Grampians walking is an interesting and unique experience, somewhat different to walks in most other eastern seaboard locations. There are several considerations that can make your Grampians walking more comfortable.
Many rocky areas to cross
It’s no secret that people usually walk in footwear that’s comfortable and available, from lightweight runners to sturdy boots. A few years ago I happily walked 1200km on European walking tracks wearing a pair of running shoes, but I wouldn’t try such lightweight shoes in the Grampians. Here, I alternate between heavier sporting shoes and purpose-made walking boots with ankle protection and thick patterned soles. Which ones I use depends on how wet/dry I expect the route to be, whether I have blisters that need to be rested / protected, or how much loose rock I expect along my chosen walk. If you don’t know what to expect, I suggest that you simply adjust your footwear to something more durable than you’d usually use to help make your Grampians walking comfortable.
Many of our walk introductions have a comment on the walking track, so if it sounds like a tough one, I’d suggest proper walking boots from a specialist bushwalking store.
While most of the new Grampians Peaks Trail (GPT) is well constructed, many of the older Grampians tracks have rough, uneven and heavily eroded segments. Take your time on all ups and downs, set a steady, comfortable pace and stick with that pace. We also recommend a walking pole or two for the steep downhill stuff, where a pole can be used to lessen the impact on tender knees.
Not a lot of tree cover or shade
In the warmer months, a combination of sunny days and rocky areas will often have you feeling like grilled toast. Though there is plenty of useful information out there about wearing hats, drinking water and applying sunscreen, my extra tip is to wear short trousers and a lightweight long-sleeve shirt with a stiff collar. Cotton or breathable synthetic are the best shirt materials.
Shirt collars protect necks from the sun, buttons can be adjusted to provide more/less cooling airflow and sleeves can be easily rolled up or down to suit the conditions. The bottom of the shirt can be tucked into trousers for more warmth, or worn loose for coolness.
Short trousers allow cooling airflow for more comfort. Zip-off legs provide the same benefit.
Written by Phil Coleman
Red Centre – a guide book by the same authors
While staying in the area, check out the accommodation, dining and activities that can be done at Grampians Tourism.