Photo: From a distance, The Grampians Ranges.
See the Grampians region map, Victoria Grampians Map.
Highlights to be found include, Brambuk NPCC, Wonderland Range and northern Grampians Walks, MacKenzie Falls, Reeds Lookout, Zumstein and Mts William and Abrupt.
Though we know the rugged ranges were formed about 50 million years ago by volcanic activity and are largely composed of granite and sandstone, facts and figures will never describe the sensation of standing in a landscape as ancient as this.
To say it verges on the mystical is not an exaggeration - the local Koori Aboriginal people regard it as a sacred place.
How do you convey the magnificence of the Grampians? Is it possible to convey the ancient grandeur, astounding vistas and wonderful bushwalks in words? Even photography can only hint at the feeling of walking through this landscape.
The Grampians National Park is 167,000 hectares of prime Aussie bushland, and stretches 90 kilometres north to south. While words and pictures can only partially re-create the majesty of the Grampians, numbers certainly help us understand the sheer size and biological importance of this region.
The park contains 970 species of native plants, 200 species of birds, 35 types of mammals, 28 different reptiles, 11 amphibians and six species of freshwater fish.
When Major Thomas Mitchell encountered the Grampians in 1836 (and named them after a Scottish range of the same name), he wrote that they, were
“a noble range of mountains, rising in the south to a stupendous height, and presenting as bold and picturesque an outline as a painter ever imagined”
Clearly, the Grampians move people’s souls. Off the beaten track, there are more than 50 signposted bushwalking trails, from the easiest nature trails to full-on bush adventures. Springtime brings a covering of wildflowers as complex and colourful as any tapestry. For those who like to sleep out under the stars and watch the billy boil over a bed of burning embers, this is a camper’s paradise.
The Grampians region contains 80 per cent of all Southern Australian rock art - some of which can be viewed on Brambuk’s daily rock art tours, hosted by Indigenous cultural officers. In Brambuk’s spectacular Dreaming Theatre the creation story of Gariwerd is depicted via a multimedia experience, while a café serves modern "bush tucker". Brambuk - The National Park and Cultural Centre is jointly owned by five local Aboriginal communities.
The National Park and Cultural Centre (Brambuk NPCC) provides all walking, driving, camping and insight into the region’s Aboriginal culture and heritage. Rugged sandstone ranges, waterfalls, wildflowers, Aboriginal rock art and a wide variety of birds and mammals make the Grampians an ideal spot for scenic drives, bushwalking or rock climbing.
Parks Victoria and Conservation Volunteers Australia offer a great new way for visitors to get involved in a unique wildlife experience - in the heart of the Grampians National Park. Travellers can assist with mammal trapping and research as they explore the National Park and visit areas off the typical tourist route.
All programs are escorted by a CVA program leader and Parks Victoria ranger. Tours includes meals, accommodation, scheduled activities and transfers from Melbourne. The project has already rediscovered some animals thought to have died out in the Grampians, including the Long Nosed Potoroo, Heath Mouse and Southern Brown Bandicoot.
Conservation Volunteers Australia was founded in Ballarat, Victoria, in 1982 and now runs nature-based and volunteer trips around the country. Conservation Volunteers Australia.
Visitor Information Centres can be found at Hamilton, Dunkeld, Horsham, Halls Gap, Stawell and Ararat.
Distance from Melbourne: 260km (162 miles)
Distance from Adelaide: 460km
Approximate drive time: 3 hours 30 minutes
How to get to the Grampians: Access: To Halls Gap via Ararat or Stawell along the Western Freeway, or via Hamilton (Dunkeld township is the southern gateway to the park) from the Great Ocean Road on the Great Southern Touring Route. Nearest town or city: Stawell (26km), Horsham and Ararat.
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Photo: Grampians National Park