A Hike up Mount Rosea

I had the distinct pleasure of doing a hike in the Grampians last month. On a road trip through the state of Victoria, I was hard-pressed to miss a trip through one of Australia’s most internationally renowned parks. The trail that I had chosen to embark on was a hike up Mt Rosea. We were promised soaring views of the Grampians themselves, entertaining rock hopping up to the summit, and the chance to see some unique Australian wildlife, and my oh my, I was not disappointed. That morning we had started rather late and had only ourselves to blame for having to face the scorching Australian heat. Nonetheless, wrapped up head to toe in long clothing, a wide brim, and with a generous serving of SPF 50, we plowed on.

The Summit of Mt Rosea

Our hike started through the forest moving slowly up. Continuing for about an hour, I was struck by the beauty of the surrounding area, and, with a deep breath in, I realized the sensory beauty that the forest of the Grampians provided. The towering trees, with their leaves ranging from deep green to light emerald, created a natural canopy overhead, with sun light filtering through to provide a dazzling, dancing display of light on the forest floor. The ground itself was covered in a thick carpet of ferns and mosses with delicate fronds brushing up against my hiking trousers saying hello as I hiked along. The air was filled with the sweet scent of eucalyptus and the earthy aroma of the forest floor. The sounds of birds chirping in conjunction with the gentle rustling of leaves in the breeze helped create a symphony of nature where I was the lone member of the audience. 

I hiked on, approaching a clearing in the forest. A hear a crackle of some twigs underfoot and look down. There are no branches where I currently stood. Looking to my right, I almost shout out. An emu! A real-life emu! I have lived in Australia for a couple of years now and have never seen an emu in the flesh.  Breathtaking in its size, seeing an emu for the first time is something that I will never forget. With its brown feathers, at first instance, it seemed to blend into the backdrop behind it. It was not until I had stopped and stared at it for a little while, not until the Emu had turned its head to look at it, revealing large, curious eyes, that I was struck by a level of intelligence and curiosity that shined within. It meandered around for a minute or so, before its long legs, powerful and sturdy, propelled it away, carrying it off into the distance before it was swallowed by the landscape in its entirety. I continued my hike onwards. 

My Encounter with an Emu

Soon, I was out of the forest and had started to approach the sandstone peaks of the Grampians themselves. I must admit, this trail was one of the most enjoyable I had been on in a while. We began hiking up the sandstone formations themselves, slipping in and out of the cracks in between jagged rock formations and scrambling up some rather large boulders. I love hikes like these, which keep you on your toes, forcing you to problem-solve your way toward an end goal. The boulders started to get larger, with sections where I was on my hands and knees trying to traverse different sections. The rock itself was brittle and covered in patches of moss and lichen that were growing right onto the rock. This was part of the walk that was most amazing. In those kinds of instances, I often find this extremely meditate. One wrong move and you might injure yourself! So an acute level of mindfulness is not only extremely necessary but a lovely side-product of this kind of hiking. 

The Sandstone formations of the Grampians, covered in interesting Lichen

At one section of the hike, as I was in this miniature valley of these sandstone formations, I was struck by the texture of the rock itself and what was actually on them. moss and lichen had grown all over over the rocks themselves, changing the color of the rock from a straight grey to a quillwork of pastel white and green blotches. Although rather unassuming at first, when you stop and think about this it is quite spectacular. These lichens grow at a rate of 2mm a year. Some of these lichen coverings spanned over a meter long! It grows on hard rock, drawing sustenance from the air and moisture, a testament to the plant’s resilience and adaptability. The sight of a lichen is a reminder of the beauty and wonder that can be found in even the most unexpected of places, and truly inspires a sense of awe and reverence for the natural world.

Every so often you would get to a flatter section of the trail that would be on the ridgeline of Mount Rosea itself. Here was where there were some truly breathtaking views. Looking out over the edge, a bit nervous to get too close, you could look far into the distance of the festinating terrain around you. The cliffs of the Grampians spring up around you, covered in a shawl of very distinctive green vegetation. The further you look, the view changes into rolling farmland, punctuated by lakes in watering holes. By the time we were at this point of the walk, the weather had turned rather quickly. There was no longer dazzling sunlight but brooding clouds that filled up the entirety of the sky.  From a height, this had the effect of creating a rather epic landscape. In its way, the grey sky added to a sense of beauty and helped make the green trees below pop even more. Nature itself seems brooding, surly almost which made me feel a sense of awe and reverence for its vastness and power. 

As I got to the summit of Mount Rosea, I was happy, somewhat relieved (it had started drizzling now), and slightly tired! This was an out-and-back trail and I knew I had done most of the hard work! This was a climb up that I was not going to forget anytime soon. 

The view from the top!

This walk on Trail Navigator Victoria: Mt Rosea

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