Tag: hike

A daytrip to Taroko Gorge National Park

From Hualien, we arranged a day trip to Taroko National Park, where a river cut a beautiful gorge through the mountains. The first stop on the trip was a view point where the mountains meet the coast just before turning inland into the park. The first stop in the park was the Eternal Spring Shrine, where a flat trail leads all the way to the shrine. At the shrine there is a short but very steep trail up the mountain. We went up for a little bit to get a good view over the valley. The next stop was the Swallow

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Taipei: Elephant Mountain

The walk up the stairs to Elephant Mountain is just a 10 minute walk away from the closest subway station (Xiangshan Station). The ascent does not take longer than 30 minutes, but is one giant stair case and thus pretty steep. There is a little kiosk selling drinks and snacks at the beginning and multiple resting spots with nice views along the way. Here is a first view of the city and Taipei 101. Going further up, there are a couple of outlooks and terraces with great views all over Taipei. Most impressive is still Taipei 101, which was the world’s tallest building

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Ormiston Gorge

The final stop on our trip along the West MacDonnell Ranges was Ormiston Gorge. The Gorge is another beautiful gap in the ranges with a permanent water hole big enough for swimming and a nice camp site next to it. It feels a little bit like Ellery Creek but there are fewer people and it has the Ormiston Pound walking track is a round trip that takes you in about 3 hours around the Western elevation along the Ghost Gum Lookout and back through the gorge. The track provides many good viewpoints of the gorge and the Ghost Gum Lookout

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Crystal Cove State Park, California

A short trip brought me to southern California, more precisely to the tiny suburb of Lake Forest located between Los Angeles and San Diego. There is not much going on there, but it is very close to the coast and to the Crystal Cove State Park. The park comprises a long stretch of sandy beach and a much bigger area inland which is quite hilly. With the sun up and burning, we sticked to beach part and enjoyed a walk on the shore. We came back  in the evening for the sunset, which was beautiful. Parking can be a bit

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Platypus scouting at Lake Elizabeth

The last stop on our road trip from the Grampians (Gariwerd) to the Great Ocean Road was a very special one. Since the failed platypus scouting in Gippsland, we still had some unfinished business and several travelers along the way told us, that the chances to spot a platypus (or two) would be at least realistic at Lake Elizabeth. The lake itself is fairly new – after heavy rain in 1952, a landslide blocked the East Barwon River and when the surprised folks living nearby went to discover why the water stopped flowing, they found a brand new lake. For

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Triplet Falls walk

When we started the walk to the Triplet Falls in the Great Otway National Park, we were not expecting too much since it has not rained for a couple of weeks. Indeed, it took us some time to make out the three different streams of the falls. In the photo, the center fall is a bit hidden behind the trees. The walk itself is very pleasant and takes about 1 hour round trip. It has some steep parts which are a bit slippery when it is wet. As a nice extra, you will find a rusty logging boiler and an

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Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve

On the way to the Great Ocean Road we made a stop at the Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve just a few kilometers east of Port Fairy. The reserve offers a couple of hiking trails around an inactive volcano and there is a good chance to get really close to several animals. There is an information center that has great coffee so we took some and scouted for koalas on the nearby meadow packed with gum trees and picnic tables. It was the only time, that we walked around just with our sandals since the heat reached 40C again and we did

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Budj Bim (Mount Eccles) NP

Back to Australia, after exploring the Badyuk caves and the tumulis we had one more volcanic adventure on the list before driving down to the south coast in Victoria. The Budj Bim NP was highlighted in our guide book as being a hot spot for koalas. Also, the history of the landscape and its importance to the original owners, the Gunditjmara people, is very interesting. As with the last spots we visited on the road trip, the volcanic eruptions of Mt Eccles had a large impact on the area. Rivers and streams were blocked and turned the area into a swamp

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Grampians – Mount Stapylton

After Hollow Mountain, we relocated the car to the Stapylton car park and started the ascent of Mount Stapylton. The walk is about 5km long and has some steep parts. The trail starts over a rocky but flat surface (called Flat Rock) where you have to look out for the markers a bit. After passing Hollow Mountain on the left, the track winds up the Amphitheatre along the Taipan Wall which has very impressive red parts. On the way up, you come across a beautiful rock which looks  a bit like a swan. The track becomes steeper towards the end

