael Evans Photographer 2014  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
The locals hanging around our hotel in Halls Gap… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014

We stay at the Pinnacle Motor Lodge each time we visit as it is certainly clean and very well priced, as well as being in the heart of the town. Each night after the day’s strenuous activities we sat outside our unit with a cold drink as the local kangaroo’s wandered through the Lodge, often hopping right past us while we ate dinner…

The Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia © Michael Evans Photographer 2014  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
There are just so many opportunities for shooting panoramic images in the Grampians, that you have to limit yourself or the hike can take considerably longer than planned – © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
The Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia © Michael Evans Photographer 2014  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
A 12 image stitch panorama; I just felt that this image particularly lent itself to the B&W treatment… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
The Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia © Michael Evans Photographer 2014  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
This is the waterfall that exists just above McKenzie Falls; I didn’t shoot the main falls again as I already have a panoramic image from a previous visit that is on my main portfolio website – © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
The Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia © Michael Evans Photographer 2014  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Looking over to Mount Stapylton from Mount Zero – © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
The Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia © Michael Evans Photographer 2014  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
From a small gap on Mount Hollow looking towards Mount Stapylton – © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
The Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia © Michael Evans Photographer 2014  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Hmmm…nothing like encouragement at the start…and this was nothing like encouragement! The path to the aptly named Mount Difficult – © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
The Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia © Michael Evans Photographer 2014  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Sweaty but happy, half way up Mount Difficult. Taken by Mel on her Canon 1100D with 18-55 kit lens … © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
The Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia © Michael Evans Photographer 2014  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
The path marked by the yellow arrows on Mount Difficult; the Grampians are a sandstone mountain range, and the effects of the weather over the millennia can be clearly seen as you hike through the region – © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
The Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia © Michael Evans Photographer 2014  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
The view from the very top of Mount Difficult; well worth the hard scramble up to the summit… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
The Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia © Michael Evans Photographer 2014  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Mid hop! © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
The Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia © Michael Evans Photographer 2014  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Silverband Falls, accessible via a very gentle walk. While not as impressive as McKenzie Falls it is still worth the visit… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014
The Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia © Michael Evans Photographer 2014  - www.michaelevansphotographer.com
Such a great feeling… © Michael Evans Photographer 2014

On this trip I used my Canon 5D Mk II instead of the Mk III as I did not want to carry the extra weight of the battery grip which is attached to my Mk III. I also limited my lens selection to one 24-105mm f4 L IS USM only; last year I also carried the 16-35mm f2.8 L with me on each hike, something that I definitely regret not doing this time as I left the ultra-wide angle back in Melbourne. The 24-105mm is a great all round lens, but there were times that I just would have loved that extra angle of view without having to resort to making a panorama… Mel was carrying her very lightweight Canon 1100D with it’s basic kit lens, the 18-55mm, and obviously several of the shots on this post were taken by her. One advantage of this little camera is the built in flash, which can prove to be quite useful for the purpose of filling in the shadows; none of my cameras have this flash, and I honestly never thought I would miss it as I have a large collection of Speedlites, however weight and space is a premium when hiking, so I do indeed now appreciate the 1100D’s usefulness!

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