Venus Baths is one of the best natural swimming holes in the Grampians National Park. The gentle Stony Creek flows down the smooth mountainside of Halls Gap, pooling in naturally carved-out basins. These shallow and refreshing bathing holes are perfect to relax in on a warm summer’s day. Or, simply admire the gently sloped rocks surrounding Venus Baths from afar on a cool winter’s day. Whenever you choose to visit, you’re sure to love the charm and natural beauty of Venus Baths in the Grampians.
Below, we’ll tell you exactly how to visit the wonderful Venus Baths in Halls Gap, Victoria.
For more natural attractions in the Grampians, check out 15 Best Hikes In The Grampians: The Complete Guide
Table of Contents
About Venus Baths, Grampians
Venus Baths are a collection of picturesque rock pools in Halls Gap, Grampians. Carved into the smooth circular pools by Stony Creek, the small, irregularly shaped basins make for the most refreshing of dips on a warm and sunny day in the Grampians National Park.
Reaching Venus Baths involves a short and not-too-steep walk from Halls Gap in the Grampians. The picturesque trail meanders through pretty woodland as it traces the path of Stony Creek, creating a wonderful loop walk. Indeed, Venus Baths is super easy to reach from Halls Gap and is easily one of the Grampian’s top tourist attractions.
Venus Baths are free to visit and open 24/7. You can check the Parks Victoria website for up-to-date information regarding the area.
History of Venus Baths
Amazingly, Venus Baths have been welcoming bathers for well over 100 years. Along the walk, you’ll see a selection of pretty swimming pools. It was the upper pool that was first referred to as Venus Baths. Since then, and with growing popularity, the wider area became known as Venus Baths.
Where Is Venus Baths?
Venus Baths are located along Stony Creek in Halls Gap, central Grampians. To help get your bearings, please click on the image below to access an interactive map of the area on Google Maps.
Venus Baths Loop Walk
- Type: Loop
- Distance: 2.3km
- Time: 1 hour
- Accumulated elevation gain: 20m
- Difficulty: Easy
- Trailhead: Halls Gap
- Map: AllTrails
After parking at Halls Gap Picnic Reserve (next to Halls Gap Swimming Pool), you’ll first take the path towards the Halls Gap Botanical Gardens. Stony Creek will be on your left after you’ve crossed over the footbridge. The trail gently climbs and undulates as it passes towering rock walls and dense vegetation.
After around 1km, you’ll reach Venus Baths. Now, depending on the time of year you visit, you might be keen for a quick dip.
Venus Baths Swimming
Venus Baths is one of the best wild swimming spots in the Grampians. Although, you won’t find deep plunge pools at Venus Baths. So, swimming might be pushing it a bit. But, you can take a shallow dip and have a relaxing soak in the many circular pools created by Stony Creek as it flows down the steep-sided valley. Indeed, it’s quite a popular place for families with children to come and play and have a splash around. So, if you’re after something relaxing, don’t come in the middle of the day.
The small pools are multi-tiered, so you can have a wander about and have a paddle in each water hole. The water in the pools is a clear brownish colour, and occasionally, if there’s been enough rainfall, there are small cascades at the top end. In fact, a recent bout of rainfall is not only good in terms of making sure the small pools at Venus Baths have water in them but also in terms of keeping the water flowing through. We certainly wouldn’t recommend entering Venus Baths if Stony Creek was too dry to pass through as the water can become stagnant.
The curved rocks surrounding the pools create perfect access points to the water. Take care if it’s rained, as they can become a little slippery. But, in hot weather, they’re great sun traps to pop the towel down and soak in the warmth.
Venus Baths Back to Halls Gap
After enjoying your soak in Venus Baths, take the nearby footbridge across Stony Creek, and return to Halls Gap. Again, Stony Creek will be on your left-hand side as you walk back. You’ll exit the walk around the Halls Gap Caravan Park. Then, simply retrace to the car park.
Extended Venus Baths Walk
The loop walk to Venus Baths from Halls Gap is an easy trail on well-maintained pathways. So, it’s a great walk for most abilities. But, there’s plenty more to see in this part of Halls Gap, if you’d like to extend your walk a little. Below, we’ll take a look at a few options.
From Venus Baths, you can continue the walk along the Wonderland Loop track to Splitter Falls. This is a wonderful waterfall in the Grampians and is an additional 1.5km further along the track from Venus Baths. The trail does steepen considerably in some parts after Venus Baths. But, the trail is still easy to follow and walk along.
Alternatively, you can access Splitter Falls from the Wonderland Car Park. Then, after seeing Splitter Falls, you can continue down to Venus Baths. This is a great alternative to starting in Halls Gap.
The Pinnacle Lookout
As one of the best lookouts across the Grampians National Park, it makes sense to head to The Pinnacle. The longer (and in our opinion, best) route to The Pinnacle starts in Halls Gap and passes by Venus Baths on the way. In fact, the loop walk to The Pinnacle from Halls Gaps passes by some of the Grampian’s best-loved natural attractions including Splitter Falls, Grand Canyon and Silent Street. You can find out more about this hike below.
Useful Things to Know Before You Go
Now you know about the walk to Venus Baths and where it is, below, we’ll cover a few useful things to know before visiting.
