Dayna's Blog

Holidays, walks and who knows what


Mt Sturgeon & Mt Abrupt – Grampians National Park, Victoria

Writing a guest post is not like writing for your own blog.

I felt quite spiffed, chuffed, honoured even, when Neil Fahey invited me to contribute to his well-known Bushwalking Blog.

He asked if I had a favourite local walk.


Despite having lived in Melbourne for almost 5 years now, I found myself answering his question with a question my own: “How local is local?”

Strictly speaking, I honestly suspect the answer is ‘no’. Despite there being plenty of walks we have enjoyed doing around Melbourne, my favourites (i.e. that ones I’d most love to return to) all involve overnight stays. We don’t re-do walks too often as there are plenty in both Chapman’s and Tempest’s books that we haven’t done yet (and there is, of course, the 1000 Steps that I always find myself talking Stephen out of – shhh, don’t tell him).

Still eager to contribute a post, I suggested my very first – and possibly favourite – hikes in Victoria: Mt Sturgeon and Mt Abrupt, located at the most southerly end of the Grampians National Park, about 3 hrs drive west of Melbourne. To my surprise and delight, a quick search had revealed that neither of these hikes had been covered yet on Neil’s blog!


Although we hadn’t been for over a year, the trickiest part for me wasn’t remembering the details – it was trying to keep focused on describing the hikes rather than writing a tourist brochure for Dunkeld or the Royal Mail Hotel. (Look out – that could be coming in a future post. It’s drafted… but then, that and more of the Grampians region has been in draft post stage for at least 18 months now, so don’t hold your breath.)

What I finally sent to Neil must have passed muster because he posted it on his blog. Thank you Neil for the opportunity to contribute!

Here it is – please read, enjoy (hopefully), and please feel welcome to leave a comment:

Bushwalking Blog Guest Post: The glorious southern Grampians – Mt Sturgeon & Mt Abrupt

: )


Dunkeld’s morning chorus (birdsong) – Sep 2012

I sacrificed my usual non-work-day-sleep-ins for a very worthy cause while on a long weekend stay at Dunkeld, at the southern end of the Grampians in western Victoria last September.
The cause? To take photos for our annual calendar! Well, our location made it so much easier. We had finally returned to the Royal Mail Hotel (3hrs or so west of Melbourne) after an absence of 3yrs 9mths & 14days. The place we’ve been talking about returning to for longer than any other!
While I was standing on the veranda to our room (barefoot & in my PJ’s) photographing the fog roll over the mountains and through the trees, I realised that the bush was pretty loud. When I went back out a few minutes later the cacophony hadn’t stopped. And it was still going half an hour after that.
I remembered the term ‘morning chorus’ and, you know, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a more varied and continuous example of birdsong. So the following morning I decided to record some of it.
This is just a short snippet of what we enjoyed, and not all of the birds we heard or saw are included, but it’s a reasonable sample, I think.
Please turn the volume up when you play this. An iPhone is good for spur of the moment situations, but I’m seriously considering taking proper recording equipment next time.