The Grampians. Gariwerd.

The Grampians, or Gariwerd, is a national park in Victoria situated close to Halls Gap, a township with plenty of eateries, and shops for your basic needs. We visited during late spring as the weather became a little cooler but there was still heaps of sunshine. There are an abundance of incredible walks and hikes that cater to all levels of fitness and enthusiasm. There really is something for everyone in this beautiful part of Victoria.

We chose to stay at the Lakeside Tourist Park in the built for two camper van.

 

The park is  in a pretty location below Bellfield Lake, which is a short walk from the park. There are allocated places around the lake for boating and swimming. It was a bit chilly on our visit so although beautiful, nothing would entice me into taking a dip.

There are masses of kangaroos and birdlife. On several occasions I had to shoo kangas out of my way on the way to the amenities block. The park boasts a wood fired heated pool that is well landscaped. For the kiddies there are also about half a dozen enclosed trampolines shaded under trees. You can hire a fire drum for $10 for the duration of your stay and purchase wood that is delivered to your camp site in bags. We took advantage of this and it was quite lovely. Hint: Tilt the drum up on an angle to direct a gorgeous heat out, allowing you sit out at night and not freeze to death.

 

The Walks.

Where do I begin. We decided to take things easy, relax, and do lots of short walks over four days. Although quite scary at times with lots of rock hopping and heights, even as a slightly chubby and reasonably unfit middle-aged woman, I still managed lots of the well mapped walking tracks. I climbed up and down what felt like billions of steps and clambered over rocks of many shapes, sizes and textures. It really is a brilliant area to explore. The tracks are well defined and rocks are used to create steps where it would otherwise be too difficult to climb. I had to keep stopping to photograph all the tracks because they were so pretty.

Mackenzie Falls

This walk is very popular and it was quite crowded along the track. However, it was well worth the effort of the 250 steps, which tested my phobia of falling down stairs. I hung on for dear life as we descended. Thank god there were hand rails the whole way down.

And it was a long way down! Going up was a puff and pant climb. Some part of the steps are wet. Wear sensible shoes!

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The Wonderland walk is a popular 9 kilometre circuit walk which takes about half a day. Parts can be done as separate walks. We took our time and enjoy the varied landscape and tracks in bits.

The Grand Canyon is a short walk, about 900 metres but quite an adventure, with steep steps, rock hopping, foot bridges and immense high rock walls. It is really beautiful. People quietly stand in ‘silent street’ soaking in the natural beauty. It has quite an impact on you.

Venus Baths. An easy walk from the car park in Halls Gap to a pretty collection of naturally formed rockpools. Filled with fresh water, Venus Baths is a perfect place in hot weather to cool off.

The walking track to Venus Baths follows the river, passing under towering rocks . The creek was dry during our visit but the stoney creek bed was quite lovely.

The Pinnacle is a rocky spur that juts from a jagged cliff face and offers views over Halls Gap, Lake Bellfield and Western Victoria. The walk looks difficult, it is high and there is a lot of rock climbing, but it is easier than it looks. Take water, and take your time, the views from the lookout make the effort worthwhile and it is very satisfying to do. Again you need to have good mobility as there are a lot of rocks to clamber over and negotiate. The path is reasonably well marked but we did lose our way a couple of times. Fortunately there are enough people around to point you in the right direction and it’s fun.

 

Rocky Tracks.

These are  photos of some of the tracks we walked. Stones steps are well placed and steady underfoot. And it is all so pretty. Every twist and turn offered great photo opportunities.

Some were rather more challenging. Good shoes and water are a necessity.

Some rocks came to life.

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After heaps of walking and rock hopping, Lakeside Tourist Park offered a good resting place. Quiet and relaxed, I think it is a better location than the park in the main street of Halls Gap. There are many choices of accomodation available, from unpowered camp sites through to cabins and onsite glamping tents. Towering rock formations hover above the park, which is lush and green. There is plenty of shade and an ice cream cart comes in several times a week. The camp kitchen has a wood fire and couches and lots of tables. Take away coffees can be bought at reception.

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