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The Ultimate Guide to Grampians Hikes

The Ultimate Guide to Grampians Hikes

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The Grampians National Park, also known as “the Grampians” is a region west of Melbourne. The national park was listed Australian National Heritage List in 2006 and is known for its dramatic mountain ranges and hiking trails.

We last visited the Grampians over the Christmas holidays. It’d been several years since we last visited, and we still can’t believe it took us to visit!

If you’re a fan of the outdoors or love hiking, visiting the Grampians is a must if you live in Melbourne or are planning on visiting Australia. This guide will cover Grampians hikes you need to add to your itinerary the next time you’re in the area!

 

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Easy Grampians Hikes

While the Grampians has its fair share of difficult hikes, there are also a couple of short walks you can take. If you’re traveling with young kids or you don’t like walking, a visit to the Grampians is still worthwhile!

Here are some easy Grampians hikes you can take:

Reeds Lookout

Both the Reeds Lookout and the Balconies are iconic to the Grampians, and if you have time for only one thing when visiting, these should be at the top of your list.

Start at: Reeds lookout carpark
Distance: 100 m return
Time: 10 min
Track condition: Sealed road, some uphill

The Balconies

As mentioned above, The Balconies are iconic to the Grampians. While this requires a short walk, it is well worth the hike, and luckily most of this walk is relatively flat!

The Balconies are super popular for sunset, so if you’re visiting make sure you arrive a bit before the sun is due to set. Car parking can also be challenging to find (it can fill up during peak summer periods).

Note: Also make sure to follow signage. Due to the popularity, people will climb behind railings to get “the shot,” however, this is at the detriment of your safety.

Start at: Reeds lookout carpark
Distance: 2 km return
Time: 1 hr return
Track condition: mainly a flat track

grampians hikes - balconies

Boroka Lookout

While this isn’t technically a hike, visiting the Boroka lookout is in the spirit of easy walks. The lookout is right next to the carpark, so you don’t have far to go!

We visited early in the day to watch the sunrise and were happy not to need to walk through the dark to watch the sun rise over the horizon.

grampians hikes - boroka lookout at sunrise

The Pinnacle Walk from Sundial Carpark

While this is more of a medium walk, it is the easiest way to get to The Pinnacle. If you’re up for a bit more of a challenge, I’d recommend taking this walk. You will be rewarded at the end with beautiful views when you get to the pinnacle!

Want to know more about visiting the Pinnacle? Check out my ultimate guide to visiting the Pinnacle here!

Start at: Sundial Car Park
Distance: 2.1 km
Time: 45 min – 1 hr one way
Track Condition: some flat sections, but lots of uphill/rocky sections

grampians hikes - pinnacle at sunrise

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MacKenzie Falls Lookout Walk

The MacKenzie Falls Lookout Walk is a great way to see MacKenzie falls if you’re after a light walk. While the trail doesn’t take you to the base of the waterfalls, you’re rewarded with views of MacKenzie Falls and the MacKenzie River from above the gorge.

Start at: MacKenzie Falls Carpark
Distance: 1.9km return
Time: 40 minutes
Track condition: sealed walking track, mainly flat (but some uphill)

Silverband Falls

The Silverband Falls walk was one of my most favorite Grampians hikes. This short walk was an excellent way to finish up a long day of hikes, especially since most of the trail was through covered tree sections. I’d highly recommend this walk if you’re looking for a walk to do when it’s hot – the area was incredibly cool and covered when we visited.

Start at: Silverband car park
Distance: 1.4 km return
Time: 40 min return
Track condition: some up / downhill

grampians hikes - silverband falls

Medium Grade Grampians Hikes

Sometimes you want something a bit more challenging, and the Grampians is the best place to do it. Most of the Grampians walks involve hiking up, before you’re rewarded with some beautiful views! Make sure to come prepared with plenty of water (especially in the summer) and comfortable walking shoes.

The Pinnacle Walk from the Wonderland Carpark

This trail on the way to the Pinnacle takes you through sections which are a tad more exciting compared to the easier Pinnacle walk from the Sundial carpark. The walk takes you through the Grand Canyon, a much smaller version of the US’s Grand Canyon (shh, it’s still cool!) and a tiny rock-formed alleyway called Silent Street.

Want to know more about visiting the Pinnacle? Check out my ultimate guide to visiting the Pinnacle here!

Start at: Wonderland Carpark
Distance: 2.1 km
Time: 1.5 hr one way
Track Condition: mostly uphill rocky sections and steps

grampians hikes - pinnacle view

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MacKenzie Falls Walk

If you want to get up-close-and-personal with MacKenzie Falls, this is the walk for you! The start of the walk takes you to Broken Falls Lookout via a sealed (but steep) walking track. After this, the section becomes steep with lots of steps!

