Day Trip: The Grampians

Hiya Pals,
While on a weekend getaway in Ararat, we spent a day in The Grampians.
Originally called Gariwerd, it was renamed in 1836 after the Grampian Mountains in Scotland. It spans 1,672.19 km (645.6 sqm), making it the fourth largest National Park in Victoria. Known for rich Indigenous respects as well as the natural mountainous range itself.

If you would like to know “How to spend a lazy day in The Grampians” click ‘read more’

In this article, you’ll find: (click to be taken there)
The Basics: How to get there.
My Top Choices: What you should see.
My Recommendations: Mostly, where to eat.
Where to Stay: Where I stayed or where friends stayed.
What I did: My diary entry.
Other Recommendations: Things we missed.

All my posts have a key:
⏰ Opening Hours. 📍 Location
💰 Cost 📝 To note. 🎒What to bring.
*added* 🕒Distance 📈Grade ♿Accessibility.

  TO NOTE:

  • There are water refill stations at the main area of Halls Gap. Ensure you have enough water for hikes. Have a refill option in your car.
  • If you have limited accessibility check the Vic Parks resource here on how you can obtain an all-terrain wheelchair. Boroka Lookout is the most accessible.
  • Be Prepared: plan, pack the right gear, care for the park.
  • Reception is patchy, know your emergency numbers and check when and where you have coverage. Emergency: 000 

THE BASICS

How to get to Halls Gap: From Melbourne.

🚃 Rail: to Ararat

🕒 2h 30m 
💰 AUD: $30.40  | USD: $21.70
-You will need to purchase a paper ticket from the Vline Booth at Southern Cross Station. St
– There is no Wifi on the Vline itself and may cut out at times. Make sure you’ve got something else to distract yourself; podcasts, books etc.

🚌 Bus to Stawell + Halls Gap.

 🕒 0h 25m to Stawell. (change)
 🕒 0h 35m to Halls Gap.

🚗  Drive:

🕒 2h 52m 
You’ll be driving through both Ballarat and Ararat. There are plenty of rest stops and petrol stations along the way.

🎫 Tour:

  •  You can check Groupon for discount tours.
  • The Fun-Addicts offer $59 Student and $63.00 Normal which include the Baroka Lookout and Mackenzie Falls.
  • Otherwise, go to a Tourist Agency within the CBD / St Kilda to see what deals they have on that week.

TOP CHOICES!

Venus Baths

🕒2.3km Circut
📈Easy
The Venus Baths are the most visited place in all the Grampians. Over millions of years, these baths have been created by wind and rain carving into the sandstone.

Boroka Lookout

🕒100m return.
📈Easy.
♿Access – Carpark to the lookout is a sealed, 100m return.
With two lookout points, Boroka lookout is considered to be one of the better viewpoints, offering you wonderful panorama.

Mackenzie Falls + Lookout

🕒2km | 1.9km
📈Steep | Easy
The 2k walk down into the Mackenzie Falls will take you around 2 hours. Although signs advise no swimming – people continue to do so. If you’re keen for a swim, check out Burrong Falls which has a few shallow pools. We personally went to the Lookout – which offers great views of the cascading falls.

Pinnacle Walk + Lookout

There are two options for the Pinnacle Walk;
1. Wonderland Car Park 2. Halls Gap Caravan Park.
🕒2.1km | 8.4km
📈Medium | Hard
We didn’t do the Pinnacle walk, so to see a blog post on that, click here.

MY RECOMMENDATIONS

Halls Gap Icecream Parlour

⏰  Open daily from 09:00
📍 05/107 Grampians Rd, Halls Gap VIC 3381
Start your day off right with Ice-cream before you start venturing off hiking.

WHERE TO STAY

Grampians ECO YHA.

⏰Check-In: 17:00-20:00 | Check-Out: 10:00
This YHA is the Youth Hostel Association, a global not for profit federation set up in 1932 to help young people learn about the world they live in.
This particular YHA has a garden you can help yourself to, chickens, a native Australian garden and mostly 5/5 of 10/10 reviews.
disclaimer: I have not stayed here, a friend recommended this place.

🍽Self-catering, shared kitchen and outdoor bbq.
Herb gardens, hostel chickens providing fresh eggs.
🛁Shared bathrooms.
🛏Linen, lockers and wifi. Bedlight & powerpoint for each.
🎲Communal Lounge with wood fire heaters. DVD players with televisions and free wifi.
🍺N/A

WHAT I DID

Arriving from Ararat driving, our first point of call was the Halls Gap Information Centre. Parking is free, so arriving we also met a crackle of Cockatoos. Remember: do not feed wildlife. At the Information centre, you can grab maps, brochures but as always – the best way is to speak to the staff.
We advised that we wanted to see the most we could with our limited timeframe (aka the easiest.)

We first set off for the Venus Baths. At first, we couldn’t seem to locate it – eventually, we had to pull up google maps. Once you arrive at the swimming pool, walk behind it and veer right.
We had a picnic at Boroka Lookout and then drove up to see the Mackenzie Falls. Personally, glad that we opted for the lookout as there seemed to be lots of people down swimming or sunbathing.

Like all National Parks, you’re going to come across animals. You can read all about the different animals living in the Grampians here. All of us had the experience of meeting a Kangaroo (well looking at it) at the Wartook Reservoir and while in the Venus Baths, my friend got pooped on!

The Wartook Reservoir is mostly a popular fishing spot among locals. As a reservoir, there’s a running dam wall. This would have been nicer if it had some picnic facilities.

After that, we drove back to Ararat for dinner.

OTHER RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Halls Gap Zoo.
  • Brambuk the National Park & Cultural Centre

Have you been to The Grampians? What did you think?
Let me know below.
As always, stay cool.
– Sarah.

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Written by CerealSarah

A 28-year-old whose only direction in life seems to be going around the world. Find me on Instagram @ CerealSarah Find me on Facebook @ CerealSarah

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