The Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park
262km west of Melbourne | 2 - 5 days
The drive to The Grampians (Gariwerd) from Melbourne takes about four hours. There are many attractions to explore on the way such as the Pyrenees and Grampians wine regions and olive oil producers, and the trip could easily be stretched to three or more days.
Jaw-dropping views, misty mornings, romantic sunsets, rugged rock formations, waterfalls and rock pools – The Grampians are incredibly photogenic especially at dawn and dusk, the magic hour.
Boroka lookout. Photo: milmow via IG
Harvest at Red Rock Olives
Rock climbing, the Grampians. Photo: southernboulder via IG
The best way to take in the beauty of the Grampians is on some of the many spectacular walks. The Grampians are known for the beauty and variety of their wildflowers. They are most colourful from August to November. Wildlife here is prolific and you will see emus, kookaburras, kangaroos, cockatoos and maybe an echidna.
Cockatoo. Photo: saaabl via Instagram
Echidna, The Grampians. Photo: zarzarmcnally via IG
Kookaburra, The Grampians. Photo: dniemiecki via IG
a visual impression of the Grampians watch the 1 minute video.
Ararat and Great Western (East)
As you approach The Grampians from Melbourne, you will pass through some magnificent wine country and the towns of Ballarat and Ararat.
- J Ward Museum Complex: For $15 an enthusiastic volunteer will give you a guided tour of the asylum where the criminally insane were incarcerated. You'll learn about the early history of the gold field times as well.
- Gum San Chinese Heritage Centre: The building is an example of traditional Souther Chinese architecture and incorporates the principles of Feng Shui. It houses a fascinating selection of interactive and visually rich displays that bring to life the story of Chinese immigrant gold miners of the Victorian Goldfields in the mid 1800s. history of Chinese culture in Australia. Try your hand at calligraphy, learn about the Chinese language, hear courthouse stories, and play traditional Chinese games.
- One Tree Hill Lookout for 360 degree views. There are no toilets up the top.
Emu, the Grampians. Photo: clairewaldron89 via IG
- Best’s Wines: Over 150 years old. Visit the historic underground cellars and hand dug tunnels, and taste their wine at the cellar door.
- Seppelt Great Western: Established in 1851 and set in the beautiful grounds of an historic country estate, Seppelt offers tours and tastings.
- Montara Wines: Beautiful views of the valley and local produce to enjoy with your tasting. The building is built of 90-year old mud bricks, the windows were part of the Ararat hospital, the cedar doors were salvaged from Commercial Bank of Australia in Ararat and the tasting bench is made from old champagne riddling racks.
- Taltarni Vineyard: A beautiful vineyard with many environmental initiatives including an insectarium. There are a broad range of wines for the tasting.
- Mount Langi Ghiran: If you want to enjoy a picnic among the chestnut trees with gorgeous views of the vineyard, buy a bottle of wine and they'll supply you with cushions, a little wooden table, wine glasses and cutlery.
- Grampians Estate: Pair local produce with wine.
Best's Wines, Great Western.
Montara wines, The Grampians. Photo: leighclarnette via IG
Halls Gap (Central and North Grampians)
Halls Gap is at the heart of the Grampians where you can stock up on supplies, enjoy a great cup of coffee, a meal, and some local produce, and browse the art and Aboriginal culture.
- Venus Baths, a short walk from the centre of Halls Gap, is a tranquil place to relax and picnic.
- Brambuk National Park and Cultural Centre has art and tourist information.
- Halls Gap Zoo is small but well maintained and you can interact with some of the wildlife.
- Browse the works at Steve Morvell Wildlife Art.
- Go redfin fishing at Lake Fyans
- Kayak the Moora Moora Reservoir with views of the Grampians
- Taylors Lake near Horsham in the north of the Grampians region is picturesque.
- Zumsteins picnic ground is a great place to interact with kangaroos.
Venus baths. Photo: lingko via IG
Moora Moora Reservoir. Photo: Georgie_mann_photos via IG
Taylors Lake, The Grampians. Photo: leighoconnell via IG
Kangaroo. The Grampians. Photo: Balloo_n via IG
- Pinnacle walk. Reached from the Sundial or Wonderland parking areas, the trail takes you to the pinnacle rock formation with a lookout that gives you eye-popping views.