How to Get to Venus Baths, Halls Gap
The trailhead for the Venus Baths Loop Walk is located in the centre of Halls Gap, just off Grampians Road and School Road. Of course, to walk to Venus Baths, you’ll first need to get to the Grampians National Park. 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 to Halls Gap and the Grampians. It’s a very straightforward journey.
Although it’s possible to take public transport from Melbourne to the Grampians, you’re looking at an extremely long journey. Instead, it’s better to drive there yourself. If you need a car, we recommend using DiscoverCars.com. It’s a fantastic search engine for finding the cheapest car hire. Search for cheap car hire in Melbourne today.
Getting to Melbourne
If you’re visiting from abroad, you’ll first need to fly to Melbourne to visit the Grampians. We recommend using Skyscanner to search for the cheapest flights. When flying abroad, we always get the ball rolling with a Skyscanner search. Check out cheap flights to Melbourne today!
Parking and Other Facilities at Venus Baths
Alternate parking with a slightly different walk variation to Venus Baths can be found at Wonderland Car Park just off Mount Victory Road.
There are no facilities once you’re at the pools, so take all supplies with you.
Best Time to Visit Venus Baths
Undoubtedly, the best time to visit Venus Baths is after a decent bout of rain. As mentioned, the pools will be full, Stony Creek will be flowing through and you’ll enjoy an all-round better wild ‘swimming’ experience. To enjoy warm enough weather to take a dip, plus enough water, you should aim to visit Venus Baths in mid to late spring. During the hot summer months, it’s not unusual for the pools to dry up. But, they’re still beautiful to visit.
Dan and I visited in winter and found it a little cold to tempt us in. But, that didn’t deter some brave kids from having a paddle.
Venus Baths is also an extremely popular place to visit in the Grampians. The short walk combined with relatively safe conditions to take a dip means Venus Baths is always a family-friendly favourite in the Grampians. If you want to enjoy the shallow pools with fewer people, avoid weekends and school holidays. Also, outside of the summer months is much quieter. During our winter visit, we saw perhaps a handful of other people.
More Walks in the Grampians
There are plenty of wonderful natural attractions in the Grampians. Below, are a handful of our favourites.
- Mackenzie Falls: visit the biggest waterfall in the Grampians National Park.
- Silverband Falls: a picturesque waterfall close to Lake Bellfield.
- Hollow Mountain: beautiful cave lookouts across the northern Grampians.
- Mount William: summit the highest peak in the Grampians National Park.
- Boroka Lookout: one of the best lookouts in the Grampians with an easy walk.
- Reeds Lookout & The Balconies: a two-for-one lookout with a stop at this favourite Grampians spot.
- Wannon Falls: just outside of the Grampians is this fantastic waterfall dropping into a cauldron-like basin.
- Nigretta Falls: next to Wannon Falls is this rugged and picturesque waterfall.
Accommodation in the Grampians
Halls Gap is the main hub of the Grampians and makes for the best location to base yourself as you explore the national park. You’ll find plenty of accommodation options here, as well as general amenities and places to stock up on supplies. Below, we’ve put together the best budget, mid-range and luxury accommodation options to help plan 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.
Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park
Mid-range: relax in the pool and admire the brilliant mountain views at Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park.
Venus Baths Camping
It’s not possible to camp at Venus Baths themselves. But, given you’re a stone’s throw from Halls Gap, you’ll find plenty of camping options in town. Some of the best include Halls Gap Caravan Park, which is also at the trailhead to Venus Baths, Lake Fyans Holiday Park and Breeze Holiday Parks.
More Grampians Accommodation
- Camping in Halls Gap: 8 Epic Campgrounds In Central Grampians
- Camping In The Grampians: The Complete Guide
- Grampians Caravan Parks: 5 Best Caravan Parks in Halls Gap
- Halls Gap Accommodation: Best Hotel, Camping & Caravan Parks
- Grampians Accommodation: Where To Stay & What To Book
Below, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about visiting Venus Baths.
How Long Is the Venus Baths Walk?
It’s around 2.3km in distance and takes no longer than one hour to do. Of course, your time might be stretched out a little depending on how long you choose to spend at the pools.
Is Venus Baths Dog Friendly?
No. Sorry, doggos aren’t allowed at Venus Baths.
Can You Swim at Venus Baths?
Yes, although the term ‘swimming’ is technically pushing it. You can paddle, splash around or sit and relax in the cluster of pools at Venus Baths.
Five Gear Essentials For Venus Baths
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.
- Know the risks: as always, wild swimming is at your own risk. It’s always a good idea to assess the conditions for yourself upon arrival.
- Other swimming holes in the Grampians: if you’re keen for more wild swimming on your Grampians trip, then head to Lake Bellfield, where you’ll find a designated swimming spot complete with a beach.
- Botanical Gardens: since the walk takes you past the botanical gardens, why not pop in for a visit?
- Litter: remember, there are no bins or other general facilities along the trail to, and at, Venus Baths. So, take everything home with you.
- More of Victoria: some of our favourite places in Victoria include exploring along the Great Ocean Road, Mornington Peninsula and of course, Wilsons Prom (guides coming soon).
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