The Grampians National Park (Gariwerd) is one of Australia’s most spectacular national parks. Located in the west of Victoria, the Grampians is the ultimate outdoor playground for hiking enthusiasts, nature lovers and adventure seekers. Whilst, those looking for rest and relaxation in the midst of glorious mountain ranges and picturesque landscapes are more than catered for. Certainly, there are plenty of things to do in the Grampians, that will keep everyone happy.
In this guide, we’ll detail all you need to know to plan your trip to the Grampians National Park. We’ll include details about incredible walks, waterfalls and lookouts. Additionally, we’ll look at where to stay, the best places to eat and how to get to the Grampians. Certainly, feel free to click on any of the related articles you’ll see throughout the post that will expand a little more on some of the activities or topics we’ll cover.
Interested in other national parks in Victoria? Read Wilsons Prom: The Complete Guide
Table of Contents
What Is the Grampians National Park?
The Grampians National Park is a large area of outstanding natural beauty and historical significance in Victoria, Australia. In fact, the national park was awarded National Heritage List status because of the wealth of Aboriginal rock art sites found within the park, and also because of the sheer scale of incredible natural beauty to be found.
Because the Grampians National Park is so extraordinary, it attracts many visitors each year to experience the park for themselves. There are two main towns in which to base yourself, Halls Gap and Dunkeld.
Halls Gap, Central Grampians
Halls Gap is a small town in the central Grampians. It’s certainly the perfect base for exploring some of the best natural attractions in the area. In fact, Halls Gap is the most popular place to stay in the Grampians, with tourism well-catered for. So, you’ll find a pleasant and friendly town that’s well set up for visitors, including plenty of accommodation and restaurant options.
Surrounding Halls Gap are the towering mountain ranges of Mount William and the Wonderland Range. Whilst, Halls Gap itself sits within the beautiful Fyans Valley, and has plenty to offer in terms of amenities. If you’re looking for ease of access to the majority of what the Grampians National Park has to offer, then you should stay in Halls Gap.
Dunkeld, Southern Grampians
At the southern tip of the Grampians National Park is the town of Dunkeld. Often coined as the gateway to the southern Grampians, Dunkeld is a quieter option for those who don’t want to stay in bustling Halls Gap. But, within this southern region of the national park, you’ll find some of the most iconic mountains in the entire Grampians. And so, staying in Dunkeld whilst you explore the southern Grampians is a great idea.
If you want a little more in the way of town amenities, these are some of the nearest larger towns around the Grampians, that still offer great proximity to the national park.
Ararat: if Halls Gap and Dunkeld are a little on the small side for your liking, then the larger town of Ararat is just 30 minutes outside of Halls Gap and will offer you more in the way of amenities.
Stawell: alternatively, Stawell is a closer 20 minutes away and again offers more amenities than Halls Gap and Dunkeld.
Horsham: north of the Grampians National Park is the town of Horsham. You’ll be close to some excellent walks and attractions like Hollow Mountain, whilst enjoying all the amenities of a larger town.
Where Is the Grampians National Park?
The Grampians National Park is located in southwestern Victoria, Australia. The national park lies around 250km west of Melbourne, taking around three hours to drive to. Feel free to use the interactive map below to work out your route to the Grampians.
Things To Do in the Grampians National Park
Certainly, you’ll want to know whether there are enough things to do in the Grampians to make your trip worthwhile. And well, simply put, there are! In fact, you could easily spend weeks exploring the Grampians National Park if you wanted to. So, below, we’ll go through 37 incredible things to do in the Grampians, grouping them into sections to help with your planning. These include walks, lookouts, waterfalls and other things to do in the Grampians.
Although 37 things to do in the Grampians may sound like a lot, many of the attractions can be combined along the same walk, or accessed from the same location. So, you’ll soon discover it’s easy to see many Grampians attractions, even if you don’t have a huge amount of time.
Let’s kick things off with some excellent walks in the Grampians National Park.
One of the main reasons for visiting the Grampians National Park is to walk some of the incredible hiking trails. Many of which lead to outstanding viewpoints, breathtaking waterfalls, or are just simply areas bursting with wildlife. Below are 15 of our favourite walking trails in the Grampians National Park.