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Grampians – Hollow Mountain

The short but steep ascent to the Hollow Mountain in the Grampians (Gariwerd) starts from the Hollow Mountain carpark, which is also the one to visit the Gulgurn Manja shelter. The walk is just 2.2km return but you go up about 200m. A little bit of climbing is required at two steep locations, but it is very short and easy. The trail starts quite flat to the base of the mountain and then leads you up a ledge to the first plateau just below the top. Here you will come across one of the large caves which may have been the

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Grampians: Reed Lookout, Balconies, and Mackenzie Falls

On the second day, we crossed the Grampians from East to West, stopping at the Reed Lookout, the Balconies, and the Mackenzie Falls along the road. The Reed Lookout offers great views both of the Northern and Southern Grampians. Since this summer was incredible hot and dry, we could see the smoke from remote bush fires from the lookout. Luckily, the Grampians were not too much affected by the fires but several campgrounds had been closed as a precaution. Also luckily, they were usually closed on the day we left them. From the Reed Lookout, its about a 10 minute

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Wilsons Promontory: Vereker Lookout and Millers Landing

On the day we left Wilson’s Prom, we took the 4km gravel road just before the park exit to the trailhead of Vereker Lookout and Millers Landing. The round-trip walk going to the lookout first and then down to the landing site is pretty short, it took about 90 minutes altogether and the only uphill section is on the first part towards the lookout. The views are nice all the way along to the lookout, especially since they alternate between the east and west coast. Verekerer Lookout eventually offers a great view of the Darby Swamp. After the lookout, the

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Wilsons Promontory – Overnight hike to Waterloo Bay

Spontaneously, a colleague and me decided to go to Wilsons Promontory NP for a (long) weekend. The park is on a peninsula about 3 hours drive from Melbourne. We started Friday in the early afternoon and arrived in time to pitch our tent and go to an aviation field halfway through the park to meet some animals of the park. On a walk for about 2 hours, we saw heaps of kangaroos, wallaby, emus, and wombats. On our way back to Tidal River, we stopped at a lookout to enjoy the sunset. We booked the next night at the campground

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Wollemi NP – Glow Worm Tunnel Hike

After the adventures at the Warrumbungle High Tops, we drove on to spend a day in Wollemi NP. We decided to do the Glow Worm Tunnel Walk,  an easy round-trip walk of about 10km. The walk follows an old stagecoach trail through a gorge on the first half, and former tracks of the Wolgan Valley Railway on the way back. The highlight of the trail is the old railway tunnel – a 500m long bend, completely dark in the middle and with lots of glow worms (which are not really worms but larvae of flies) on the walls. To reach the tunnel,

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Warrumbungle NP – The Great High Tops Walk

On the next day, we drove to Warrumbungle NP, a park known for its volcanic rock formations and its koala population. Soon after we arrived, several kangaroos approached us, feeding on the grass right next to where we pitched our tents. With a couple of sunny hours left, we started a short hike on the service road at Camp Blackman, trying to spot koalas without any success. We finished the day with a BBQ, and planned to do the Breadknife and the Great High Tops walk the next day. The trail starts from the Pincham Carpark and follows the Spirey

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Waterfall Way in New South Wales

After the rainfall on the coast in New South Wales, we decided to move inland taking the Waterfall Way over the Great Dividing Range. Over the day, the weather improved a lot – clouds disappeared and the sun came out. For lunch, we stopped at a lookout just before Dorrigo NP providing a great view of the mountain range. The next stop was the Dorrigo Rainforest Center with a skywalk along the tree tops of the rainforest. It was still a bit foggy, thus the views were limited. We headed on to the Ebora Falls, comprising the Lower and Upper

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Great Ocean Walk – Apollo Bay to Castle Cove

On the first weekend in Melbourne, I took the train and bus to Apollo Bay (3.5h) to do the first half of the Great Ocean Walk to Castle Cove. Since finding a room was so much easier than expected and work had not really started yet, I spontaneously decided to do this trip. I even got a registration for the first night to camp at Elliot Ridge just one day in advance, despite the long Melbourne’s Cup weekend (Tuesday off) and the advice to book those hike-in campsites at least two weeks earlier. Day 1 I arrived in Apollo Bay

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Yosemite: Full moon rising at Sentinel Dome

On our way down from the tunnel view lookout, another hiker told us about a full moon rising hike to Sentinel Dome later this night. Since it was already quite late, we had to make the decision instantly to drive up Glacier Point Road to the meeting point. At first, I was a bit worried about losing our campsite at Summerdale by showing up past midnight. But luckily, my partner convinced me to take the opportunity of this one and only chance to see the sunset and the full moon rising from the tops of the Yosemite peaks. So instead

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