A last minute change to our plans, this crazy year with COVID made our plans change yet again, so we ended up in Victoria! In this state our first stop was “The Grampians” It is one of our favourite National Parks in Australia because it offers you lots of wildlife, incredible views and awe inspiring hikes, here are some of our experiences:
We stayed for a week in Halls Gap, a small charming town filled with wildlife, we saw sheeps, deers, rabbits, Emus and tons of kangaroos every single day we were there. We stayed at The Old Emu Stay campground for the week and we loved it as every day we went for a hike or just to the town, which is very close, the campground was very private and right next to a beautiful dam and surrounded by lots of animals.
Our first hike in The Grampians was the famous Pinnacles which you have to drive to Wonderland Carpark where the hike starts. The hike is 2km only but it is very challenging as the whole way you are going all the way up on rocks, but once you get there the view is amazing! Make sure you explore around for awesome rocks formations and on the right of the lookout, around 3 minutes walk towards the other carpark is “The Nerve Test” it is a narrow arch way. It got its name from daring individuals walking out over it. With a long fall to the ground on either side and very little structural support, we do not recommend to do it as it is very dangerous, but it is a cool place to see and even explore the underside. Keep an eye out for wildlife on this hike especially as we got so lucky enough to find a Equidna, 2 kangaroos and many of different species of lizards.
We decided to explore this place for sunrise and it was such a good idea! It is such a surreal feeling being above the clouds! Usually at this time of the year (Nov) the sunrise happens at 6:00am so we got there at 5:30 and started the 30minute hike up to the lookout. Mt William is the highest point in the whole Grampians National Park so you can imagine how amazing the views are from here! The walk is also 2km from the carpark but it is not a bush walk. You hike up a sealed road that is used by emergency and working vehicles only, for the telecommunications tower located at the top of the mountain. Make sure you stretch before and after and bring water. If you are coming to see the sunrise too try to go with time to allow you to go slow and take breaks, we had to rush to make it in time.
Another place we explored at sunrise and probably the easiest to do so. The Boroka Lookout is 35 minutes driving from Halls Gap but from the carpark to the lookout is only walking maximum 2 minutes so its easy for a sunrise here. Seeing the sun going up on the valley through the mountains was something very spectacular. And because it was so close to the carpark we got to make breakfast and do a picnic with warm coffee and tea enjoying the view, it can’t get better than that, so special!
Accessible from the Reed Lookout carpark, arguably the most photographed place in the Grampians and we clearly see why! Its one of the most impressive views of the whole National Park and only a 20 minute hike, very easy and flat walk, we saw the sunset here and it was really special seeing the day ending with so many different colours light up sky and making silhouettes out of the very characteristic mountains ranges over the valley. Very impressive place!
These incredible waterfalls are something we really recommend you go and see. From the carpark you can walk to a lookout and see the waterfall from the top just in case you are in a rush or you can just go straight down all the way to the bottom next to the waterfall. Its around 300 steps but totally worth it to see one of the largest waterfalls in the whole state of Victoria and this waterfall flowing all year long. In this waterfall you can not swim or go close to the water as a lot of accidents happen here. The locals told us some stories where people go for a swim and then get push under a rock shelf under the waterfall and die there. Please don’t take the risk as the power of waterfall is deceiving. After the Mackenzie Falls you can keep walking all the way to Fish Falls another 2 km, we didn’t do it because we were getting hungry but definitely doing it next time.
Seppelt has been making wine in Australia for over 160 years. The first company in Australia to create sparkling Shiraz and have one of the most impressive factory’s we have ever seen. This is an perfect place to have a wine tasting in the area and the tour is only $15 per person including the tasting and underground cellar tour, which we think is a great price. The tour start showing you all the history of the winery, the many owners over the years and how they become so famous in Australia. After you get to explore the underground cellars that go for more than 3 km beneath the historic Great Western home. These cellars were dug out by hand by out of work gold miners in 1868 and today it stores the wineries most important wines down there.
We have had so much fun in The Grampians! A very special place and can’t wait to go back to explore some more.
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