“Gariwerd”, that’s what the folk in the area call it. It is one of the four locations in all of Australia from where you can literally find yourself walking above the clouds. Being anywhere within a 40 km radius of the three main gateways to the Grampians will make you understand why this is an area of splendour and rich geological landscape.
The Grampians from Afar
Located North West of Melbourne, the Grampians region covers about 1,600 km², with its highest peak at Mt. William reaching 1167m above sea level. Most of the ranges are made of sandstone formed over around 40 million years. It’s a region with an insane layout thanks to its crazy evolution which has thus given us the opportunity to explore a variety of unique formations and paths all naturally carved out. Places like Halls Gap, Hollow Mountain, Wonderland, the Pinnacles and many other within the Grampians are surely a playground for all the avid hikers, photographers, biologists and geologists out there.
The Splendid Grampians
It’s easy to say that you have a lot to see and explore here, but it’s not an easy task to plan out your route, because of the time needed to get to see most of it. Thus, take time to create a good plan beforehand, as you can easily get caught up in one area or end up being directed to another, as there is no direct access. Hall’s Gap is the most popular area to enter, because of easily accessible places, besides the fact that a couple of the main attractions are located here. It also has a very small town from where you can get your supplies, find accommodation, have a dip in the thermal pools and have a walk around the only lake in the area.
The Top of the Heap
The best treks by far would be those of the Pinnacles, Mt William and Hollow Mountain. These treks take you through canyons and narrow crevasses, steep climbs, rock climbs and a combination of tricky and exciting passages. Both experienced and amateur hikers would enjoy spending a day of exploration here, because of the ascent hikes that lead to some stunning scenery, as do some viewpoints along the 2wd and 4wd tracks. I can guarantee that these tracks will take you to some more beautiful scenic spots and best of all these places will most likely capture your imagination, with the area being completely to yourself. Picture this: your vehicle, a camp fire, a hot toddy, a stunning view of the landscape or the Milky Way and stars. What more could you ever ask for?
Another note worth taking into consideration is that when you set out on treks here, you have to take plenty of water, a compass or a GPS with you. This way you can do night hikes across the ranges without risking falling over into the many crevasses that you find the closer you get to the summit. The Pinnacles is a very good example here. You’ll also come across the Moora Moora reservoir, a swampy area rich in bird life as well as small mammals. Most of the top 4wd tracks can be found close to this area, in the central valley of the Grampians. Just get a map from any of the small communities around the main entrances and you will be able to see what is what and where to go. Only a few times a year, if lucky, one may get to see the clouds below from any view point above 800m. It will truly make you feel as if you were in the heavens. Don’t forget to take good hiking shoes, but one thing is for sure; don’t forget to take your camera! The Grampians is a place definitely worth capturing.
Until next time, let the World be your playground.