A few weeks ago l decided to head out to the Grampians and drag myself away from the Great Ocean Road, give myself a break from shooting seascapes. l must say it was great to have a change of scenery as the landscape at the Grampians is just spectacular. The views are amazingly beautiful (and scary) if, like me, you don’t like heights. 7 nights camping at Halls Gap was just what the doctor ordered, time out after being in lockdown for well over 6months during to covid.
Hiking up and around the mountains and beautiful look-outs made me feel great both physically and mentally as the hikes really lifted my spirits and fitness levels. It’s amazing how great you can feel being out and about in nature.
Visiting places such as Mount William which happens to be the highest point with 360 degree views. A steep walk to reach the peak but well worth it.
Boroka Lookout, which is to said to be one of the best look-outs and only 200 metres from the car park. with views over Halls Gap and 180 degree views of Western Victoria.
Reeds Lookout and The Balconies, which l visited 4 days straight hoping for the right conditions to grab a few good photos.
Below are a couple of lovely images l managed to capture one misty morning at Boroka Lookout. Conditions were perfect for atmospheric looking images as the mist covered the landscape and the sun made its way over the horizon casting wonderful morning light through the mist.
Don’t you just love a misty morning, getting lost in the fog and coming out on the other side. But what l find most appealing is what’s in between, as the mist shifts through the landscape revealing only slightly what she has been hiding for eons. You only have to ‘be there’ when it’s revealed.
In September this year I spent two weeks in China. I have always wanted to see the Karst Mountain Peaks in Guilin, so I decided to make Lao Zai Shan (mountain) in Xing Ping my first stop.
I had arrived in Old Xing Ping Town on a bamboo raft river cruise, along the beautiful and majestic ‘Li Jiang River’. Taking in two hours of the most spectacular scenery, the still waters and Karst Mountain peaks had me gasping for air with every turn of my head; I was in total awe of the surrounding landscape.
With my feet back on solid ground and my suitcase stored away in my home-stay, I decided to have a guide lead me up to the top of Lao Zai Mountain for an evening sunset shoot, unbeknownst to me that the climb up the mountain was over 1000 steps along a very uneven path with steep rocks.
The weather was hot and humid and the air was still. Before what I assumed was the half way point, my t-shirt and shorts where drenched and sweat was continuously pouring from my body, taking into account I was carrying over 20kgs of camera gear and tripod on my back. My guide had gestured several times to help carry my gear, but I declined, thinking the climb would not be so arduous.
There was a stage in the climb where I gestured to my guide that I wanted to go back down, but he pointed his finger in an upward direction and somehow assured me we had nearly reached to top, so on we marched.
Before reaching the top there is a 5 metre climb up a rickety old ladder, and trying to manoeuvre up and down with a camera bag and tripod in tow is very tricky and requires concentration. Once reaching the Pagoda, make sure you scramble up a little further over some rocks to get the best views, which are claimed to be the best in the region. Make no mistake about it, the views really are spectacular.
I climbed the Mountain twice during my 5 days in Xing Ping and will be heading back there in late April 2012, hoping for more atmospheric weather with mist and fog rising in the peaks.
Be sure to carry lots of water, and I do mean bucket loads, and a good telephoto lens to capture the layers of the Karst peaks. Sunset is the best view looking North over Xing Ping to Yangdi. If you need any advice or would like to join my tour next April, feel free to message me.