- The Balconies walk. An easy walk from Reed Lookout parking area to exceptional views of the Victoria Range and valley to the south, and Lake Wartook and the Mount Difficult Range to the north.
- Grand Canyon Loop Trail has rockpools and rivers.
- McKenzie River Walk from Zumsteins parking area is a pleasant track that meanders beside the river, and over it, to Fish Falls.
- McKenzie Falls: The view that awaits you at the end of this steep trail is spectacular. Water cascades over cliffs into a deep pool, sending fine sprays of rainbow mist into the air above a stunning gorge. Continue on from here to explore the Wartook Valley.
McKenzie Falls, The Grampians. Photo: kris_penn via IG
The Grampians. Photo: annikeneu via IG
The Grampians. Photo: mitch_smith via IG
Reed Lookout, The Grampians. Photo: debrasicklinger via IG
Hamilton and Dunkeld (South)
- Hamilton Botanic Gardens
- Nigretta Falls near Hamilton in the south of the Grampians can be viewed from a platform above them or at their base via an invigorating walk.
- Mt William Summit climb: Between Halls Gap and Dunkeld in the south, stop to climb Mt William for stunning 360 degree views.The trail head is off the Grampians Dunkeld Tourist Road, South East Grampians
Nigretta Falls, The Grampians, Victoria. Photo: 55chris via IG
A scenic drive in The Grampians, Victoria. Photo: Georgie_mann_photos
Mt William summit, the Grampians, Victoria. Photo: lukeee241 via IG
- Climb to the peak of Mt Rouse for views across the volcanic plains of the southern Grampians
- Mt Abrupt, in the southern end of the Grampians National Park, is not far from the village of Dunkeld.
- The Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld has a kitchen garden. Guests are welcome to tour it.
Mt. Abrupt, the Grampians, Victoria. Photo: greens_pics via IG
View from Mt Rouse, The grampians, Victoria. Photo: volcanojulie via IG
The kitchen garden of the Royal Mail Hotel. Photo: global_salsa via IG
Where to Stay
In the Grampians National Park there are plenty of campgrounds that are campervan friendly. Facilities are basic. Bring your own drinking water. Within the towns in and around the Grampians, you'll find private-run tourist parks with full facilities. All are mapped on the google map below with links to their website.
In the Grampians National Park
The following two campsites are first come first served and are FREE.
- Smiths Mill - within heath woodland at the site of an old sawmill. Close to Mackenzie Falls, Boroka Lookout, Reed Lookout and Zumsteins Picnic Area. Non-flush toilets, bush shower, shared fireplaces and shared picnic tables. FREE
- Plantation Campground - within an old Radiata Pine forest. Near Halls Gap. Non-flush toilets, bush showers, shared fireplaces and shared picnic tables. FREE
The following five campsites require a reservation and payment. They are listed from North to South.
- Stapylton - within the dramatic rocky environment of the Northern Grampians.Non-flush toilet, shared fireplaces and shared picnic tables.
- Boreang – a cleared grassy area in the woodland. Non-flush toilets, shared fireplaces and shared picnic tables.
- Borough Huts - in a tranquil forested area by Fyans Creek. It is close to Halls Gap, The Wonderland Range and is a starting point for walks to Lake Bellfield and Mt Rosea. Non-flush toilets, shared fireplaces and shared picnic tables.
- Buandik – in open woodland by creek. Pit toilets, shared picnic tables and fireplaces.
- Jimmy Creek - Half way between Halls Gap and Dunkeld in open forest by a river. Non-flush toilets, a bush shower, shared fireplaces and shared picnic tables.
Grampians Tourist Parks
The following list is private-owned tourist parks with a fuller range of facilities for caravans, tents and campervans. The following are highly rated (4 stars or more).
- Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park
- Lake Fyans Holiday Park
- Halls Gap Garden Caravan Park
- Parkgate Resort
- Halls Gap Caravan Park
- Grampians Paradise Camping and Caravan Park
- Lake Hamilton Motor Village and Caravan Park
Canola fields. The Grampians. Photo: edwinaaff via IG
Above the clouds. The Grampians. Photo: kieranstoneau via IG
Driving through the mist. The Grampians. Photo: kyles_79 via IG
Starry night sky, The Grampians. Photo: siegelalison via IG