We have been to Grampians National Park numerous times and have recently spent two wonderful days in the National Park, around the Halls Gap area. The walking trails and views were outstanding, and kids enjoyed it. Nestled in the heart of the Grampians National Park, Halls Gap is a delightful small village with varied accommodation on offer and activities at your doorstep. The area is renowned for spectacular hiking, stunning views and inquisitive wildlife including kangaroos, emus, wallabies and birds. If you prefer to canoe, fish or birdwatch, Lakes Bellfield, Lonsdale, Fyans and Wartook are all within a short drive of town. For the more adventurous, opportunities abound with rock-climbing, abseiling, canoeing, 4 x 4 driving and quad bike adventures close by.
It is a large park as most of Australian National Parks are, for starters, it is about 100km from one end to the other. Halls Gap essentially provides the focal point for visitors, and have most of the accommodation and visitor info centres, but many excellent hikes can be found elsewhere. The park is broken up into northern, central and southern sections.
Mostly people seem to spend 24-48 hours in the park, based in Halls Gap to look at the attractions in the central section. If you can spend 3-4 days in the park you’ll obviously get far more out of it and can explore other equally rewarding parts. I think it is worth the extra time, as it has always been one of our favourite hiking destinations.
The attractions in the central section are well-attended
- Boroka Lookout
- McKenzie Falls
- The Balconies
- Hike through the Grand Canyon to the Pinnacle
If you don’t like crowds either go on weekdays, away from holiday periods or start early and beat the crowds. All of these are worthwhile but many equally excellent attractions exist in the other sections.
We would add that the lesser-known walk to the summit of Mt Rosea, in the central section, is an excellent hike. While the climb isn’t quite as interesting as the trip through the Grand Canyon to the Pinnacle, I think the view from the top is better (particularly in the morning with the sun illuminating the east-facing rock walls) and there is a fraction of the crowds found on The Pinnacle hike. Good for something different.
As for places to stay, we stayed in the Caravan Park, about 8min drive north of Halls Gap on a good quality unsealed road, and found it to be a lovely, quiet and spacious campground with pit toilets and basic bush showers, which were fun to use. All campgrounds were reasonably priced per night during our recent visit, and were payable at the visitor centre.
Moving north, the area around Mt Difficult has some great walking tracks and can be accessed from Halls Gap or the highway to the north by about 25-30min of driving along good quality unsealed road. This may well be a bigger walk than some prefer, but it is possible, though the 8km return walk on the asphalt wasn’t that great.
Grampians is a region of natural beauty, freedom, intrigue and adventure.
There are many reasons why the Grampians is a favourite holiday destination in any season. Here are just a few…..
- Mackenzie Falls
- Silverband Falls
- Wannon Falls
- Nigretta Falls
- Ferntree Falls
- Beehive Falls
- Reeds Lookout
- Boroka Lookout
- Bluff Lookout, Mt Arapiles
- Mt Rouse
- Big Hill Lookout
- One Tree Hill
- Lake Bellfield
- Lake Fyans
- Lake Wartook
- Lake Bolac
- Green Hill Lake
- Lake Hamilton
- Lake Toolondo
ROCK ART SITES
- Bunjil Shelter
- Gulgurn Manja
To end, just a few other tips:
- As always, be mindful of changeable weather. The southern end of the park is less than 100km from the coast, and cold changes can and do sweep in from time.
- That said, don’t be afraid of wet weather. The park can be really beautiful in misty, rainy conditions, even if they take away the grand, sweeping views.
- Use the national park campsites. They are generally pretty good and in great locations and you can avoid the crowds and noise at Halls Gap.
- Explore. I’m sure there’s a bunch of amazing things there that I’m yet to see, and this park really seems to reward people who take the initiative to explore the place well.
Famous for its spectacular scenery, the 168,000 hectare park is also regarded for its ecological diversity and as I listed above south-eastern Australia’s highest concentration of Aboriginal rock art.
Grampians region has an adventure waiting for you. With diverse areas to explore and stories to uncover, your paths for discovery are endless. They say Grampians — discover it your way 🙂 🙂