“Grampians National Park is a place of spectacular natural beauty in western Victoria. Aboriginal people have lived in the area for thousands of years and it is one of the richest Indigenous rock art sites in south-eastern Australia. The park is renowned for its rugged beauty and spring wildflowers, and attracts more than 800,000 visitors each year.” Department of Environment (National Heritage Places)
The Grampians National Park is another of my favourite places in my home state of Victoria, Australia. I have been camping and hiking there on numerous occasions, and I also participated on a Great Victorian Bike Ride through this area in November 2008. The latter experience actually led to many writing opportunities, so it’s just another reason for why I love this place.
The park, located 235 kilometres west of Melbourne, was listed on the Australian National Heritage List in 2006 for its outstanding natural beauty and for being one of the richest Indigenous rock art sites in south-eastern Australia. Aboriginal occupation of the Grampians dates back well over 20,000 years and the park is also known as Gariwerd, which comes from one of the local Indigenous languages.
The thing I love most about this park is the variety of walks and the stunning landscapes – views of sandstone mountain ranges, rocky plateaus, forest, fern gullies and many waterfalls. On my most recent trip – with my sister, nephews and nieces – we did two short hikes to Venus Baths and the Pinnacle lookout.
This is easy walk, which starts at the Halls Gap car park, and follows a shady track alongside Stony Creek to some beautiful rock pools known as Venus Baths. It’s a 2.3 km loop.
The walk to the Pinnacle lookout can be done from the Halls Gap car park (11km circuit) or from the Wonderland car park (5.5km circuit). I’ve done both, but on this trip we began at Wonderland. This is a beautiful walk, via the Grand Canyon and Silent Street, to the Pinnacle lookout where there are incredible views across Halls Gap and surrounds. It’s a strenuous hike, mostly uphill and with some rock hopping, so you need to be fairly fit. En route there are also wonderful views of craggy rock formations.
For more information about the Grampians National Park: