The Grampians, known as Gariwerd in the local Aboriginal culture, are the remains of an ancient sandstone mountain range in Western Victoria. Rock climbers, campers and hikers flock to the area, which is known for its wildflowers in the spring and is home to the most indigenous rock art sites in Victoria.
Australia is an old continent. It lies near the centre of a tectonic plate and as a result has not experienced geological movement in hundreds of millions of years. The last volcanic eruption in Australia took place 1,400 years ago at Mt. Gambier. The continent has been slowly eroding into the flat expanse that we see today. This is what makes places like the Grampians so special.
Geologists believe that the Grampians were the ancient Eastern shoreline of Australia. Sediments accumulated into sandstone, which was then uplifted, faulted, and folded some hundreds of million years ago into mountain ranges. Since then, erosion has been at work rounding the sandstone peaks to what is seen today.
On my trip, I was able to do a few hikes. Though the weather was a bit dreary, the ridges were stunning. Rock sheets punctuated by green growth sloped as far as the eye could see. While not impressive peaks, the Grampians had their own grandeur. I hope to plan a weekend trip back soon to explore the rock art sites and get a meal at the famed Royal Mail Hotel.