The Grampians National Park

The Grampians National Park is a great place to visit.

Third largest national park in Victoria, The Grampians is one of the most visited places in the state, with some amazing rock formations, impressive views over mountain ranges, beautiful waterfalls, diversity of plants and animals, and numerous sites of Aboriginal rock painting.

There are plenty of bushwalks, and good options for camping, fishing and mountain climbing in the park; and just outside are some nice vineyards, art galleries and lots of Chinese and European gold history.
Rock Formation Known as the Balconies, Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia
The Balconies. Poster by AllPosters
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Handy way to get to this national park:


Geology and Vegetation
The sweeping slopes and craggy sandstone escarpments of the park are different from the younger, fertile basalt plains that surround them. Inside the park, sandy and infertile soils are produced by weathering of sandstone. This creates harsh conditions for the plants, which have developed some clever adaptations to cope. There are at least 800 native plant species in the park, 20 of which are endemic. The vegetation types include sclerophyll forests, open woodlands, heathlands and swamplands, and during the spring, the rich flora puts on some of Victoria’s best wildflower display.

Mount Difficult Range in the North of the Grampians, the Popular National Park, Victoria, Australia
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Alpine Animals and Birds
The animal life is equally rich. Macropods include kangaroos, red-necked wallabies, swamp wallabies and brush-tailed rock wallabies. This is one of the few places where Eastern Grey and Western Grey Kangaroos coexist. Koalas, brushtail possums and ringtail possums are also common, as are echidnas and platypus. Birds include eagles and falcons, brolgas and emus, rosellas and cockatoos, kookaburras and many species of honeyeaters.

Trees and Fields, the Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia, Pacific
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Aboriginal Rock Painting and History
Aboriginal people have been living in the area for at least 5000 years, and the area has today some of the best examples of Aboriginal rock painting in south-eastern Australia. The rock art sites are in the park’s “shelters”, while displays of mythology, traditions, clothing, tool, hunting and weapons of the local tribes are in the Brambuk Living Cultural Centre in Halls Gap, which also offers cultural tours.

Aborigines by Fire before Mount William as seen from Mount Dryden in Grampians, Victoria, 1892
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Hall's Gap - the Centre of the National Park
Hall's Gap is the park’s central town, where there is a supermarket, cafes and restaurants, a range of accommodation, and a visitor centre with informative displays, information about the parks attractions and activities, and maps of walking tracks.

Places to stay in Hall's Gap include Bagara Cottage, Boroka Downs Botique Residences, Comfort Inn Country Plaza, D'Altons Resort, DULC Cabins, Grampians Chalets, Grampians Motel, Halls Gap Escape Cottages, Halls Gap Motel, Halls Gap Valley Lodges, Heatherlie Cottages, Kiramli Villas, Kookaburra Motor Lodge, Marwood Villas, Mountain Grand Botique Hotel and Pinnacle Holiday Lodge.

Halls Gap, the Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia, Pacific
Halls Gap. Poster by AllPosters
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Short Walks from Hall's Gap
There are many great places around Halls Cap, easily reached by short walks. The most photographed is the Pinnacle Lookout, not far from the Visitors Centre, but there are other popular spots such as Sundial Peak, Boronia Peak and Chataugua Peak.

The 'Nerve Test' at the Pinnacle, Grampians National Park, Australia
Pinnacle lookout. Poster by AllPosters
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Longer Walks from Hall's Gap
North-west from Halls Gap is Zumstein, a popular picnic area visited by kangaroos, and the beautiful McKenzie Falls with several walking tracks around them, which take you to different lookout points. There are picnic facilities here too, and McKenzie Falls is connected to Zumstein by walking tracks.

Mackenzie Falls, Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia
McKenzie Falls. Poster by AllPosters
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Northern Grampians: Wartook Valley

North from McKenzie Falls and Zumstein is an area called Wartook Valley, known for its Aboriginal and European pioneer history, and as one of the best wildflower regions. Furthest south are the little townships Wartook and Laharum, east of which is the Ngamadjidj Aboriginal Shelter, and further north is Gulgurn Manja Shelter. There are walking tracks to Mt Stapylton, Hollow Mountain and Mount Zero, and you can also visit one of the many wildflower and olive farms in the area, and do some horse riding or fly fishing with a local guide.

