The Grampians is a truly special place
The Grampians is a striking feature, stretching for about 90km from north to south and up to 40km from east to west. It’s an oasis of mountains jutting dramatically from the surrounding Wimmera Plains. Therefore its five distinct mountain ranges offer challenging peaks, rugged escarpments, spectacular, contorted geological formations and serene valleys. Add to that some stunning waterfalls that come to life after rain. Plus abundant wildlife, magnificent wildflower displays and a number of indigenous art sites. Add to that a network of hundreds of kilometres of walking tracks. The Grampians National Park was established in 1984, protecting this 167,000 hectares of rugged country is forever. It’s a walkers’ paradise and Grampians Walks can help you explore it all.
What about the walking?
If the dramatic Grampians skyline wasn’t already enough to attract walkers, the exciting new 165km long Grampians Peaks Trail (GPT) certainly will. Skilful construction and inspired route selection are evident everywhere. The GPT is already an internationally sought-after experience. Most of the new track has been purpose built through previously inaccessible country. It stretches from Mt Zero in the north to Dunkeld in the south, some 165 walking kilometres away.
If you have the time, fitness and skills to walk the GPT in one 13 day chunk then go for it. Most people can’t manage that! So we’ve gone into great detail to show you how you can walk every step of the GPT as a series of day walks. If you prefer to carry everything and camp out, this book will also provide all of the information you need. We’ve also included shorter walks that use small sections of the GPT, for beginners and families.
There’s more to the Grampians than the GPT
Yes, the GPT is great but there’s a heap more the Grampians has to offer. We’ve included all the other walks in the Grampians National Park as well. Many of these walks explore the MacKenzie River area, the Victoria Range and Victoria Valley; all places where the GPT doesn’t venture. They are all in this book.
The Grampians offers walks suitable for a wide range of ages, abilities and experience levels. This book includes everything from 10 minute easy strolls through to serious peaks that will take all day to conquer. There are touristy walks to highly visited features as well as hikes in rugged, remote terrain. If you’re looking for a gentle walk to spot wildflowers or wildlife, it’s here in the Grampians. Moreover, if you are fit and agile and have a good head for heights, there are plenty of walks for you as well. And everything in between.
Where is the Grampians?
The Grampians has long been a favourite holiday destination for Victorians and South Australians. It’s about 250km west of Melbourne. With the imminent duplication of the Western Highway all the way from Melbourne to Stawell it’s quick and easy to get here, as it also is from Adelaide and the Great Ocean Road.
You can travel to the area by public transport. At the time of writing this, there was no taxi service in Halls Gap or Dunkeld. Grampians Peaks Walking Company offers transport services for hikers. We presume that other services will be available in the future. If you don’t have your own car, we recommend that you base yourself in Halls Gap. This will allow you easy access to many nearby walks.
Driving safely in the Grampians
Roads in the Grampians are a mixture of sealed and unsealed, and our maps show you which is which. With sensible driving, 2WD vehicles can reach most of the walks in this book. A small number of walks require a 4WD for access.
Accommodation & camping in the Grampians
There are plenty of accommodation, caravan park, camping and dining options available in the Grampians area. There are also campgrounds within the national park that provide simple facilities such as pit toilets, picnic tables and sometimes drinking water. Most importantly, these must be pre-booked and paid for online. Campfires are only allowed in properly constructed fireplaces and you must extinguish the fire with water before leaving. You must also take all of your rubbish with you. Dedicated Hikers’ Camps are provided along the GPT, exclusively for walkers booked onto the track. These also need to be booked in advance. For all national park camping information and bookings, please refer to the Parks Victoria website.
Halls Gap and Dunkeld are the two main tourist towns adjacent to the national park. Other nearby communities of Wartook, Pomonal and Moyston have limited facilities. The larger regional towns of Hamilton, Horsham, Stawell and Ararat have all of the services that anyone might want. There are Visitor Information Centres at many locations and we recommend you check out the official Visit Grampians site.
In conclusion, campsites and accommodation are often booked out during peak holiday periods and long weekends. Restaurants can fill up quickly and carparks are full to overflowing. If you prefer peace and quiet, we recommend that you visit during off-peak times.
Where we recommend you eat
Check out our favourite places to eat from grabbing a quick bite to fine dining.
Where to get your outdoor gear
Here’s some info on where to get kitted out for hiking.
Need a guide, food drops or transport?
Check out the Grampians Peaks Walking Company.