Travelling Victoria and wondering what are the best Grampians walks? In this guide we dive into the best Grampians hikes and trails for all visitors, and share our tips on how to make the most of your time in the Grampians National Park.
The Grampians is a mountain range extending southwest from the Great Dividing Range in the southwest of the Australia state of Victoria, and it is arguably one of the most beautiful places in the country.
People travel to the Grampians to experience the great hiking, rock climbing, Aboriginal history, camping and gorgeous lookout sites where you can literally see for miles.
The area has sandstone mountains where you can see amazing cliffs, deep gorges, fantastic weathered rock, stunning coloured wildflowers and lots of wildlife including echidnas and wallabies formations, and wildflowers.
You can base yourself out of the most well known town of Halls Gap, where many hiking trails start for or there are other hiking trails near with a short drive.
There is so much hiking in the area, and being on two feet is the best way to get out and see the area.
READ MORE: Wondering where else you should be visiting on your hiking adventures around the country? Check out our ultimate guide to the best places to visit in Australia!
But where do even you start? Right here of course!
We have created a mini guide of the best Grampians walks that you cannot miss, and share some tips and things you need to know about hiking in the Grampians.
Table of Contents
- Acknowledgment of Country
- Best Time to Visit the Grampians
- The 10 Best Grampians Walks to Check out
- MacKenzie Falls (Mikunung wira) Walk
- The Pinnacle Lookout
- Venus Baths Loop Walk
- The Balconies Walk
- Hollow Mountain (Wudjub-guyan) Track
- Boronia Peak Trail
- Chatauqua Peak Loop
- Mount Abrupt (Mud-Dadjug) Track
- Mt Sturgeon Track
- Mount Rosea Track
- Please Hike Responsibly
- How to Get to the Grampians
- Where to Stay in the Grampians
Acknowledgment of Country
In the spirit of reconciliation NOMADasaurus acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Gariwerd, the Djab Wurrung and Jardwardjali people, and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.
The Aboriginal history is strong in the area. Visiting the Brambuk Aboriginal Cultural Centre before you go on your hikes will give you a great insight into local Aboriginal history and rock art you may see.
The area of the Grampians is home to the Djab Wurrung and Jardwardjali people for 20,000 years. Grampians is know as “Gariwerd” in the local Aboriginal language.
The Aboriginal history is so strong here and this is why it is on the Australia’s National Heritage List to be protected. It is home to 90% of the rock art found in Victoria.
We would like to acknowledge the traditional lands of the Djab Wurrung and Jardwardjali people of the Djab wurrung country, and pay our. respect to Elders both past, present and future.
Best Time to Visit the Grampians
The Grampians is amazing at any time of year but Summer and Spring are definitely the most popular times.
Spring (Sept, Oct, Nov) – This is one of the best times to go. The mornings are crispy but the days are beautiful sand sunny. It is quieter during this time as it is not yet peak tourist season so you may have some attractions and hikes to yourself. Also being spring, the wildlife, birdlife and wildflowers are out so keep your eyes open.
Summer (Dec, Jan, Feb) – The temperature during this time can vary, from 30 – 40 degrees. One thing is that the skies are 95% clear so you wont be needing that rain jacket. This is peak times so the attractions and hikes may be busy.
Autumn (Mar, Apr, May) – During these months you still have lovely weather but the nights are chilly. In September the days will be around 15 degrees and rise to the around 30 degrees in November. The mornings are crispy and the night nights are cold but during the days the weather is beautiful for hiking.
Winter (Jun, Jul, Aug) – The winter months are cold and wet. This is not a bad time though if you love this weather but do not for get you warm jackets and good boots as temperatures will drop below 15 degrees during the days and below zero degrees at night. There are way fewer visitors here during this time.
Avoid being here during school holidays or long weekends as this area will be extremely busy.
