“THERE’S NO TIME TO BE BORED IN A WORLD AS BEAUTIFUL AS THIS”
The Grampians National Park is a famous reserve in Victoria, Australia known for its sandstone mountains, spectacular scenery and native Australian wildlife. With so many different trails and vantage points available, the Grampians will have something for everyone!
Depending on what type of getaway you’re after, the Grampians has it all in terms of accommodation. With plenty of camping grounds and caravan parks for those who love being close to nature as well as lodges, cabins and 5 star retreats for those who like it a little fancy. I decided to go halfway between the two and opted for a beautiful cottage that I rented through AirBnb just outside of the National Park.
For those who want to make the most of the outdoors and see as much as the park as possible, here’s a few spots you don’t want to miss!
From the main street of Halls Gap you are able to see the Pinnacle jutting out from the jagged cliff faces that hover over town and although it looks like it would be extremely difficult to get to, it’s not! There are a number of walking options to reach The Pinnacle, varying in distance and difficulty. I definitely recommend parking at Wonderland Carpark and going via the Grand Canyon. My best tip is to get out on the track no later than 8:30AM so you can take the walk a little slower and enjoy the scenery without the crowds. For those with small children or less confident walkers, parking at Sundial Carpark and walking to the Pinnacle from there is easiest. Whichever way you decide to go, the views from the Pinnacle are astounding!
Time: 2hrs – 3hrs return
Grade: Easy – Medium
Another popular spot in the Grampians is McKenzie Falls. The walk from the carpark is short (2KM return) but there are a lot of stairs as you descend to the bottom of the falls. If you’re not a fan of stair climbing, you are able to walk around and check out the falls from the top at Broken Falls and Bluff Lookout. I recommend seeing the falls from all vantage points to truly appreciate its size and magnificence. If you head out later in the day, be prepared for crowds. If you like the idea of having the falls mostly to yourself, try and get there before 9:00AM.
Time: 1½hrs – 2hrs return
Grade: Broken Falls & Bluff Lookout – Easy
Base of Falls – Medium
Great for those with limited time as this lookout offers beautiful views over the Wonderland Range, Mt William Range, Fyans Valley, Lake Bellfield and the plains to the east of the Grampians and is all accessible by road. Boroka Lookout is wheelchair accessible and very suitable for people with limited mobility. There’s plenty of parking and disabled access toilets here too. People tend to come and go fairly quickly so you can afford to get here any time during the day as there are two viewing platforms and plenty of space.
For those who are after a bit more of a challenge, Bornia Peak is a 3.3KM climb along the Western slope of the Mount William range. A tricky scramble up the rocky summit rewards you with superb views towards Lake Fyans in the east and over the Fyans Valley.
Time: 2½hrs – 3hrs return
Grade: Medium – Difficult
The Balconies & Reeds Lookout
A very famous attraction in the Grampians are the Balconies – though in my personal opinion, it’s pretty overrated. If you want to visit just to tick it off the list then by all means, but there are far more impressive spots in the Grampians on offer with far less people around. You’ll notice most people line up for the ‘insta-famous’ Balconies picture and then leave straight away but you’ll still have a hard time trying to capture an image of the Balconies without someone climbing on it. The good thing is that the walk is very easy and suitable to people of all fitness levels but a visit at sunrise or sunset may be far more impressive than going during the day.
Time: 1hr – 1½hrs return
One of the highlights of my trip to the Grampians was my hike up Mount Rosea. You can start at either sundial carpark or Mount Rosea carpark (we started at Mount. Rosea – slightly shorter distance). The hike traverses along the southern end of the Wonderland Range offering sweeping views over Lake Bellfield and Halls Gap. You’ll walk among giant sandstone boulders flanked with native plant life. Be sure to keep a look-out for yellow arrows that park rangers have left to guide the way.
Time: 3hrs – 4hrs return return
Grade: Medium – Difficult
Some other popular walks and places of interest include:
- Mount Sturgeon
- Mount Wilson
- Mount Abrupt
- Mount Zero
- The Piccaninny
- Sundial Peak
A great way to reward yourself after a tough walk is to experience the local food and wine the Grampians has to offer. Some places worth checking out include:
A traditional Indian restaurant offering great quality food at very reasonable prices. Vegan/Vegetarian friendly. Gluten free options.
Open from 5:00PM 7 days a week.
The coffee is highly recommended and their menu has a great variety of food including vegan/vegetarian and gluten free options.
Open from 7:00AM 7 days a week.
Harvest Halls Gap is a café and provedore that is nestled in the midst of the Grampians and prides itself on showcasing delicious local produce.
Open from 8:00AM 7 days a week
Home to the historic ‘Toscana’ Olive Plantation, Grampians Olive Co. is the largest family-owned, single estate, certified organic olive grove in Australia.
Open from 11:00AM 7 days a week
For those who like it a bit fancy, The Royal Mail Hotel offers the very well-known Dining Room open for Lunch from Thursday to Sunday and Dinner from Wednesday to Sunday (you will have to book). The Parker St. Project is a new area to enjoy seasonally driven comfort food, wines beers & ciders. Open 7 days from 12:00PM.
It wouldn’t be right to sample the local produce and not see what the local wineries have to offer!
Well known for its Shiraz, the Grampians Estate has emerged as one of the Grampians region’s premier award-winning wineries.
Open from 10:00AM 7 days a week.
Proudly producing world-class wines for over 148 years in Victoria’s Great Western region, Best’s Wines is also known for its outstanding quality Shiraz.
Open from 10:00AM 7 days a week.
A quaint winery located on the outskirts of the Grampians National Park is Pierrepoint Wines. Pierrepoint Wines offers delicious wines & scrumptious local produce in a warm & cosy atmosphere with charming & peaceful views.
Open from 11:00AM 7 days a week.
Montara Wines has some of the most breathtaking wines and views in the Grampians region. With its captivating panorama of plains and mountain views it is a delight for both your taste-buds and your eyes.
Open from 11:00AM Friday, Saturday and Sunday.