Monday, February 8, 2016

The Real Australia

Sometimes escaping from everyday life isn't merely a want, it's a need. Being surrounded by the sounds and sights of nature once I'd gotten away made me realise how oppressive the city can be. A concrete metropolis where cars and infrastructure reign supreme and experiencing true solitude is a rarity. 

After finding out about Mackenzie Falls and mistakenly thinking you can swim in the water (you could but it's not permitted and the water is freezing), I decided to visit Halls Gap within the Grampians. A location which is about a three hour drive out of Melbourne.

Ballarat Buildings

Ararat Town Hall
Buildings in Ararat

We stopped at Ballarat for coffee (Yellow Espresso do really good coffee) and Ararat for groceries on the way there. I prefer Ararat over Ballarat, it's a genuine Australian country town surrounded by bushland and inhabited by few. Though there isn't much to do there besides Ararat Asylum and a good op shop (Vinnies).  

Arriving at Halls Gap I was in awe at how many animals surrounded the cabin we were staying in and the abundance of Australian nature. It is so indescribably rejuvenating to be immersed by the sound of various birds, more than just the hum but a strong cacophony of native kookaburras and cockatoos, 
seeing our national emblem, the kangaroo, in its natural habitat and unrestricted by fences, seeing emus cross the road, and white and yellow cockatoos fighting for a place when we used the bbq outside. It's what we think of when we think of Australia and yet so few of us actually get to experience it. 

We are so confined by the boundaries of the major cities we forget to experience what makes Australia so uniquely Australian.

There is a tranquil effect when looking out into the dusty green of trees that go on infinitely into the hazy distance, watching kangaroos languidly lye on the grass, being surrounded by no buildings or people and to see the stars how they were meant to be seen. How they have been seen since the beginning of time until the city lights blocked them out.