The 10 Best Grampians Walks to Check out
There are many hikes in the area so choosing from, it all depends what you would like and your fitness level. Here is our list to help you choose:
MacKenzie Falls (Mikunung wira) Walk
- Distance: 2km return
- Duration: 1.5 hours return
- Start/finish: MacKenzie Falls carpark
- Difficulty: Medium
This is definitely one of the popular hikes in the the Grampians that most visitors do. The MacKenzie Falls is a must see when you are in this area as it is one of the largest waterfalls in Victoria. This waterfall is the only on in the Grampians that flows all year round.
The walk down to the base is pathed the whole way with steep stairs at the end down to the waterfall.
You will hear the sound of the fast water flowing fast and powerful before you see the giant waterfalls that waits you. Once you get down the stairs you will greeted with a water cascades over huge cliffs into a deep pool. It is a sight to see. The waterfalls are flowing all year.
If you can’t go down the the MacKenzie Falls base, you can check the waterfall out from the lookout. There is another path to a viewing platform. It also leaves from the car park and is about 1.9km flat return walk out to the lookout. It is wheelchair accessible.
The Pinnacle Lookout
This is one of the iconic hikes that you really need to add to your Grampians hiking bucket list. The lookout is stunning at the end of the trail.
There are 3 ways you can do this hike;
Sundial Carpark to the Pinnacle Lookout
- Distance: 4.2km return
- Duration: 2 hours return
- Start/finish: Sundial Carpark
- Difficulty: Medium
This is the trail Jarryd and I took to see the Pinnacle Lookout. The walk starts at the Sundial Carpark. This way is the quickest and the least challenging way to the Pinnacle Lookout.
You have an option to go straight up the trail to the summit or through the Grand Canyon. Unfortunately when we were there, it was closed so we couldn’t connect it.
The path consists of a sandy path in parts, to rocky steps to scrambling over rocks to standing on top of the world.
This walk was really enjoyable. The rock formations are incredible so stop and admire as some town over you.
When you are nearly up the top, you will walk through the Silent Street. This is amazing. It is a narrow path with rock cliffs either side. You have to pass through this street to get to the Pinnacle Lookout.
Once you reach the top you will be amazing by the stunning views over many Grampian peaks and the town of Halls Gap.
The path is well signed, maintained, easy to follow, well-trodden but there are parts that are very rocky and uneven in places. Do wear supported shoes for your ankles. They will thank you after. Follow the yellow arrows to the summit.
You will follow the same path back down.
Wonderland Carpark to the Pinnacle Lookout
- Distance: 5.5km circuit
- Duration: 2.5 hours return
- Start/finish: Wonderland Carpark
- Difficulty: Medium – Hard
This is the second way you can hike to the Pinnacle Lookout.
If you’re looking for a little more challenge to the lookout the take the trail from Wonderland Carpark.
The highlights along this route is the Grand Canyon, Cool Chamber, Bridal Veil Falls, and Silent Street.
After going through the amazing Silent Street you will reach the Pinnacle Lookout.
You will return on the same trail back to the Wonderland car park.
READ MORE: Based in the city? Check out our blog post on the best day trips from Melbourne!
Halls Gap to the Pinnacle Lookout
- Distance: 8.5km circuit
- Duration: 5 hours return
- Start/finish: Halls Gap Caravan Park, Halls Gaps
- Difficulty: Medium – Hard
Now this is the longest way to hike to the Pinnacle. If you are that person that likes a little more of a challenge and more of an all day adventure, this trail to the Pinnacle if the one for you.
This 8.5km circuit from the town of Halls Gap, is one for those who are experienced but also those who want to step up their hiking skills and challenge themselves. You can either do the track counter-clockwise or anti-clockwise.
Starting at the rear of the Halls Gap Caravan Park, the trail will take you even more into the Central Grampians than the other two route above.
This is where you can choose to go left or right. It you are a bit unsteady on your feet hiking, definitely bring some hiking poles.