Start at: MacKenzie Falls Carpark
Distance: 2 km return
Time: 1 hr 20 min
Track Condition: sealed to Broken falls, then slippery + steep to the base of MacKenzie Falls

Hollow Mountain Walk

The Hollow Mountain walk is located north of Halls Gap, making it one of the lesser visited Grampians hikes. If you’re after something on the challenging side, this is worth a visit! The trail will take you through some rocky areas where you’ll get to do some rock hopping before you’re rewarded with views of Mt Stapylton Amphitheatre and the Wimmera Plains.

Start at: Hollow Mountain Car Park
Distance: 2.2 km return
Duration: 2 hrs
Track Condition: steep gravel track followed by rocky ledges

Hard / Difficult Grampians Hikes

Sometimes we just want something that’s going to push us (or maybe you really like hiking?)

Grampians Peaks Trail

While I haven’t had a chance to take the Grampians Peaks Trail, hopefully, this serves as some inspiration for those interested in a more difficult hike!

This trail is a 3 day /2-night loop walk, where you’ll get to stay at various campsites or huts along the way. To find out more, check out this page from Parks Victoria.

 

How to get there to the Grampians

The Grampians National Park is a 3 hr drive from Melbourne, Victoria. The drive can be done over a day, with a brief stop in the historic town of Ballarat, or spread out over 2 days.

grampians hikes - pinnacle

Where to stay in the Grampians

The most convenient place to stay is in Halls Gap, a town right next to the Grampians. If you’re planning on watching the sunrise or sunset in the Grampians, Halls Gap is the most convenient location.

Regardless of your budget or travel style, there are options for you. Halls Gap has everything from hostels to luxury lodges (yes!) so you’ll find something regardless of what you’re looking for.

To help my fellow travelers, here are a couple of suggested places to stay:

Solo budget travelers: Grampians Eco YHA

Located in Halls Gap, the Grampians Eco YHA is unlike any other hostel I’ve been to. There’s 2 lounges (both with a fireplace to warm up to when it’s cold outside!), 2 kitchens AND a complimentary herb garden. The property also has free-range chicken eggs too. If you’re traveling solo or on a budget, this is the perfect place to stay.

Check out TripAdvisor Reviews | Book on Booking.com | Book on Expedia 

 

Romantic couples: DULC Cabins

If you’re after a romantic getaway, DULC cabins need to be at the top of your list. Every time I go to the Grampians, I always want to stay here. Unfortunately, I’m a last-minute trip planner, so they’re always booked out!

The DULC cabins are single and two story cabins. They have been architecturally designed to blend in with the bush environment. Each cabin comes with a spa bath and a gas log fire to snuggle up in front of at the end of the day.

Check out TripAdvisor ReviewsBook through booking.com | Book on Expedia 

 

Budget-friendly: Halls Gap Caravan Park

For families or those on a budget, the Halls Gap Caravan Park is a great option. They also have cabins available for those who don’t have caravans or don’t want to camp. All cabins have air conditioning (super helpful for hot, sunny days), a dining area and kitchenette (which includes a stovetop, microwave, and fridge).

We’ve stayed at the Halls Gap Caravan Park on previous visits to the Grampians and found them to be great value for money. Make sure you book ahead though – cabins fill up, especially around school holidays!

Check out TripAdvisor ReviewsBook through booking.com | Book on Expedia 

 

Mid-range: Mountain View Motor Inn & Holiday Lodge

Only a 5-minute drive from Halls Gap, this property is on 6 hectares of native gardens. Every room has a view of the Grampian Mountains (so you don’t forget where you are!) You’re also far away enough from the hustle of Halls Gap that you’ll get to do a fair bit of nature watching – kangaroos, emus and kookaburras call this property home!

All rooms have air conditioning, heating, electric blankets and tea/coffee making facilities.

Check out TripAdvisor ReviewsBook through booking.com | Book on Expedia 

 

Luxury: Boroka Downs

Boroka Downs is a eco-friendly, adults-only retreat. Each bungalow as a kitchen, fireplace, spa bath and floor-to-ceiling views for you to take in those views. You’ll also get free use of mountain bikes, golf equipment and a hiking backpack containing binoculars, maps and wildlife reference books!

Boroka Downs is such a beautiful property, and perfect for those who are looking for a proper escape. It also has the convenience of being only a 7-minute drive to Halls Gap.

Check out TripAdvisor ReviewsBook through booking.com | Book on Expedia 

 

Growing up in Melbourne, I spent many of my school holidays with my family at the Grampians. This area is especially popular amongst Australian families, and given it’s only a 3 hr drive from Melbourne makes for a favorite weekend or long-weekend getaway.

I hope my guide to Grampians hikes helped you plan your trip!

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1 Comment

  1. February 8, 2019 / 9:36 pm

    These look lovely! I mean, they are all pretty short, but I guess that means you could easily fit in a bunch of hikes in a single day! I am looooving all those views. 😀

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