Enjoy the scenic drive out of the city and towards The Grampians National Park as you embark on an adventure. Whether you’re escaping the hustle and bustle of the city for an outdoor adventure, a gourmet foodie feast, or looking to discover the historical and cultural significance of the region to the traditional landowners, Grampians National Park will wet your palette.
Situated just over a three-hour drive northwest of Melbourne Grampians National Park make a great getaway for the adventure seekers wanting to be back home by Monday. With a range of accommodation in Halls Gap, from camping to luxury holiday houses, you can pack the car up with your gear on Friday afternoon with plenty of time to rug up under the stars or run yourself a bubble bath at your rental. Wherever you choose to stay, you will enjoy views of the awe-inspiring sandstone mountain ranges that have made the region one of Australia’s top national parks.
Grampians National Park is not part of the Great Ocean Road. However, its close proximity makes it a great add-on for longer trips or for those doing the trip from Melbourne to Adelaide.
Native Landowners of Grampians National Park
What we now call Grampians National Park was known as Gariwerd to the traditional landowners of the region. Djab Wurrung and the Jardwadjali indigenous people have held this land since ancient times and the site holds great spiritual and cultural significance to the aboriginal peoples. Grampians National Park (Gariwerd) serves as a cornerstone to many aboriginals’ ancient stories and Dreamtime stories of the unique area.
The Grampians region boasts 80% of the rock art sites in Victoria and the largest number across southern Australia. You can discover the significance of this rock art when you visit the cultural centre, Brambuk, located in the centre of Halls Gap. Brambuk is the central National Park and cultural centre and showcases the unique history of the Grampians region. Learn the Dreamtime story of how Gariwerd was created and the significance of the man they call, Bunjil.
The creative spirit continues to flow in the area inspired by the natural beauty of the park. Today, you can find many art galleries and different art mediums across the region. Central to Halls Gap, you’ll find environmental artists, glass blowing artists, furniture makers, and more. Combine these with the aboriginal artifacts and relics you’ll find in the Brambuk Heritage and Culture Centre and you’re set for a rich weekend of art, history, and aboriginal culture.
Adventure in Grampians National Park
If it’s an outdoor adventure you’re after, you will be treated by the outstanding landscape and mountain views. The Grampians National Park offers a wide range of activities for those looking to get out and enjoy nature for the weekend. Use Halls Gap, in the park’s northern region, as your central base resting between activities or day trips during your holiday. You’ll find a range of accommodation from luxury stays, glamping, and cottage options, to backpacker and hostel stays. No matter the budget of your holiday, Halls Gap has an ideal accommodation option for you.
Hiking in Grampians National Park
Hiking is easily one of the biggest attractions for visitors to Grampians National Park. The newest, and sure to be the most iconic hike in the park is the Grampians Peaks Trail. Spanning over 160km when completed, this is a world-class national hike not to be missed on your visit to the Grampians. This trail officially opened to the public in Autumn 2021 and is already drawing lots of attraction in Victoria. This trail is not to be taken lightly. You can expect to spend about two weeks walking and camping this if you’re walking the entire length. Your efforts will be rewarded though, with a stunning and diverse natural landscape, wildlife, aboriginal culture, and unforgettable views.
If you’re looking for something a little bit more weekend friendly, don’t worry Grampians National Park boasts many day walks and hikes. Choose from beginner-friendly walking trails to full-day adventures and everything in between. Every park trail offers an awe-inspiring view of the Grampians from multiple lookout points. Keep your eyes open and you’ll be sure to see some native wildlife. Koalas, kangaroos and wallabies are abundant in this area.
The 10 Best Hiking Trails in Grampians National Park as Rated by Visitors:
Visitors to Grampians National Park have ranked the following as the best hiking trails to experience on your trip to the park.
The Pinnacle Lookout
The Pinnacle lookout provides stunning views of the Grampians mountain ranges and Halls Gap nestled beneath them. A must-do for any first-timer to Grampians National Park (Gariwerd).
Venus Baths Loop
An easy walking trail and conveniently starting from Halls Gap. You can enjoy a delicious cuppa from one of the many local cafes while walking this trail.
The Balconies/Reed Lookout
Easily access Reed Lookout from the car park, or set our for a comfortable 2.3km hike to enjoy a beautiful view of Victoria Valley and the surrounding mountain ranges from The Balconies.
Mt William (Duwil)
Don’t miss your opportunity to summit Mt William. This is the highest peak in the Grampians National Park and is sure to offer an unparalleled view of the entire Grampians range.
Boronia Peak Trail
For those in search of a little more footwork, this climb is quite rocky, but well worth it.
