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Need advice on Grampians/Little Desert/Murray Sunset

Melbourne, Australia
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Need advice on Grampians/Little Desert/Murray Sunset

Hi everybody,

I'm a physicist from Bordeaux, France, now living in Melbourne (since august 2011) as a post-doc. I'm planning to go on a trip around Australia in late february/early march 2012 with 3 friends from Bordeaux coming here for 18 days. This time of year being the wet season in the tropical North, we're gonna focus on Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, the red center, with 3 main parts, and I need your help :

From Victoria we're gonna drive through the great ocean road, but afterwards we're gonna head to Adelaïde. The question is : do we go through Grampians National Park, Little Desert and Murray Sunset NP, or do we follow the coastline and try Lower Glenelg NP and maybe Coorong NP ? Which one would be the most scenic drive ? We would only have one day or two so where should we stop ?

Is it possible to have a worthwhile experience of the Grampians in just one day ? On the book I have, Explore Australia's National Parks, they don't recommend the Grampians in the summer, Spring and Autumn apparently are better time to visit it. Do you agree ?

Little Desert NP doesn't seem very diverse, and it might still be hot to do some bushwalking there in march. Murray Sunset seems more interesting, but even hotter. What do you think ? It's hard to find some reviews of those parks, people are more focused on the Grampians usually or on the coast, I hope somebody who did Little Desert and Murray Sunset can help me.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Uden, The...
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1. Re: Need advice on Grampians/Little Desert/Murray Sunset

Hi

We drove a fair bit in that area but never left the sealed road so no info on those NP's from me. You can drive GOR and to to Grampians NP for 2 nights. It made a great visit for us. From Gampians you can head via Naracoorta (great caves) to the coast to Kingston (Larry the Lobster and up to Adeliade. With a detour you also can visit lovely Robe before the drive to Adelaide.

Tet

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: Need advice on Grampians/Little Desert/Murray Sunset

Yeah but since we are gonna see our fair share of mountains in Tasmania, I wanted to have some variety and visit a desertic zone adjacent to lakes and/or the Murray River. I think we're gonna drive through Little Desert and maybe Murray Sunset after 2 days on the Great Ocean Road, take a walk around the pink lake, maybe another short walk in Murray-Sunset. 1 day in the area sounds about right, we won't have a 4WD to venture far in the parks anyway, and then we can spend the night in Mildura or something. Plus these parks seem to be pretty much unknown from non local tourists, we might have some areas pretty much to ourselves in march, I like the idea of that.

Edited: 6:36 pm, November 13, 2011
Uden, The...
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3. Re: Need advice on Grampians/Little Desert/Murray Sunset

I would not leave the sealed roads without awd/4x4. Come well prepared, always carry water and never drive between dusk and dawn.

We made the drive through Little Desert NP to Nihill and east of Nihill via the westside of Lake Hindmarsh to Hopetoun, Ouyen and Mildura. From MIldura west to Renmark and Riverland. That's all sealed.

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: Need advice on Grampians/Little Desert/Murray Sunset

Of course, I had no intention of leaving the sealed road. One short walk in Little Desert NP, a walk in Murray Sunset and probably a night in the desert.

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: Need advice on Grampians/Little Desert/Murray Sunset

I think we're gonna do the Murray-Sunset NP and see the Pink Lakes, and then camp under the star-filled desert night. I hope the lakes are still pink during march, apparently the best time to see them is in spring. Since it's on the way, should we do a little walk in Little Desert NP if anybody knows if there are some great short walks ? Or maybe a short walk in the morning in Hattah-Kulkyne NP which is right next to Murray-Sunset ? And can we rent tents in Murray-Sunset (we won't bring our own since it'll be the only camping night) ?

We won't do the Grampians, I think only one day there won't do them justice, and we would already have seen some great mountains in Tasmania by the time the trip gets us to the Grampians.

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Need advice on Grampians/Little Desert/Murray Sunset

I've also read that the Pink Lakes evaporate during summer, but on the wikipedia page of Murray-Sunset NP …wikipedia.org/wiki/Murray-Sunset_National_P… it's said that it becomes pink in late summer, while other sites says they're at their pinkest in spring... I just wanna make sure that we'll actually see some water in early march there, and not just dry salt crusts, even though it can have its appeal too. Thanks to anybody who might help.

Uden, The...
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7. Re: Need advice on Grampians/Little Desert/Murray Sunset

Its a bit out of your way but maybe consider this: http://www.google.nl/search?q=perry+sand+hills&hl=nl&qscrl=1&nord=1&rlz=1T4ACAW_nlNL297NL297&biw=1211&bih=662&site=webhp&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=6CfCTvKTHouZOoOdifIN&sqi=2&ved=0CCwQsAQ

It's north of Wentworth near Mildura and we loved that place. Not sure if you can camp there. You also can see the confluence of Murray and Darling River at Wentworth, a pleasant town. …wikipedia.org/wiki/…_9.7.2007.jpg

Mildura also is a good place to stay overnight and a lot bigger than Wentworth.

Tet

Ps. First link didnot work. Look for Perry Sand Hills Wentworth

Edited: 3:56 am, November 15, 2011
Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: Need advice on Grampians/Little Desert/Murray Sunset

Actually we might take the northern route from Mildura to Adelaïde, and consider going to Mungo National Park. It's not far from Mildura and it seems really beautiful, not too hot in march, perfect for a day visit, and we can sleep at Mildura.

Melbourne, Australia
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9. Re: Need advice on Grampians/Little Desert/Murray Sunset

Hi Nicholas, I am really interested to know what itinerary you finally chose to tour. My parents are coming down in early December and we were planning to go three days out from Melbourne to the Grampians and I have a question mark for Little desert. Did you go there? Happy to have your feedback. If you have a couple of pics from there, pls send to ygrandc@gmail.com

South Pole
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10. Re: Need advice on Grampians/Little Desert/Murray Sunset

nicholasb is no longer contributing to the aus forum, Yann G.

and this thread is almost a year old.

ask you question in a new thread.