Just a few hours’ drive west of Melbourne a majestic mountain range rises above the flat farmland of the Victorian countryside. The Grampians National Park is home to some of the most breathtaking mountain walks and sunsets in the state. This place is a haven for nature lovers, adventure seekers, wine and food enthusiasts, as well as history buffs alike.
Inhale the fresh mountain air as you explore the rugged mountain ranges, stunning panoramic views, and majestic waterfalls of this magical region. Here there will be no shortage of bushwalks long and short. You can take a short trek up to the Balconies lookout and bear witness to the most vivid and spectacular sunset view of the region. Or those who are feeling adventurous and ambitious can explore the highlights of the Grampians as well as some less explored treasures with a 3 day 2 night walk along the 36 kilometer Grampians Peaks Trail.
No matter which walk you choose you will be sure to encounter a rich abundance of wildlife and flora and fauna native to the region. Enjoy as kangaroos, koalas, emus, and wedge tail eagles make an appearance against the stunning backdrop of the Grampians. Aside from bushwalks and animal spotting there are some other fun outdoor activities enjoyed in the region such as canoeing and fishing at the many creeks, lakes and streams. The area is also home to a world renowned rock climbing and abseiling destination where beginners and advanced climbers alike can scale the dramatic granite cliffs of Mount Arapiles.
Whether you visit the Grampians for one day or one week be sure to visit the small towns nestled in the foothills of rugged mountainside. Here you can base yourself in one of the boutique hotels, eco ledges, or cozy cabins as you set out to enjoy local wineries and restaurants. Each town has its own unique attraction and allure. Halls Gap is not only home to the Halls Gap Zoo, which has 160 native and exotic animals including giraffes, but it also hosts the Grampians Great Escape, food and wine festival, every autumn where the region comes to life as it shows off its local wines and cuisine. Dunkeld is home to the famous Royal Mail Hotel which was voted one of the best dining destinations in all of Australia. Join them for a meal you will not forget as they bring the farm to plate concept to life with a fully functioning kitchen garden that produces 80% of the produce used by the restaurant.
Food and wine set aside the Grampians has another fascinating story to tell through aboriginal rock paintings and cultural centers in the area. The aboriginal connection to the area dates back 22,000 years and is known as the Gariwerd. Here in the Gariwerd you can visit 60 different rock art sites, learn about dreamtime, and immerse yourself in local aboriginal cuisine. The Brambuk center is one of the largest running aboriginal centers in the country and it is home to the Gariwerd Dream Theater as well as the bush food café where you try food sourced in the area by aboriginals for thousands of years including kangaroos, birds, eggs, fish, yam daisies, and wattle seeds. You can also take a guided tour of the 5 aboriginal communities in the area to learn more about the history and dreamtime such as the Bunji shelter which is home to a sculpture of Bunji, the original creator of the land.
The Grampians area also has a rich history in the arts and is home to traditional aboriginal artworks such as painted boomerangs and didgeridoos as well as galleries hosting thousands of national and international works dating back to the 1800s. However one of our personal favorites is the Silo Art Trail. The 200 kilometer trail is one of the country’s biggest outdoor galleries and you can enjoy these towering artworks by internationally renowned artists as you pass through quaint country towns along the way.
We hope you are ready to be enchanted and inspired by this region rich in cultural history and unforgettable landscapes, with a passion for food and wine that is so contagious it will have you coming back each year.