Although the Grampians fire had been raging for many days it did not approach the Wartook Area until Tuesday January 24th 2006. For the next week, until the fire was declared contained, we experienced many anxious moments. The Country Fire Authority was magnificent, with their many brigades and lots of assistance from the many water bombing planes and helicopters, kept the fire away from most of the private property in the Wartook Valley. We were well prepared, but thankfully the fire didn't get any closer than a kilometre away.
A very big THANK YOU to the numerous former guests and friends who have expressed concern for our welfare.
To all those who are considering a trip to the Grampians, you are very welcome. There are still some road closures but roads are gradually being reopened and all major roads should be reopened within the next few days.
Although the Asses Ears has been blackened, the northern area of the Grampians remains unscathed. Parts of the National Park are still closed but we can still direct you to Mt Zero, Hollow Mountain and Mt Stapylton where you can still get a wonderful "Grampians Experience". The Northern and Western Grampians Aboriginal art sites can still be visited also Beehive Falls. Even in the blackened areas the now exposed rocks provide some great and interesting pictures. Boroka Lookout, Reeds Lookout and the walk to the Balconies are now open.
Following the experience of the Fulham Reserve and Black Range fire, in January 2005 near Balmoral, we can look forward to a wonderful Spring in the Grampians and should see incredible numbers of orchids and many of the smaller wildflowers that we have not seen for some time.
One of the benefits of the warm weather has been that our vegetable garden (organic) has been very productive and we have had a bumper year. The pool remains an attraction for those who enjoy a swim. Should you wish to come and stay, Royce & Jeanne at Wartook Gardens would welcome you most warmly.