Central Grampians Walks
- Mount William (Duwil): no visit to the Grampians National Park is complete without standing on the summit of its highest peak. But, don’t worry, walking up Mount William is actually one of the easiest walks in the national park. So, don’t let its status put you off.
- The Pinnacle Walk and Lookout: there are many route variations for reaching the famous Pinnacle Lookout above Halls Gap. Whether you choose the shorter walk from Wonderland Loop Car Park or walk straight from Halls Gap (our recommendation), reaching the Pinnacle Lookout is an absolute must in the Grampians.
- Venus Baths Loop: a short and easy walk from Halls Gap that leads to wonderful little pools that are perfect for bathing in on a hot summer’s day.
- Boronia Peak: on the eastern side of Halls Gap is the craggy summit of Boronia Peak. This might not be the highest peak in the Grampians, but the views across Fyans Valley towards the Pinnacle are outstanding.
- Fyans Creek Loop: while you’re enjoying Boronia Peak, it’s easy to extend the hike by walking around Fyans Creek and enjoying the wildlife out and about.
- Mount Rosea Loop: possibly one of the most challenging walks in the Grampians National Park, this long loop trail might just end up being one of your favourite walks. Enjoy clifftop views, interesting rock formations and a quiet trail.
- Chatauqua Peak: easily one of our favourite sunrise hikes in the Grampians. Beginning from Halls Gap, this short but steep walk heads through pretty forest before a simple open scramble to the summit. You’ll also pass Clematis Falls on this loop walk.
Southern Grampians Walks
- Mount Sturgeon (Wurgarri): for incredible views right up the backbone of the Grampians National Park, you’ll have to hike this steep and exhilarating trail in the southern part of the park.
- Mount Abrupt (Mud-Dadjug): Mount Abrupt is one of the most iconic mountain shapes in the Grampians. And, although admiring its shape and form from afar is quite splendid, the hike to its summit is even better. Another wonderful walk in the southern Grampians.
- The Chimney Pots: one of our favourite hikes to date, experience the other-worldly totem-like structures of the Chimney Pots as you explore this less visited area of the western Grampians.
- The Piccaninny (Bainggug): as hikes in the Grampians go, the Piccaninny is fairly easy, even for beginners. With wonderful vistas, the lookout offers the same views of Mount Abrupt as Mount Sturgeon does, just at a lower level. In fact, the Piccaninny sits between the two mountains and very much feels like the little sister to Mount Sturgeon. This punchy hike is certainly one of the best short walks in the Grampians.
Northern Grampians Walks
- Briggs Bluff & Beehive Falls: if you’re an experienced hiker and like something a little more challenging, then Briggs Bluff is for you. This is one of the most difficult yet also enjoyable hikes Dan and I completed in the park and we’re sure you’ll love it. Enjoy Beehive Falls on the way also.
- Hollow Mountain: we’ve no doubt if Hollow Mountain was located in Halls Gap, it would be one of the most popular walks in the national park. As such, its northern location keeps visitor numbers at a minimum. Still, don’t expect this gem of the Grampians all to yourself. But, it’s well worth a visit.
- Mount Stapylton: if you enjoy the barren and sandy landscape of Hollow Mountain and the northern Grampians, then be sure to check out Mount Stapylton. Sitting next door to Hollow Mountain, this walking trail is a wonderful addition to hikes in the Grampians, with a moderately challenging final ascent. Views are outstanding from the summit.
- Grampians Peaks Trail: beginning from Mount Zero in the northern Grampians and ending in Dunkeld, southern Grampians, this 13-day hike traversing through every inch of the Grampians National Park is quite the adventure.
Certainly, many of the walks in the Grampians lead to incredible viewpoints across the national park, like The Pinnacle and Mout William. But, there are a handful of standalone Grampians lookouts, which are much easier to reach and universally accessible. Let’s take a look.
- Reeds Lookout and The Balconies: no visit to the Grampians National Park is complete without a stop at the wonderful Reeds Lookout and The Balconies. These two outstanding viewpoints sit side by side above the Victoria Valley. They easily provide some of the best views across the national park. Certainly, they’re an absolute must.
- Boroka Lookout: this is one of our favourite viewpoints in the Grampians and is also one of the easiest and most accessible to get to. Simply park at the car park and wander over to the viewing platforms.
