Today, we’re taking a journey to the stunning Geriweld, as known to the traditional owners, the Djab Wurrung and Jardwardjali people, in the heart of Victoria. Read on to learn about all the things to do in the Grampians
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A Little About the Grampians
Located in Victoria, Australia, the Grampians is a popular destination for travellers. It’s known for its rugged mountains, forests, and waterfalls.
People visit for outdoor activities and to learn about Indigenous history through rock art sites and cultural centres. Whether you’re into nature, culture, or adventure, the Grampians have something for everyone.
The Grampians National Park is surrounded by several towns that serve as gateways to its natural beauty. The main towns in the region include Halls Gap, Stawell, and Dunkeld.
Halls Gap is a hub for tourists, offering accommodation, dining options, and access to many of the Grampians’ attractions.
Stawell is known for its gold mining history, and Dunkeld boasts scenic landscapes and gourmet dining. These towns provide essential services and a warm welcome to travellers exploring this picturesque part of Victoria.
Visiting the Grampians
The Grampians are a great place to spend a few days and are particularly popular during the school holidays as lots of Melburnians escape the city for a slice of nature.
There is a whole range of accommodation options available for your stay. We stayed in a cabin in the Big4 NRMA Halls Gap Holiday Park. This is a great park with good amenities and I would happily recommend it.
There are plenty of other great options around the area, from hotels to B&Bs, farm stays and campgrounds.
For most people, a stay of three or four nights would be a good amount of time to explore the region.
While the Grampians can be visited all year round, the best time to visit is during the spring and autumn months, which are from September to November and March to May, respectively.
During these seasons, the weather is typically mild and pleasant, making it ideal for outdoor activities like hiking, sightseeing, and exploring the natural beauty of the region.
Spring brings vibrant wildflowers in bloom, while autumn offers stunning foliage colours.
However, keep in mind that the Grampians can get quite busy during school holidays and long weekends, so planning your trip during weekdays or shoulder seasons may provide a more tranquil experience.
A creative way to get to the Grampians is to do a road trip following the Victorian Silo Art Trail which has its final silo at Horsham at the western end of the Grampians region.
Another popular way to see the Grampians is on a day tour from Melbourne. It’s a long day, but if it’s the only option you have to see this unique part of Victoria, then it’s worth the long drive.
Things to Do in the Grampians
Whether you seek adrenaline-pumping hikes or peaceful picnics amidst stunning landscapes, you’ll find some great ideas on this list of things to do in the Grampians.
Waterfalls: Nature’s Masterpieces
If you’re chasing waterfalls (cue TLC’s song), the Grampians have a selection of breathtaking cascades for you to hunt down.
Start with a visit to MacKenzie Falls, Victoria’s largest waterfall, where the roaring waters plunge dramatically into a pristine pool.
Nearby, you’ll find the elegant beauty of Silverband Falls and the serene charm of Wannon Falls.
Don’t forget to explore the enchanting Nigretta Falls and the hidden gem, Beehive Falls.
Rock Art Sites: Ancient Stories in Stone
Discover the rich cultural history of the region at the Grampians’ rock art sites. Step into the mystical world of Bunjil’s Cave, where ancient Aboriginal art tells stories of creation.
Explore the intriguing sites of Billimina, Manja, Gulgurn Manja, and Ngamadjidj, each with its own unique tales etched into the rocks.
Lookouts: Views to Take Your Breath Away
Get ready for some jaw-dropping panoramic views! Head to Reeds Lookout, known locally as The Balconies, for a vista that will leave you in awe.
Boroka Lookout is easily accessible without a long hike but with more amazing views along the valley.
A little harder is the climb to the top of Mt Rouse for a 360-degree spectacle of the surrounding landscape.
Seek tranquillity at Big Hill Lookout, One Tree Hill, and The Bluff (Mount Arapiles). The Grampians’ beauty knows no bounds.
