A Surprise In The Grampians

January 25, 2017 No Comments

A Surprise In The Grampians

January 25, 2017 No Comments

the grampians the grampians

Since we’re only seventeen, yep seventeen days away from our wedding I thought I would share with you the story of our proposal. It was over a year ago now, in October 2015, but it honestly feels like it only just happened. Where did the past fifteen months even go?!

We were visiting the Grampians for the first time. I had never been before and we had both been working a lot of weekends in the lead up so we were looking forward to getting away for the weekend and spending some time together. I remember thinking that it might happen that weekend, but I wasn’t one hundred percent sure…

the grampians the grampians

On the Saturday Thom still had to work in the morning, so we left home when he was done, around 3 or 4pm. From Melbourne it’s about a three hour drive to get to the Grampians and when we were arriving the sun was setting, there were deer and kangaroos everywhere, and it just felt like such a magical place.

Despite living in Australia, I very rarely see animals (especially kangaroos) in the wild, just hanging out like that’s where they are meant to be. So when I do I get very excited and absolutely love it. We had an early night and then woke up early to do some of the walks around the Grampians.

the grampians the grampians

The Pinnacle walk

The next morning we woke up early and drove out to do The Pinnacle Walk, a 5km round trip from the car park that leads you up into the mountains with some beautiful panoramic views over Halls Gap and the surrounding area.

Here is a great description of the track that I found at wildsight.com.au:

This high point on the Wonderland Range is the destination for one of the park’s iconic walks and includes an excellent mixture of views, exciting walking and interesting geological formations. Start by crossing Stony Creek then swing left to enter a gorge known as Grand Canyon.

The title is a little ambitious but the walking is excellent, with cliffs rising 20 metres on either side of the track as it rock-hops along the base of the canyon before exiting via a steel ladder. Take a sharp left turn and follow arrows painted on rock slabs. The track then passes through a section of eucalypt forest before continuing over more bare rock. After climbing gradually for about 200 metres the track enters Silent Street, a narrow crevasse about 30 metres long and 10 metres deep which in places is barely wide enough for a person to squeeze through.

Exit Silent Street on another ladder and continue up the gully for about 20 metres before taking a sharp left turn – look for the painted arrow. From here it’s a short walk to the Pinnacle. The fenced lookout gives commanding views over the Fyans Valley and Halls Gap below. Retrace the track to the car park.

Book your rental car to the Grampians in advance to get the best deals

the grampians

Despite starting the day absolutely freezing it was pretty warm by the time we got to the top of the track, and then even warmer by the time we got back to the bottom. We were pretty sweaty and gross and I remember thinking that I hoped he didn’t do it while I looked this gross (haha, he does not notice stuff like that!).

If we’re being honest, while we were walking I was trying to be a little bit cheeky and was looking to see if he had a ring box in his pocket, but I couldn’t see anything. So by the time we got back from the walk to the Pinnacle I had come to the conclusion that this wasn’t the weekend that it was going to happen.

the grampians the grampians the grampians

The Balconies

Next up we went to the Balconies. This was the place that I was the most excited about seeing. I had seen heaps of pictures prior to this trip with people sitting on the end of the Balcony ledge and I was excited to test my adrenaline and try a similar picture.

When we got there there were people everywhere. I actually think a tour bus had turned up just before we arrived. Thom was getting a little edgy and I thought it was because of all the people that had absolutely no awareness of other peoples personal space (we all know those tourists).

As we were heading out of the lookout area, Thom pulled me to the side and we climbed over the barrier and walked around to the side of the cliffs, probably not something I would recommend because it is roped off, but it was beautiful. Away from all the tourists the views were even more stunning and there was no one getting in the way.

our engagement photoAnd as we were standing at the edge of this cliff and admiring the view and the perfect private spot we had found to take a minute to ourselves Thom PROPOSED! ?

Even though I had thought it might have happened earlier in the day I had truly given up on it happening that weekend and it was just so sweet and exciting when it actually happened, I could not have been happier.

In all the excitement I forgot to actually get a good picture at the Balconies, and Thom just snapped these few quickly as we were leaving. I was too excited to worry about the photography!

All our pictures from the moment are terrible selfies, because we had been so hot and sweaty from the hikes, so after we got changed and had a shower we took this picture on the right later that afternoon and then went out for dinner with both of our families, which was so lovely.

So now, the wedding is less than three weeks away, we have been together for eight and a half years, 3050 days, travelled to 18 countries together and bought our first home together.

I am so excited for our wedding day to come. I feel like the planning has taken forever, we have been working on it for over a year, and I can’t wait to just enjoy the day and finally be able to call this guy my husband!

And then we’re off on our honeymoon to Central America and USA, I’ll share everything with you guys here as we go! Comment below with any honeymoon tips you have about Central America or USA.

our engagement photo
A picture from our engagement party in January 2016

Read more: Our Wedding Day – February 2017

Happy travels,

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Emma Shaw

Emma is a travel photographer and blogger, living in Melbourne, Australia with her husband Thom in between adventures. She started Explore Shaw to share her experiences, travel tips and destination advice, and to inspire others to travel the world and their own backyard whenever they can.

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Just two twenty-something married Aussies, visiting as many places as we can in between normal life, and hoping to inspire and offer advice for your travel planning.

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