Mount Abrupt (Mud-Dadjug) Walk
If you are visiting Grampians National Park in the spring or summer, it is the perfect time to explore the Mount Abrupt hiking trail. This hike is for the most intermediate hiker, so be sure to check the information and cultural centre before setting out.
The Piccaninny (Bainggug)
If you’re not convinced about the 6.5km hike to Mount Abrupt, opt for the easier walk on The Piccaninny trail. You’ll be treated to views of some of the park’s main highlights including Mt Abrupt, and Dunkeld.
Mount Sturgeon (Wurgarri)
If you are sure-footed and really wanting to explore a more difficult trail, discover Mount Sturgeon. Be aware of slippery surfaces.
Mount Rosea Loop Walk
Embark on a full-day hike and experience the native and natural sites offered on this trail. An Australian must-do for any avid hiker.
Hollow Mountain (Wudjub-guyan)
Recommended for intermediate hikers, you will be climbing over rocks and slippery surfaces on this trail.
Join an Adventure Tour
After you have explored some of the world-class trails Grampians National Park offers, maybe you’re ready for a different activity. Don’t worry – Grampians National Park delivers something for everyone’s adventurous getaway.
Centrally accessible from Halls Gap you can discover canoeing opportunities, rock climbing and abseiling, off-road 4×4 driving, quad biking, wine touring, and more! Head into the local information and tourism centre to find one of the many local tour operators. Take any of the local tours for a great way to get out and see the native and natural beauty of the national park while leaving the logistics up to someone else.
Visit Mackenzie Falls
Be sure to take the time to see Mackenzie Falls. This is one of Victoria’s largest waterfalls and is a must-do for any visitor to the Grampians National Park. Mackenzie Falls flows year-round, so no matter when you plan your getaway, it will be worth the visit.
The huge cliffs of Mackenzie Falls have inspired many local and native artists. You see the fruits of their flavour at many local art galleries. Mackenzie Falls is one of the Grampians National Park biggest attractions.
Visit Lake Bellfield
You cannot miss Lake Bellfield when you arrive at Grampians National Park. What started as a water storage solution has become one of the largest water infrastructures in Australia. In the warmer months, you’ll find locals and tourists alike fishing, swimming, or boating. Keep your eyes open and you’ll be sure to spot lots of wildlife while walking around the lake banks. You’ll be treated to a view of the Grampians valley and mountain ranges while you sit back and relax. Why not enjoy a picnic by the lake of local food and wine?
See Kangaroos in Halls Gap
If you are on a mission to see kangaroos while in Grampians National Park then look no further than Halls Gap Recreation Reserve. Located in the center of the tiny town of Halls Gap, where most visitors to the park stay, is a wide field that has become a favourite hang-out spot for local kangaroos and wallabies.
Stop by to take a photo but remember to always keep a respectful distance.
Go Fishing at Lake Wartook
If you’re planning to maximize your fishing time while in the Grampians National park, take a 30-minute drive from Halls Gap to Lake Wartook. Here, you can enjoy the boat, shore, and fly fishing and locals often boast about the redfin and brown trout available. You will be treated to more valley views, abundant wildlife, and a tranquil atmosphere.
Wining and Dining in Grampians National Park
After a big day of exploring places like Mackenzie Falls, The Pinnacle, multiple aboriginal sites, or any range of the sites in Grampians National Park, you’re likely to have worked up quite the appetite. Don’t worry, you won’t have to search for options for long because the region offers an incredible lineup of gastronomic experiences.
You’ll come across multiple dining experiences all within walking distance from Halls Gap from morning to night. If you’re accustomed to dining in Melbourne, you will be delighted by the seasonal and locally sourced foods available in the Grampians National Park region. With something for everyone’s palate and budget Grampians National park dining is sure to please even the toughest critics and Melbourne dwellers.
Take the opportunity to taste some of Australia’s best classic style shiraz at Falls Giants Winery. Located minutes from town, this is an easily accessible cellar door. Why not stop in on your way home after your morning of hiking the trails? The Great Western wine region of Victoria is known to produce most of Australia’s best shiraz. If you’re up for a day of tasting there are many more local wineries in the park within a short drive.
You cannot visit Grampians National Park without a lunch or dinner visit to Flame Brothers Restaurant & Bar. Offering Texas-style smoked meats, unparalleled beer, wine, cocktails, and spirits list, and a fantastic atmosphere, this is a foodies delight.
The Grampians is a wonderful national park to spend some time in. It offers countless outdoor activities and native wildlife to boot – all within close proximity to Melbourne and the Great Ocean Road. You can’t beat that.