- Grampians Valley Lookout: in the southern Grampians is this wonderful little pull-in viewpoint along Victoria Valley Road. From here, you’ll enjoy views up the spiny ridge of the Grampians mountain ranges.
- Mount Sturgeon Lookout: on the outskirts of Dunkeld is a wonderful vantage point of the southern ranges of the Grampians. By pulling in at the Dunkeld Rest Stop along the Glenelg Highway, you’ll get to scope out the iconic Mount Sturgeon before you climb it.
As well as walks and lookouts, the Grampians National Park is also home to some wonderful waterfalls. Although, many of these waterfalls are seasonal. So, you’ll want to time your visit with some rainfall if you’re keen to see them at their best. Below are the 12 best waterfalls to see.
Central Grampians Waterfalls
- Mackenzie Falls: a magnificent 40 metre tall waterfall that isn’t just the largest in the Grampians, but is also one of the biggest in Victoria. Enjoy from the viewing platforms above, or take the steep steps to the base.
- Broken Falls: upstream from Mackenzie Falls is Broken Falls. This waterfall is accessed from the same Mackenzie Falls Car Park and is worth the quick out and back.
- Fish Falls: walk to Fish Falls from Mackenzie Falls or from Zumsteins. Either way, this tranquil trail leads to one of the Grampians’ most beautiful cascades.
- Silverband Falls: enjoy a beautiful sliver of water cascading some 10+ metres over a dark layered rockface. This is one of the prettiest (and most reliable) waterfalls in the Grampians National Park.
- Splitters Falls: reach this waterfall along the Wonderland Loop track from Halls Gap to the Pinnacle or as a simple out-and-back from Wonderland Car Park. Either way, be sure to time your visit with recent rainfall for the best experience.
- Bridal Veil Falls: another waterfall you’ll see on the walk to the Pinnacle is Bridal Veil Falls. But, you’ll need to be lucky because if it hasn’t rained, you might not even notice passing by it.
- Clematis Falls: head to lovely Clematis Falls along the Chatauqua Peak trail or as an easier out and back from Halls Gap. Either way, you’re in for a treat.
- Burrong Falls: this multi-tiered cascade is a more secluded waterfall in the Grampians. The views from the upper falls are quite lovely but, you’ll likely need a 4WD to access the trailhead.
- Turret Falls: this is one of the quieter waterfalls in the Grampians National Park. Certainly, if it’s rained, you’ll see a powerful cascade plunge over a wide rock shelf.
Northern Grampians Waterfalls
- Beehive Falls: this splendid cascade drops around 25 metres into Mud Hut Creek in the northern Grampians. Sitting below the towering mass of Briggs Bluff, which is certainly worth walking to, a trip to Beehive Falls offers visitors one of the most picturesque walks and waterfalls in the area.
Southern Grampians Waterfalls
- Wannon Falls: an exceptional, not to mention, often powerful waterfall just outside of Hamilton in the southern Grampians. It’s an easy waterfall to admire involving a short walk from the car park to a fantastic viewing platform. Carved through ancient lava flow, Wannon Falls sits within a picture-perfect landscape of rugged rocks and serene countryside.
- Nigretta Falls: close to the impressive Wannon Falls is Nigretta Falls. Indeed, if you’re seeing one, you might as well see the other too. The craggy surface Nigretta Falls tumbles down means it has to branch off in many directions to find its way to the pool below. So, rather than seeing one cascade, you’ll actually see many drops as the Wannon River fights to find its path downstream, especially if there’s been a lot of rainfall.
Other Things to Do in the Grampians
Grampians National Park might be a hive of natural attractions, but, there are other activities to consider, especially if the weather is poor. Let’s take a look.
- Halls Gap Botanical Gardens: enjoy native plants and short walking trails around the gardens. Certainly, the area is super family-friendly, with the pathways easy to walk on. As you walk around the gardens, you can stop to admire the sculptures and learn about the local flora.
- Aboriginal Rock Art Sites: the Grampians National Park is home to 90% of Victoria’s Aboriginal rock art sites, which makes visiting some of these historical and cultural sites an absolute must. Check out Gulgurn Manja Shelter at Hollow Mountain as well as Billimena Shelter and Manja Shelter in the western Grampians.