Left trail will take you straight up to the lookout on a steep trails. From the beginning of the to the lookout, 3.5km and an elevation incline of 460m. There is a lookout point along the way.
The right trail you will following the Venus Baths trail along side the Stony Creek towards the Wonderland carpark.
Just before you get to the carpark you will see a sign for the Splitter Falls, don’t forget to check that out.
When you reach the carpark, you will hike through the Grand Canyon and Cool Chamber towards the Bridal Veil Falls.
When we were there the Grand Canyon stairs are closed, but there’s a short, well-marked detour around it.
You will follow the Silent Street before passing the Bridal Veil Falls and going on to reach the top of the Pinnacle lookout.
Once you relax up the top for a bit, you can walk back down to Halls Gaps on the trail.
This is all down on either trail from Pinnacle all the way to the Hall’s Gap carpark that took about an hour.
Venus Baths Loop Walk
- Distance: 2.3km circuit
- Duration: 1 hours return
- Start/finish: Halls Gap Caravan Park or Halls Gap Botanic Gardens
- Difficulty: Easy
This is a great walk for everyone. There are two trails to the Venus Baths. One on each side of Stony Creek. Following the creek is a lovely walk with sandstone shelf which creating nice little rock pools.
Along the walk you can listen to the flowing of water and look at the nice rock formations.
When you reach the Venus Baths it is a small area with little pools where you can go for a dip.
The trails start at either the Halls Gap Caravan Park just outside the entrance or at Halls Gap Botanic Gardens over the small bridge. This option involves steps and uneven ground.
READ MORE: Have a read of our best hiking tips by checking out our guide here: https://www.nomadasaurus.com/hiking-tips/
The best time to visit Venus Baths is on a hot spring day. Don’t forget to bring your bathing suit to go for a swim. But in the summer months the pools dry out.
This must see attraction in the Grampians is a beautiful little oasis when not dried up.
You can keep on walking past the Venus Baths and continue on to Splitters Falls. Or you can walk to the Venus Baths from the Wonderland Carpark. It is about 3.8km return on this trail.
The Balconies Walk
- Distance: 1km return
- Duration: 30 minutes
- Start/finish: Reed Lookout Carpark
- Difficulty: Easy
This easy stroll out to The Balconies lookout you will walk along a sandy and rocky trail with native shrubs and birdlife.
In the spring there are wildflowers in the area so keep you eyes out for them. Please do not pick them as they are protected.
Once you reach The Balconies lookout, you will know. You are at the end of the trail and will be greeted with panoramic views of Victoria Valley and the surrounding ranges.
If you are into photography or just enjoying beautiful sunsets, this spot is great Autumn sunsets and misty foggy mornings.
The trail is wheelchair accessible and fine for prams. At the carpark you will see Reed Lookout, so visit that before or after your hike.
Hollow Mountain (Wudjub-guyan) Track
- Distance: 2.3km return
- Duration: 2 hours
- Start/finish: Hollow Mountain car park
- Difficulty: Medium
This is one hike not to miss in the Grampians. The views from the top are beautiful and so worth the climb up.
You start off on a gravel path from the car park and you will soon reach the intersection to turn off to see the Gulgurn Manja Aboriginal Rock Art Site. This detour is so worth it and amazing to see. This is a very easy stroll from the carpark.
Returning from the Aboriginal rock art you will return to the main trail which will turn into a complete rock ‘track’ up to the hollow mountain peak. So wear sturdy shoes and bring hiking poles if you need.
Give yourself about an hour to get up. Make sure you take enough water.
As you are climbing up the views get better and better. Near the top you will have to climbing up and over rocks and crawl through a small cave to reach the summit. Please be careful with your footing as there has been accidents here in the past.
Once you reach the top of Wudjub-guyan (Hollow Mountain) you will be greeted with amazing views overlooking Mount Stapylton and the Wimmera plains.
Don’t forget to bring some snacks to sit and enjoy from the top. You will return on the same path back down to the carpark.