Western Grampians: Mt Arapiles
West from Wartook Valley is Black Range, and north of it is the small town Horsham with a wool factory, a regional art gallery and the Little Desert National Park north of it. West of Horsham is Mount Arapiles, famous for its excellent rock climbing and abseiling.

Places to stay in Horsham include Best Western Golden Grain Motel, Comfort Inn Capital Horsham, Comfort Inn May Park, Darlot Motor Inn, Grampians Edge Caravan Park, Mid City Court Motel, Mercure Hotel, Meringa Springs Lodge, Ploughmans Motor Inn, Sundowner Westlander Motor Inn and Wartook Rise Cabins and Lodge.

Mt. Arapiles, a Rock-Climbing Venue Near Natimuk That Rises out of the Wimmera, Australia
Mt Arapiles. Poster by AllPosters
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Eastern Grampians
East of Halls Gap is the Wonderland Range, and south of it is the highest peak in the National Park, Mount William (1167m). There is a steep track from the car park to the top of it, where you can enjoy views above the clouds.

Southern Grampians: Mt Abrupt
South from Mount William Range is the small township Dunkeld, and the 825m-high Mount Abrupt. A winding track that starts from a small parking area besides the Dunkheld-Halls Cap Road leads up to the summit where there are some of the best views in the National Park.

Places to Stay in Dunkeld include Mount Sturgeon Cottages, Royal Mail Hotel and Southern Grampians Cottages.

South-west of the Grampians
West of Dunkeld and Nigretta Falls is Hamilton – a lovely town with wool-growing heritage, old buildings, beautiful botanic gardens and an art gallery. Not far along the Glenelg Highway are the amazing Wannon and Nigretta Falls, a Volcanic Trail, and plenty of fishing and water sports at Lake Hamilton.

Places to stay in Hamilton include Bandicoot Motor Inn, Best Western Lonesdale Motor Inn, Comfort Inn Botanical Hamilton, Hamilton Townhouse Motel, Lake Hamilton Motor Village and Caravan Park, Quality Inn Grange Burn and The Goldsmith Motel.

Trees in Fog at Wannon, Australia
Wannon. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy.

East: Chinese History
East of the national park is Ararat, the only town in Australia that was established by Chinese. You can explore the town’s gold heritage at the Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre or visit Long Morgala Museum and Australia’s largest wind farm at Challicum Hills. Places to stay in Ararat include Chalambar Motel.

Derelict Truck, near Ararat, Victoria, Australia
Ararat. Poster by AllPosters
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North-east: Vineyards
North of Ararat is the small town Great Western, established in 1863 by winemakers. You can visit the pioneer wineries – Best’s and Seppelt, where you can do some wine tasting.

What to Do in the Grampians National Park
There are more than 150km of bushwalking tracks in this national park, all from half-hour strolls to serious overnight trails, pick up the maps and information at the visitor centre. You can join a tour to the Grampians from Melbourne.

The Balconies, Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia
Poster by AllPosters
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Where to Stay in the Grampians
The park’s camping grounds have toilets and fireplaces so you can do some excellent bush-camping, just book with EPA.

Female Hiker at the Balconies, the Grampians National Park, Victoria, Australia, Pacific
Poster by AllPosters
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Here's a map of the Grampians National Park, where I have tagged the places that I mentioned on this web page. You can click on the tags to see what places they are, and double-click anywhere on the map to zoom it in and see the places closer. Drag the map to move around, and if you want to see the satellite image with Google Earth, click on "Sat" in the top right hand corner.

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OMG, my Grampians trip was so amazing. I loved climbing the Pinnacle and the view at the top was awesome, but if you plan to clibm the pinnacle remember …

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