Keppel Lookout Hike and Car Working Bee

The crew arrived at the Lodge late on Saturday morning and tidied up the woodbox, before cooking hotdogs for lunch. There was an ant infestation in the pantry, with multiple open sugar packets being attacked with vigour. We disposed of all the open sugar packets that weren’t in Tupperware containers and wiped down the pantry to remove any loose sugar granules.

After lunch we went across to the bowling green and took our bash car, Whisky Business, out of the shipping container it is stored in. We continued working on our new bash car to get it ready for racing. This involved tearing out a lot of plastic trim, the old speakers in the doors and the roof lining. We attempted to remove the carpet on the floor as well, however we gave up only midway through after it turned out to be a complete pain in the backside to do.

Removing plastic trim and rear door interiors

Getting the car back into the container turned out to be the largest challenge of the day, as our temporary “ramp” situation, that we build each time out of random scraps of wood, shifted and dropped the rear-left wheel before the car was completely in the container. What ensured was repetitively shuffling the car forward and backwards by minute amounts to gradually rebuild the ramp so that the car could get enough grip to get into the container. After a few choice words and even a change of driver, we eventually managed to return the car to storage.

Cutting out the roof lining

Note to crew: build an actual car ramp for next time!

Saturday night we gathered in the Mess Hall around the projector and watched Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-it Ralph 2, proving once again that Rovers are still big kids at heart.

The sun gradually rose on Sunday, with the crew having enjoyed an extra hours sleep due to daylight saving time ending. We had breakfast, showered and gave the lodge a clean, before locking the doors and heading into Healesville for Lunch.

After lunch we parted ways with some of the crew going straight home and others continuing on to Marysville for a hike. The hike we’d chosen to do was Keppel Lookout Trail, a 15.2 km circuit starting in Marysville. A wide track undulates up the river to the lookout at the base of Steavenson Falls, where we had a break and admired the spectacular waterfall.

From here the track narrows and deteriorates in quality, as it narrows and climbs steeply over multiple switchbacks to reach the top of the Falls. There is another platform at the top, where you can lookout over the falls and the valley back towards Marysville.

Top lookout of Steavenson Falls

Having chosen to return via Keppel Lookout, we turned left and continued climbing, rather than going back the way we’d come, and were quickly out of breath once more. The track climbed for some way, with occasional clearings offering segments of the spectacular view that was awaiting us at Keppel Lookout.

Keppel Lookout

Keppel Lookout offered a stunning view back over Marysville and the rolling hills beyond. We were relishing the idea of being at the highest point of our hike and commenced the downhill section with renewed vigour.

Some of the down-hill sections had to be taken at scary speeds

However, the downhill sections were far from easy, with loose soil and leaf matter providing a slippery surface on the steep gradients. This meant staying as in-control as possible, whilst not letting your feet slide out from under you, a quite scary prospect! Towards the end of the downhill section, we even spotted an echidna crossing the track. Why the echidna crossed the track, we’ll never know for sure, but we do have many hypothesis!

With the downhill section complete, we turned back onto the main track from Marysville to Steavenson Falls and walked back to the carpark.

Hiking back into Marysville

After the hike we drove back to Melbourne, making sure to keep our leftover hiking snacks and a full water bottle at hand.