The road out to the Hollow Mountain carpark is not the best. The road is gravel and corrugated. Take your time.
Boronia Peak Trail
- Distance: 7.9km return
- Duration: 2.5 – 3 hours
- Start/finish: Brambuk Aboriginal Culture Centre carpark or Tandara Road carpark
- Difficulty: Medium
This well-marked trail is a steep trail that will lead you up to a ridge studded with rocky outcrops and rock walls.
The first part of the trail may look flat with a slight incline but don’t let this fool you. About a third of the way in you will start to feel that steep climb on your legs. You will hike though tall Messmate forest and native pines with native birds jumping from tree to tree.
Near the top you will have to scramble a little and climb a few rocks before being rewarded beautiful.
When you reach the top the views from Boronia Peak are breathtaking. You can see 360 views around the area from the top of the Wonderland range Grampians Ranges, Cathedral Range, Mount Williams Range.
The trail can start from behind the Brambuk Aboriginal Culture Centre carpark or from the Tandara Road carpark. You will follow the same trail back to the carpark where you left from.
Chatauqua Peak Loop
- Distance: 5.6km return
- Duration: 2.5 hours
- Start/finish: Halls Gap Recreational Oval / Halls Gap Botanical Gardens
- Difficulty: Medium
Chatauqua Peak Loop will not just take you up the top of the Chatauqua Peak but you will also pass Clematis Falls, Bullaces Glen, Venus Bath.
You will start the trail near the back of the Halls Gap Recreational Oval on a well marked trail through beautiful native bush.
The first stop off is the Clematis Falls. If you are walking the trial in Summer, this waterfall will be dry. The other times of the year there will be water flowing. It is not a big waterfall but it is a nice little stop over.
The trail is moderately steep to the Chatauqua peak. Near the top of the peak you a you will have scramble over some rock. It can get slippery on a wet day. So do be careful.
READ MORE: If you need a good quality hiking backpack, check out our ultimate guide here!
At about the 300m mark it may get a little challenging for some people, some rock scrambling is required. The path gets quite thin and you are exposed in the last 50m, so be careful when hiking during wet windy days.
When you reach the peak, surprisingly the views are beautiful despite the peak being a small mountain. The views are beautiful and definitely worth the hike.
From the Chatauqua Peak, you can walk back the way you came back to town or continue with the loop.
If you continue the loop you will reach Bullaces Glen which has lots of nice fern gully.
After safety crossing the Mt Victory Road, you will head towards the Venus Baths and onwards to the Botanical Gardens in Halls Gap.
Mount Abrupt (Mud-Dadjug) Track
- Distance: 6.5km return
- Duration: 3 hours
- Start/finish: Mount Abrupt car park
- Difficulty: Hard
The Mount Abrupt (Mud-Dadjug) track is one that needs to be done on a clear day otherwise you won’t see the beautiful views from the summit.
The track is a steep trail that winds through the surrounding woodlands to eventually finishing up on the summit. You may spot wildlife and birdlife along the way.
The first half of the trail is through forest and the other half is sub-alpine. Once you come out of the forest you will start getting some views of the area and Signal Peak.
When you finally reach the summit you will be greet with amazing views of the Southern Grampians and Dunkeld. Bring some snacks and enjoy the views for a bit. If it is a windy day, do be careful.
You follow the same trail back down to the car park. If you get a chance to do it, you’ll see why this is considered one of the best Grampians walks in the national park!
Mt Sturgeon Track
- Distance: 7km return
- Duration: 3 hours
- Start/finish: Intersection of Grampians Road and Victoria Valley Road
- Difficulty: Hard
This 7km Mt Sturgeon hike will take you to the top of the mountain so you can see panoramic views of the surrounding ranges and volcanic plains and over Dunkeld.
This hike is definitely not a leisurely one. This one for suited for fit and energetic walkers as you may have to cross waters, slippery track surfaces and rock hopping. Sturdy grippy shoes are required.
