Glen had the day off yesterday so we decided to do a day trip that we've been meaning to go on for a few months now. All the moving and going to IKEA and then Glen getting sick (sinus AND chest infection - yuck!) had kind of stopped us from doing any random day trips/exploring. We've been eying the You Yangs for a while now so we decided to make a day of it and make a stop at the Brisbane Ranges as well.
So we got to the You Yangs around 11am and picked the hike we were going to go on. They were all pretty decent in length (between 3 and 5km) so we decided to pick the one that sounded the least challenging (it was one of the longer ones at 4.5km). Usually the words "gentle loop walk with medium graidents" means that it has some ups and downs but is for the most part flat or slightly undulating. Um. No. I wish I would've taken pictures because it was pretty ridiculous and more like mountain climbing in some spots. The shortest walk was 450 steps to the top of the peak and after climbing 50 of them to start our walk, we knew there was NO way we could do 400 more. INSANE. So we walked/climbed for 45 minutes before turning around and going back. We figured that we had only gotten about a quarter of the way around and we were pretty exhausted.
Once we got back to the car we stopped for some lunch (we picked up Subway before heading out then we packed other snacks and water). On our way out of the park we stopped and took some pictures of the incredible view.
That's Melbourne in the distance - 56km away. I don't know what it is but there's something about the skyline that I love. You can see the city from so many different view points. I've never lived anywhere where you could see the same thing from everywhere. Often when we're driving around, we'll come around a corner and suddenly the skyline will come into view, it's kind of neat.
So, on our way out of the park Glen spotted a Kookaburra so I hopped out of the car and took a few pictures. It's probably the closest I've ever gotten to one. They're SO fluffy!
We made our way to the Brisbane Ranges and I have to say, for a National Park it was SO hard to find! There were hardly any signs and then when we finally saw a sign it was pointing left and right. So we turned right (since we had to travel in that general direction to get home anyway) and could NOT find an entry to the park. We drove around for ages before we turned around and made our way back to the sign then went the other way. We finally found some signs hidden by trees and bushes so we drove in. There were little posts showing where the trails were but there was pretty much no parking. You had to pull of the side of the road and then go for your walk. So we picked a trail (with the promising name "Koala Track") and started out. The trail was more like an old logging road and there wasn't any wildlife - not even birds! So we turned around, got back in the car and came home. I was actually the most excited about the Brisbane Ranges since it seemed to have the most promise for viewing animals.
I'd definitely go back to the You Yangs and explore some of the other areas of the park but I don't think the Brisbane Ranges is the top of my list to take other people to (we're compiling a mental list of cool places to take friends and family when/if they visit).
So after all of that,we drove home and since I had my camera with me, I got to take a picture of one of our favourite views of the city.
This is the view you see once you turn off the freeway and start heading towards home - it's like the "home stretch". We're approx. 10km away from the city centre.