- Brambuk – The National Park & Cultural Centre: the Brambuk Cultural Centre is a wonderful place to learn more about the Grampians (Gariwerd) and the Jadawadjali and Djab Wurrung people. You can also purchase a range of indigenous products and enquire about activities in the area. Brambuk also has a great cafe.
- Halls Gap Zoo: for the ultimate family-friendly attraction in the Grampians, it’s hard to beat the Halls Gap Zoo. Indeed, it’s the largest regional zoo in Victoria and sits perfectly against the backdrop of the Grampians.
- Wildlife Art Museum (WAMA): after visiting the Halls Gap Zoo, why not head across the road to the Wildlife Art Museum? WAMA is a 16-hectare area of woodlands, wetlands and botanical gardens, showcasing art, science and nature.
- Pomonal Estate Winery: this winery, microbrewery and cider house is located a 10-minute drive from Halls Gap and is the perfect spot to relax. The locally crafted produce is served within a modern building and a picturesque Grampians landscape.
How to Get to the Grampians National Park
So, now you know about 37 awesome things to do in the Grampians National Park, let’s look at how to get there in the first place. The Grampians lie around 250km west of Melbourne and take around three hours to drive to. You’ll take the Western Highway all the way to Ararat, before joining the C222 Ararat-Halls Gap Road straight through towards the Grampians. It’s a very straightforward journey.
It’s possible to take public transport to Dunkeld and Halls Gap, but, you’re looking at quite a long-winded journey. In addition, once in the Grampians, the best way to visit the attractions described in this guide is with your own set of wheels. Certainly, the ease of driving around the Grampians to each walk, waterfall or lookout is both time-efficient and convenient.
If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.
Grampians National Park Tours
If you don’t want to drive or rent a car, then it is possible to visit the Grampians National Park from Melbourne by taking a tour.
There are many day tours and even multi-day tour options for visiting the Grampians from Melbourne. Some of the most popular include the following from GetYourGuide – Grampians National Park Group Tour, Grampians National Park Bushwalking Tour and 3-Day Great Ocean Road and Grampians Small-Group Tour.
Grampians National Park Group Tour
Visit scenic lookouts and waterfalls on this jam-packed day trip from Melbourne
Grampians National Park Bushwalking Tour
Experience the Aboriginal culture, visit waterfalls and spot wildlife on this fantastic Melbourne day trip
Getting to Melbourne
Certainly, if you’re visiting from abroad, you’ll first need to fly to Melbourne to visit the Grampians National Park.
Skyscanner is our go-to website for booking flights. If you’re looking to find the cheapest flights, we recommend getting the ball rolling with a Skyscanner search. It allows you to scan all airlines and platforms to find the cheapest airfares.
To find out more about booking the cheapest flights, read our Skyscanner review.
Grampians National Park Weather
The beauty of the Grampians is that it can be visited any time of year. Indeed, Dan and I visited the Grampians National Park in winter and had a wonderful time. In fact, winter and spring are the best times of year to visit if you want to see the waterfalls looking their best because there has been more consistent rainfall.
But, for longer days of hiking, warmer weather and a better chance to enjoy some wild swimming spots, you’ll want to visit in summer. But, summer also coincides with peak tourism. So, expect busier walking trails and lookouts.
Grampians National Park Accommodation
You’ll find the majority of accommodation options for the Grampians in Halls Gap. Indeed, there are hotels, guest houses, cabins and chalets galore. But, Dunkeld also has a few hidden gems when it comes to comfortable, memorable and unique stays.
Below is a quick list of our favourite budget, mid-range and luxury accommodation options in the Grampians National Park. But, we’ll also link to our bigger accommodation guide afterwards to help you choose the right accommodation for your trip.
Grampians Eco YHA
Budget: the main hostel in town is the Grampians Eco YHA. Enjoy the super clean facilities and spacious common rooms.
Mid-range: enjoy a tranquil escape with features including a cosy alpine-style chalet nestled in nature at Grampians Chalets
Grampians National Park Camping
When it comes to camping in the Grampians National Park, there are a wealth of options. Certainly, every need is catered for. Whether you’re up for the challenge of hike-in camps, experiencing the remote locations of campgrounds within the national park or simply prefer the amenities of a caravan park, you’ll easily find something that ticks all your boxes.