Follow the path up through open woodland. You will come across many steep sections through either as you make your way to the top.
It is all worth it when you reach the summit and you will be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding ranges and volcanic plains, and over Dunkeld.
Return by the same route back to the carpark.
Mount Rosea Track
- Distance: 9.4km return
- Duration: 4.5 hours
- Start/finish: Rosea car park
- Difficulty: Medium – Hard
The Mount Rosea track is a great hike up to the summit to get stunning views of the of the Serra and Mount William Ranges.
The hike starts in the Rosea car park, just follow the signs. The trail starts with a gentle rise on a well formed path through the stringybark forest before reaching more exposed rocky. You may do a little rock hopping along the way and see some magnificent rock formations.
You will reach an intersection when you are coming from the car park where if you go right you will go to a campground and to the left you will head up to the summit. Follow the painted arrows to the summit.
This section is the rocky section that is steep. Bring some hiking pole if this help.
You will reach the Gate of the East Wind which is a little bridge between two peaks at 920m. Do not look down is you are a little scary of heights.
Once you get to the summit you will have stunning views of the of the Serra and Mount William Ranges. Don’t miss the Mount Rosea Hike.
Please Hike Responsibly
When you are visiting anywhere in the world, leave no trace. Please take all your rubbish with you (including toilet paper),
Please do not feed or touch the wildlife. Remember dogs and domestic pets are not allowed in the park area. Dog and domestic pets are not allowed in any national park in Australia.
Fire are a great risk in the area. Campfires are only permitted in the fit pits that are designated at the campgrounds. Please obey and respect this. We don’t want any more crazy and harmful firs. It is for the safety of yourself, others, locals and local wildlife.
How to Get to the Grampians
The easiest and best way to get to the Grampians National Park is by a car.
The best way to get to Grampians is by car. The Grampians National Park is only a 3 hour drive from MelbourneYou are definitely going to want to have a car to explore the Grampians.
The attractions and hikes in the Grampians are spread out so by having a car if makes if more accessible.
The Western Freeway is the easiest way to get out there and it is not a difficult road to drive if you are new to our left hand driving.
Halls Gaps is the major town in the middle of the Grampians National Park. Put this town in your GPS.
The Grampians is easy to access with major roads and highways leading straight through the park, whether you are coming from Melbourne, Adelaide or the Great Ocean Road.
- Melbourne to Ararat – 2 hrs
- Melbourne to Halls Gap – 3 hrs
- Melbourne to Hamilton, via Dunkeld – 3.5 hrs
- Adelaide to Horsham – 4.5 hrs
- Twelve Apostles to Dunkeld – 2 hrs
The best way to get around is to rent a car and explore on your own! We recommend Rental Cars, which has the largest range of vehicles for the best value on the market.
There are public train and bus options to the towns of Ararat, Horsham and Stawell. But once you are at these destination you will need to hire a car to explore the Grampian National Park as the area is so large and everything is far from one another.
READ MORE – If you are looking for things to do in Melbourne after exploring Grampian National Park, check out our article.
Where to Stay in the Grampians
If you’re planning on hanging out here for a few days then you’ll need to find somewhere to stay.
You have a few options, including some budget-friendly accommodation in Halls Gap, and lots of camping opportunities.
Accommodation in Halls Gap
Halls Gap is a very pleasant town with just enough happening to keep you occupied in the evenings, and is a great base for hitting the best Grampians hiking trails around.
Check out what’s available below.
Camping in the Grampians
There are a number of campsites dotted around the Grampian National Park. Most are in the park and you have to reserve a spot online.
You can search and book your campsite here.
- Stapylton Campground
- Troopers Creek Campground
- Stony Creek Campground
- Boreang Huts Campground.
- Smiths Mill Campground
- Buandik Campground
- Strachans Campground
- Jimmy Creek Campground
- First Wannon Hiker Camp-Major Mitchell Plateau
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