One Week Photographing Victoria's National Parks
Australia is home to some of the most beautiful and unique national parks in the world, and some of my favourite of those parks are located in the Southern state of Victoria. Thanks to Parks Victoria and Visit Victoria, I've just spent a very short week exploring Port Campbell National Park, Great Otway National Park and of course, The Grampians National Park. I was lucky enough to spend that week with two awesome creators I've had the fortune of getting to know over the years - Rob Mulally and Melissa Findley. I'm sure they'd be stoked if you went and checked out their images, too!
Speaking of which, two more OG 'grammers (Lauren Bath and Jewels Lynch) had a Victoria Parks adventure of their own. They spent the week photographing Mount Buffalo National Park and Wilsons Promontory National Park.
The Grampians National Park
First up on our itinerary was The Grampians National Park, a location I've been fortunate enough to visit in the past (actually on one of my first ever tourism jobs). It's relatively short 3 hour drive North West of Melbourne. The town of Halls Gap is smack bang in the middle of the park and was our home for the first few days of this week long trip. We were greeted with perfect weather when we arrived, but unfortunately that was short lived (which, just quietly, I was stoked about for the sake of some moody photos).
Great Otway National Park
Did someone say "waterfalls"? Because that reason alone will keep me coming back to the Great Otway National Park for as long as I can walk, or crawl... Sure, it has some pretty amazing coastline too, not too dissimilar to what you see in Port Campbell National Park in fact, but it's hard to say no to the lushness and vibrancy that you can find within the forests and gullies of this national park.
I'd visited Hopetoun Falls a few years ago, but was dying to get back to try something a little more unique (the waterfall framed by the fallen and standing trees). After capturing a shot I'd be proud to include in my portfolio, we made our way to a waterfall that was new to us all, Beauchamp Falls. Once again the weather was not on our side, but often times that makes photographs of waterfalls much more visually appealing... so thank you, rain! The trail to Beauchamp Falls eventually reaches a crossroads, either leading to a lookout point or to a rocky path upstream to the base of the falls.
Like I said a little earlier on, The Otways (that's what I assume the locals refer to the park as) have a lot more going for them than just lush greens and falling water - the coastline is awe inspiring, and quite rugged, too! Enter, Cape Otway Lighthouse - the oldest surviving lighthouse on mainland Australia, perched 90 metres above sea level with 360 views as far as the eye can see.
Port Campbell National Park
Home to some of the most iconic natural landmarks Australia has to offer, Port Campbell National Park is a must see on any Australian road trip - and for good reason. Well known for the incredibly recognisable Twelve Apostles (pictured below with the golden light and sea fog), the park is also home to some other pretty incredible rock formations, my favourite of which is Gog and Magog of Gibson Steps (also pictured below). The reason they take the cake for me is because they can be viewed from up high or, for the slightly more adventurous, down low on the beach.
We visited a few other locations along this stretch of coastline, that certainly shouldn't be missed, such as The Arch, Loch Ard Gorge and a few other unnamed spots, but opted to shoot the classics in the beautiful moody light you see below ;)
And there you have it, guys! My one (far too quick) week exploring some of Victoria's most amazing national parks, culled to just a selection of my favourite images. I remember saying to Rob, whilst observing the view from Mount William's in the Grampians, "man, Australia is freakin' huge!" And that was prompted only by a small section of ONE national park in Australia's 500+ parks, which makes up a huge chunk of the 3,000+ national parks world wide. Pretty impressive, right?
Again, huge thanks to Parks Victoria for hosting myself and the rest of the awesome crew!
And thanks to you guys for reading and/or viewing! If you have any questions about the trip, photos, locations etc - please feel free to leave it in a comment below and I'll be sure to answer it!