One of our favourite caravan parks is Breeze Holiday Parks Hall Gap. When it comes to location, amenities and comfort, this is certainly one of the top options in Halls Gap and the Grampians.
Additionally, there are plenty of Parks Victoria walk-in campgrounds along hiking trails and within the beautiful surroundings of the Grampians. Some of the most popular include Smiths Mill Campground, Boreang Campground, Borough Huts Campground and Stony Creek Campground. But, be sure to check the Parks Vic website for booking conditions and availability.
Where to Eat in the Grampians
Top places to eat in the Grampians include Livefast Cafe for coffee and brunch, Spirit of Punjab for dinner and Coolas Icecreamery for, of course, ice cream. You’ll find all these eateries in Halls Gap.
In Dunkeld, head to the Royal Mail Hotel. Here, you’ll find fine dining at its, well, finest. Alternatively, for something a little more lowkey, head to Dunkeld Old Bakery and Cafe for a quaint little brunch spot.
Below, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about visiting the Grampians National Park.
Is Grampians National Park Worth it?
Yes, absolutely. Certainly, there are 37 reasons to visit in this guide alone.
What Is Special About the Grampians National Park?
The Grampians have some of the most unique geology in Australian national parks, not to mention Aboriginal rock art in abundance. The natural beauty is outstanding and quite rightly deserves to be seen.
Are Dogs Allowed in the Grampians National Park?
Dogs are not allowed within the Grampians National Park. Although, you will find some areas in Halls Gap and Dunkeld where dogs are permitted, should you choose to take your pooch with you. In public areas, your dog should be kept on a lead at all times.
How Big Is Grampians National Park?
167,219 hectares (413,210 acres)
What to Do in the Grampians National Park?
Walking, waterfall chasing, scenic lookouts, relaxing wineries, wild swimming… the list is endless.
What Is the Best Time to Visit the Grampians National Park?
This really depends on what you’re keen to see and do. Waterfalls are better during winter and early spring. But, wild swimming and better hiking weather are experienced in summer. Luckily, the Grampians National Park offers something all year round, so you’ll not be disappointed whenever you visit.
Five Gear Essentials For Visiting the Grampians
You’ll likely be spending a great deal of your time in the great outdoors on a visit to the Grampians National Park. As such, these are our gear essentials for any trip to the Grampians.
Osprey Skarab 30
The Osprey Skarab 30 is our go-to hiking backpack for day hikes. This well-designed unisex backpack is comfortable and spacious, so you’ll have plenty of space to pack everything without feeling the strain on your upper back.
Osprey Ultralight Raincover
A waterproof backpack cover is an absolute must when you’re adventuring outdoors. The Osprey Ultralight Raincover Medium is a high-quality waterproof cover that’ll keep your backpack bone dry.
GRAYL Reusable Water Bottle
The GRAYL GeoPress is the best water filter bottle that allows you to purify 710mL (12 ounces) of water. This bottle will make water safe to drink wherever you’re hiking.
BUFF Original Ecostretch
The BUFF Original Ecostretch is a great option when it comes to multifunctional headwear. We use the Ecostretch as a neck gaiter to keep the sun off our necks and it helps us keep warm in cooler climates.
To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite hiking gear, travel gear and camera gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.
- Grampians Grape Escape: every May, the Grampians National Park hosts this exciting food and wine festival in Halls Gap.
- Run The Gap Race: if you’re feeling super fit, consider taking part in the Run The Gap race, which sees participants take on trails of up to 21km long.
- Rock Climbing: the national park is a famous rock climbing destination, and you’ll see why when you encounter the incredible rock formations throughout the Grampians.
- Swimming: there are four main lakes in the Grampians – Lake Wartook, Lake Fyans, Lake Bellfield and Lake Lonsdale. You’ll find a variety of watersports, fishing and wild swimming spots at the majority of these lakes.
- More of Victoria: the Grampians is certainly one of our favourite places we’ve visited in Victoria. But, other awesome places include the Great Ocean Road, Mornington Peninsula and of course, Wilsons Prom (guides coming soon).
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We acknowledge and respect the First Nations people as the Traditional Custodians of the land/water that we visited and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.