Lakes: Serene Oases in Nature’s Playground
Lakes are a hallmark of relaxation and beauty. Explore the shimmering waters of Lake Bellfield, Lake Fyans, Lake Wartook, Lake Bolac, Green Hill Lake, Lake Hamilton, and Lake Toolondo. Each one offers a peaceful escape amidst the Grampians’ rugged terrain.
Framing the Wimmera: Scenic Vistas
For those who seek a unique perspective, check out these fantastic frame locations. Line your camera up with the frame and snap a shot that is worthy of Instagram.
- Mount Arapiles View: Captivating vistas await along Natimuk–Frances Road.
- Wimmera River View: Find tranquillity on a dirt track off Three Bridges Road.
- Toolondo Reservoir View: Discover the serene beauty off Wonwondah–Toolondo Road.
- Grampians View: Witness breathtaking scenery on Brimpaen–Laharum Road.
Food and Produce: A Culinary Delight
Indulge your taste buds with the finest local produce. Sample the exquisite olive oils at Grampians Olive Co and enjoy fresh, farm-to-table dining at Five Ducks Farm.
Taste world-class wines at some of the local cellar doors. Some of the most popular are Seppelts Great Western, Fallen Giants Vineyard, and Pomonal Estate.
While at Seppelts Great Western, you can also do their underground cellar tour, an area large enough to store over 3 million bottles of wine.
For craft beer, try a tasting paddle at Paper Scissors Rock Brew Co in Halls Gap or Grampians Ale Works in Stawell.
Don’t miss the opportunity to taste the flavours of the Grampians.
Walks: Exploring the Grampians on Foot
Lace up your hiking boots, and embark on an epic journey through the Grampians’ stunning landscape.
The Grampians Peak Trail is a popular multi-day, long-distance hiking trail, covering around 160 km. This trail showcases the natural beauty, from rugged peaks to serene valleys, making it a favourite among avid hikers and nature enthusiasts.
If a shorter walk is more your speed, the Pinnacle Walk will take you to the top of the world, offering sweeping vistas of rugged peaks and deep valleys.
For a more relaxed stroll, the Venus Baths Walk leads you to an oasis with tranquil rock pools. Lastly, the Balconies Walk showcases dramatic rock formations, with breathtaking views of the Victoria Valley.
Adventure Golf: Swinging Fun in the Grampians
For some family-friendly fun amid the beautiful scenery, Grampians Adventure Golf is a fantastic choice. This is home to a mini-golf course created to mimic the landscape around it, with trees, hills and waterfalls.
Located right in Halls Gap, it combines leisure and friendly competition with breathtaking natural surroundings. It’s an ideal way to relax and test your putting skills in the peaceful ambience of the Grampians.
Botanic Gardens: Nature’s Artistry on Display
Visiting the gardens in the Grampians is a calm and enriching experience. The Halls Gap Botanic Garden, right in the middle of the area, is a peaceful place with native plants and relaxing paths.
The Dunkeld Arboretum is a short drive away, where you can see different trees from around the world and enjoy a quiet walk.
Whether you love plants or just want to relax in nature, these gardens have something for everyone.
Hall’s Gap Zoo: Wild Encounters in the Heart of the Grampians
Halls Gap Zoo is set amidst the natural beauty of the Grampians and offers a fun experience for all ages.
It’s a place where you can get up close and personal with a variety of animals. Whether you’re fascinated by native Australian wildlife or curious about foreign species, the zoo has something for everyone.
Take a stroll through the zoo’s well-maintained grounds and interact with the friendly animal residents. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn about different species and their habitats while enjoying a day surrounded by the picturesque landscapes of the Grampians.
For families and animal lovers, Halls Gap Zoo promises a memorable day of discovery and connection with the animal kingdom.
Grampians Helicopter Flight: Soar Above the Splendour
A Grampians helicopter flight is an amazing adventure. You get to fly above the rugged land, big forests, and famous rocks, seeing the stunning views from a bird’s-eye view.
It’s an exciting trip that helps you see just how grand the Grampians are.
Brambuk National Park & Cultural Centre
The Brambuk National Park & Cultural Centre, has developed with insights from the area’s traditional owners and offers a great opportunity to learn about the region and its people.
