Halls Gap, located a 3 hour drive north of Melbourne and the base for your exciting weekend at Grampians National Park. Internationally renowned, the park packs some truly outstanding hikes for all levels of fitness. Yet there is so much more to see and do during your time there.
Things to do in the Grampians
Hike to the Pinnacles
(via Wonderland car park)
The hike to the Pinnacles is one that requires much effort. The rocky terrain and uneven surface that winds it way to the top of the mountain is just over 2 km long. Return trip is estimated at two and half hours. That’s exactly what it took us. Two gals with relative fitness, plenty of photo stops and a rest at the top before descending.
The scenery you will encounter going up is truly beautiful. You’ll pass through the Grand Canyon within the first 100 meters of leaving the car park. From here you’re hooked immediately, excited at what lies ahead. It’s a very popular track so don’t expect to be out there by yourselves. Arrive before 10 am otherwise the car park becomes a mess and all your photos include hundreds of others.
Alternatives: take the longer hike from the caravan park in town. Est 4 – 5 hrs return. For those with young children or wanting an easier option, start from the Sundial Car park. Approx 700 mts. Note: we passed several families with 3 and 4 year old kids on the Wonderland route though they will need assistance.
Remember to take:
water – shoes with good tread – camera
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Drive to a Scenic lookout
Not all the main photo points require you to hike. You are able to pull right up to 2 of the Parks main scenic lookouts. Head straight to the Visitor Information Centre when you arrive in Halls Gap and ask for a map .
Baroka Lookout – 15 km out of town. Offers spectacular views of the surrounding ranges, Lake Bellfield and the plains to the east.
This location is the best place to see SUNRISE.
Reed Lookout is just a bit further down the road. Take in views of Victoria Valley and surrounding ranges.
The Balconies is a highlight. An easy 1 km walk from the Reed Lookout car park. I totally recommend you check it out.
This location is the best place to see SUNSET.
Stroll to Venus Baths
An easy flat 0.92 km walk through the gates of the Botanical Gardens. Straight off the main street. Very pretty walk into a series of rock pools. Come here with a picnic or simply take a moment and enjoy the surrounds.
Sample the local produce
Red Rock Olive farm is a short drive away from the centre of town. Sample a range of products from marinated olives, olive oils, balsamic vinegar and dukah. My favourite was the marinated olives in lemon and fennel.
Head over to Halls Gap Estate Winery and try a range of local wines. Located on the same road. Stay for a bite to eat on the deck overlooking the vines.
The Kookaburra Hotel is a locals favourite. There is a restaurant and courtyard with local wines and beer on tap. The meals came quick and tasted delicious. I had the blackened barramundi with prawns in fish stock lapped up with yummy garlic mash.
Check out Halls Gap Zoo
Looking for a bit of a change in pace? Want to see a combination of Australian and other exotic animals in a tranquil bush setting? Head over to Halls Gap Zoo. Have the chance to feed some of the locals and enjoy a couple of hours here.
Halls Gap has a range of accommodation. I stayed at D’altons Resort. They have self contained family cabins with full kitchen and lounge, fireplace and outdoor picnic table. I really enjoyed the open space here. It was nice to cook a meal and enjoy a glass of wine while watching the kangaroos come in to graze.
The Grampians National Park is the perfect weekend getaway but also for longer stays.
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