So here we are, the first documented weekend adventure! Given the 37 degree weather expected, I thought I’d start small with a short trip out to the Organ Pipes National Park.
I can’t count the amount of times I’ve driven past this place but for one reason or another, never made the effort to actually go and check it out! Just west of Melbourne, off the Calder freeway, (only about 25 minutes from home!) and hosting about a 3km circuit and an interesting story, it served as a perfect starting point for the first Weekend Adventure!
Laying in a rain shadow area the National Park covers around 300 acres of regenerated native bushland, and is most famous for a number of amazing geological formations. Did you know that only a few million years ago a lot of Victoria was a quite active volcanic area? All over the state you can find evidence of this, the inland seas of the Grampians, Mount Arapiles, even the Bogong High Plains has large fields of basalt columns rich of minerals causing magnetic anomalies! A stunning place to visit, but a frustrating place to navigate with a compass!
The Organ Pipes Nat. Park has 3 main formations to see and they’re all completely different, which is amazing considering their proximity to each other. There’s the Tessellated Pavement, Rosette Rock and of course the Organ Pipes themselves.
Given the temperature of the day, a forecast max of about 37, and my late start, my trail run didn’t last all that long! By around 11am it was already around 33 degrees, and the 3 km circuit took its toll quickly, even with the little breaks to check out the sights!
From the carpark, you can check out the visitors centre and information boards before descending the long path to the valley floor. You’ll drop about 90m in elevation on this paved access path before you hit the gravel tracks the follow the river in both directions, start one way (I went left), then follow the river and stop to see the view points along the way. It was a gentle flat run up and down the river on a well made path, mostly in the shade with the only point of concern being the ascent back up the hill to the car park!
At both the car park, and the bottom of the hill there are toilets and picnic tables in the shade so plenty of places to rest, and if you’ve got the family along, I recommend packing a picnic to hang around down by the creek!
This is a great little spot to explore with the family, or get out for a quick walk or run in a natural setting when you’re limited on time. During summer with daylight savings, you could even get out for an after-work run/walk for some mid week adventure! But let’s not go crazy… this blog is about weekends! 😉
Until the next adventure!