The Grampians National Park and its peaks dominate the skyline of much of western Victoria, so it takes you some time to explore everything. I went up there for two days and because of my limited time I found a drive that shows you the most popular attractions, the Central Grampians Drive.
This drive takes you from Halls Gap along the Mt Victoria Road past Boroka Lookout, the Reed Lookout and the Balconies and the highlight for me MacKenzie Falls. It is said you can do this in half a day, but we spread it out over an afternoon and morning, so we could spent some more time at each place.
Our first stop was at Brambuk, the National Park and Cultural Center:
At Brambuk you can discover the Park`s environment and Aboriginal culture. In the early `80 Aboriginal communities came together with the idea to have a place where their unique culture could be presented. In 1990 Brambuk opened its doors and remains 100% Aboriginal owned and operated. The building is unlike any other and has a meaning to every corner. For example, the building is made up of five circles to represent the five Aboriginal communities who formed Brambuk. Brambuk is Aboriginal for cockatoo, so the shape of the building is a cockatoo in flight, the totem animal of the area.
Practical: Free entry – Open from 9 am – 5 pm daily (except Christmas Day) – website
Boroka Lookout is a short walk from the car park, so it`s suitable for people with limited mobility. It provides spectacular views to Halls Gap and the Wonderland Range.
Next up: Reed Lookout
Reed Lookout were you have a beautiful view over the Victoria Valley. If you talk a stroll through Stringybark forest you can reach the Balconies rock formation. (This walk takes you about 35 minutes return)
Next stop: the stunning sight of MacKenzie Falls
Here you have two choices, you can either do the steep walk to the base of the falls or follow a trail that takes you to a lookout over the falls. I choice the steep walk to the base, which is definitely worth it. Bear in mind though that climbing back up is a bit of a challenge (unless you`re fit, which apparently I was not) as you have to climb up stairs coming from the base to get back to the car park. (It`s about 1.25 km return)
Make a little side step to see Broken Falls which is 480 meters return from the car park for MacKenzie Falls.
- Don`t forget sun screen, a bottle of water, bug spray and a hat!
- Halls Gap has a grocery shop, a bakery and some little boutique shops
- Most of the National Parks in Australia are free to enter
Where to Eat?
In Halls Gap you have a few choices. I had a quick, but lovely lunch from the bakery who offers fresh bread, pies and sandwiches. And I also tried out Livefast Cafe, which offers breakfast and lunch. There are a few eateries next to each other, so you won`t be looking for long.
Where to Sleep?
We stayed at Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park in one of the cabins. Lovely location where you see the kangaroos and emus right at your doorstep.
Halls Gap in the Grampians is about 250 kilometers from Melbourne. If you would like to combine it with the Great Ocean Road, Warrnambool (where the Great Ocean Road starts or finishes, which ever direction you`re coming from) is about 165 kilometers from Halls Gap.
Have you visited the Grampians? What`s your favorite spot?