Two buildings make up the centre. The first one, as you arrive, focuses on the Grampians National Park and provides information about the area, along with a gift shop for souvenirs and a cafe.
You’ll discover valuable details about Grampians hikes, including the new multi-day Grampians Peaks Trail, as well as popular attractions like the Pinnacle Lookout and Mackenzie Falls.
If you’re travelling with kids, grab free colouring sheets, treasure hunts, and other “Junior Rangers” activities to help keep them busy and learn about the area.
As you exit the first building, head towards the second one, the Cultural Centre, where a fascinating collection of Aboriginal artifacts awaits your exploration.
Rock Climbing: Conquer the Grampians’ Peaks
Rock climbing in the Grampians is perfect for thrill-seekers. The rocky cliffs provide a challenging playground for climbers of all levels.
Some of the most popular climbs are Bundaleer, Mount Stapylton Amphitheatre, The Watch Tower, the Wonderland Area and Halls Gap Valley.
You’ll have stunning views as you climb and can test your skills on the majestic peaks, turning every climb into an unforgettable adventure.
Mystery Picnic: Culinary Exploration in Nature’s Lap
A Mystery Picnic in the Grampians combines the thrill of exploration with the joy of trying the local foods.
It’s a fun activity where you solve clues to find your picnic spot and pick up food along the way. In the Grampians, you need a car for this picnic, which is handy if it’s raining.
They suggest a sheltered place to eat, but you can also take it back to your place and enjoy it there.
Art Galleries: Exploring Creativity in the Grampians
The art galleries in the Grampians offer a chance to explore creativity and beauty in a tranquil setting. The Grampians Grape Escape Gallery, for instance, showcases local art and crafts, providing a glimpse into the region’s artistic talents.
Meanwhile, the Hamilton Gallery boasts an impressive collection of Australian and international artworks, perfect for those seeking a deeper connection with the world of art.
Also, look out for Art of the Wild, the Steve Morvell wildlife art, studio and gallery, Grampians Furniture and the glass-blowing studio and gallery of James McMurtrie.
Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply looking to appreciate the local culture, these galleries have something for everyone, allowing you to experience the creative side of the Grampians.
Ghost Tours: Unveiling Ararat’s Dark History at J Ward
The Ararat Ghost Tour at J Ward stands out as the most popular attraction.
Originally a goldfields gaol housing murderers and thieves, J Ward later became the residence for Victoria’s criminally insane.
This gaol hosted the most dangerous individuals from the Ararat Lunatic Asylum in extremely harsh, high-security conditions.
You can explore it through a two-hour guided ghost tour, and if you’re feeling particularly daring, you can opt for an overnight stay for a paranormal investigation!
TRAVEL PLANNING ESSENTIALS
Find flights – I always use Skyscanner as my starting point when searching for flights. One search will give many options including airlines I may not have thought of. This means I can find the best possible flights to suit my needs
Book accommodation – my go to is always Booking.com for the best places to stay. It’s not just hotels anymore, but hostels, apartments, B&Bs and more. I love that the bookings are usually cancellable, and that I can book now and pay later.
Hire a rental car – RentalCars.com is my go to here. It allows me to do just one search and it finds cars from many of the different supplies, so no checking multiple websites to compare.
Get travel insurance – you would have heard by now that saying “if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel”. If we’ve learnt anything from the last couple of years it should be how essential travel insurance is. I use CoverMore for my insurance.
Pick up an eSIM – I tried an eSIM on my last trip and it was fantastic. I set it up before I went so it was ready as soon as I landed, and I still had access to my home number for emergencies. Get your own eSIM at Airalo.
Book activities, tours & attractions – I use a few different websites for this. Viator and Get Your Guide tend to be the first places I look. In Asia, Klook often has more options, and in Australia it’s Experience Oz.
Manage your money – the best way to manage your different currencies is with an account from Wise. You can hold money in many different currencies, and use them with the ATM card or from your phone.
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