January Adventure – Hiking in the Cathedral Ranges
New Years Resolution: get outside and go on an adventure once a month
3rd January 2018
6am *REALLY LOUD ANNOYING ALARM SOUND*
6:01am I try turning off my alarm so I can go back to sleep, only to remember I downloaded an app that makes you solve three maths problems before you can disable it…sometimes I hate myself.
I finally get three correct (after six attempts) and by that stage I’m awake, mainly due to sheer frustration. Looks like the app worked.
Nathan and I had decided to go for a hike (hence the 6am wake up) as one of my goals for the new year is to go on an outdoor adventure once a month.
We are in the car by 6:40am stopping at the bakery in town to grab a coffee (so we can ‘do the words putting into sentence doing’ – anyone get the reference?) before beginning our drive to the Cathedral Ranges, a state park located roughly 100kms North East of Melbourne.
There are a multitude of hikes on offer throughout the ranges (click here for the guide). Nathan and I chose Neds Gully Track, mainly due to the suitable time frame of an hour each way. Unfortunately, we didn’t pay attention to the grading. According to the Australian Walking Track Grading System, grade 1 is easiest and grade 5 is most difficult. Neds Gully is grade 4…
We soon found that out.
To quickly summarise the track for you, it started uphill, continued uphill, and then finished with some more very steep uphill. At numerous points I wasn’t sure if I was going to faint or throw up, and I am sure my face looked like a sweaty tomato. Meanwhile, Nathan gracefully strode along barely breaking a sweat, how typical.
We reached Neds Gully in about an hour, and decided to continue on to Neds Peak, another 15 minutes of yes, you guessed it, UPHILL.
Reaching the peak was a relief, but also sort of a let down, where were the amazing views that one would expect after a 6am maths class, one hour drive and the never ending pain of uphill walking? Luckily, some friendly (and very enthusiastic) hikers were leaving as we arrived and passed on their wisdom of a better view a little ways off the track.
Watching for snakes (one of my biggest fears) we pushed our way through the itchy scratchy shrubs that are Australian native plants and arrived at some large rock formations that looked somewhat climbable. Here we found the amazing views and the beautiful peace and serenity the Cathedrals have to offer.
If you are ever in Melbourne and looking for a great hike, I highly recommend heading to the Cathedral Ranges. I left the park full of endorphins, with slightly shaky legs, ready to devour a delicious plant-based lunch with my husband.
A few words of warning, it is a dirt road into the park (not suitable for lowered cars), the only toilet available is a drop dunny (breathe through your mouth and don’t look down), and make sure you take plenty of water and wear sunscreen.
Until my next adventure,