At 5 a.m., the pre-dawn sky was still as black as charcoal. This is when we started walking on an unfamiliar hiking trail in the heart of the Grampians National Park.
My husband was using a flashlight app on his mobile phone while I had a tiny LED light on a carabiner clip. Neither one was very adequate for the darkness that surrounded us.
Luckily, the first kilometer or so of the track leading up to Boronia Peak is wide and relatively flat – like part of an old logging trail which we noticed later on the hike back down. I clung closer to my husband whenever I heard strange noises coming from the native pine trees around us. Then, the trail turned more difficult and we found ourselves tripping over large rocks because we couldn’t see that well. This also is about the time that the kookaburras and other local birds started waking up.
Have you ever heard a kookaburra calling in the midnight blue haze before the sun rises? I swear it sounds like wild monkeys and will scare the crap out of you. Now imagine hearing that noise about every few minutes as you hiked up a foreign trail – knowing that everythingis out to kill you in Australia!
I could no longer cling to my husband. I knew I was overreacting. I had to suck it up and think about how amazing the sunrise would be once we reached the top.
Nearly an hour in, between the trees, we started to see flashes of pink fill the morning sky. We saw an opening to take a few photos, but noticed there was a higher peak a little ways yet to go along the trail.
During the last 10 minutes or so to reach the top of Boronia Peak, we found ourselves clambering over medium-sized boulders. My husband went first so he could pull me up some of the larger boulders. When we finally reached the top, we felt that adrenaline rush we always do after achieving a goal. It’s that moment when you feel like you really are king or queen of the world.
The sunrise wasn’t spectacular, but that didn’t matter. I still felt speechless as I gazed out onto the beautiful mountain peaks and valleys in front of us. The world really is an amazing place, and there’s so much more that I want to discover.
“One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.”
-André Gide, a French author and Nobel Prize winner in Literature
- Located about 1.5km south of Halls Gap. Turn east onto Tandara Road, and park at the end of the road. Follow the hiking trail across the Fyans Creek footbridge.
- Length: 6.6km return
- Time: 2 hours 10 minutes to 2 hours 30 minutes, roundtrip
- Track: Medium-grade to steep
- Note: Bring a proper flashlight/torch if doing a sunrise hike.
|Rocky section climbing down from the peak, but at least we saw a large kangaroo at the bottom of the trail.|
This post is linked up with #WeekendWanderlust by travel bloggers A Southern Gypsy, A Brit and a Southerner, and JustinPlus Lauren. Hop on over to see more travel stories!