The Grampians

Grampians National Park Travel Blog

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The Grampians

The Great Ocean Road officially continues further west to Port Fairie, but we left it and turned north already from Warrnambool. On country roads we drove inland. Quiet side roads lead through flat farmland with standing hay. After a while, a row of frozen waves appeared on the horizon.

The Grampians consist of granite layers that are rising in an angle of about 20°. They form several parallel mountain chains. One side of the mountains rises gently. The other side breaks off sharply in amazing rock formations. From the southern side they show their wave-like silhouette best.

The town of Dunkeld is the gateway to the Grampians from the south. Here the Grampians Tourist Road begins. Since Dunkeld is still outside the tourist areas, this is a good place to stock up cheaply on groceries, fuel, beer and whatever other supplies campervan travellers may need.

Pastures with standing hay
Dunkeld is located at the foot of the first hills and has beautiful landscape views. 

We only had two days and just saw a few highlights. The Grampians National Park has far more to offer and can keep you busy much longer. There are many Off the beaten path attractions and endless hiking trails. We were lucky to find a spot for our campervan in a campground in Halls Gap. It was the Easter weekend and very busy.

The lawns of the campground were the local kangaroos' favourite grazing ground. They hopped around among cabins and campervans in the early morning. The herd consisted of a male with a group of females and last year's joeys. They were not tame, they allowed us to approach them no closer than 3 metres, and only if we were quiet and moved carefully.

I took the kangaroo photos on Easter morning.

Grampians view from Dunkeld
We had a funny little discussion with the children on the next-door site afterwards. We asked if the Easter roos had brought the Easter eggs in their pouches. I mean, it is far easier for them to deliver all those eggs than for a little bunny. The kids insisted on the existence of the Easter Bunny, though...

The most famous spot in the whole National Park, which is depicted in any Australia coffee table book, are The Balconies. Some granite rocks protrude over the abyss and form, well, balconies.

The most spectacular pair of them are known as the „Jaws of Death“. It is hard to catch a photo of them without a tourist posing inside the 'mouth'. Climbing down there is forbidden and a tiny bit dangerous, nevertheless almost everybody does. (We did not.

Dunkeld's main street
)

The side road to the Balconies is well marked. From the parking lot it is a walk of about 15 minutes on an easy trail.

Reed Lookout can be reached from the same parking lot as the Balconies with a 10 minute walk in the opposite direction. The fire tower on top of the ridge offers a 360° view of the massif. This is the perfect location to stand guard and watch out for bush fires. It is also a perfect spot to enjoy a wide landscape view.

Zumstein is situated on the main road from Halls Gap to Horsham, there is a parking lot next to the meadows. The place is basically no more than a grassy clearing surrounded by bushland. But it is a great spot to observe wildlife.

Kangaroos in our campground
Kangaroos and other animals like coming here to graze and can be seen close by.

Please do not feed the kangaroos, you are not doing them any favour if you do. They will get sick.

From the MacKenzie Falls parking lot, well marked like all the others, there are two options: an easy hike on an even trail to a viewpoint above the falls, and the descent down to the falls which is not actually difficult but couch potatoes (*ahem*) will prefer the other trail. We visited in early autumn when the falls did not have that much water, they will look more spectacular in spring.

The road from Halls Gap towards Horsham runs through Wartook Valley. The farmland at the foot of the mountains offers grazing grounds for emus and kangaroos (although the farmers won't be happy about these participants, they want their cattle and not wildlife to eat the grass). Driving along this road you can almost be certain to see flocks of emus and groups of the big Grey Kangaroos in the pastures.

We continued our drive through the mountains along Rose Gap Road and back to Halls Gap. 

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The Grampians
The Grampians
Pastures with standing hay
Pastures with standing hay
Grampians view from Dunkeld
Grampians view from Dunkeld
Dunkelds main street
Dunkeld's main street
Kangaroos in our campground
Kangaroos in our campground
A young beauty with big dark eyes
A young beauty with big dark eyes
Kangaroos in our campground
Kangaroos in our campground
Grampians Tourist Road
Grampians Tourist Road
Reed Lookout
Reed Lookout
View from Reed Lookout
View from Reed Lookout
View and rock formations at Reed L…
View and rock formations at Reed …
The Jaws of Death
The Jaws of Death
The Jaws of Death
The Jaws of Death
Rare photo: The Jaws of Death with…
Rare photo: The Jaws of Death wit…
The Jaws of Death lookout
The Jaws of Death lookout
Grampiaans Tourist Road
Grampiaans Tourist Road
A Grey Currawong comes to visit
A Grey Currawong comes to visit
Kookaburra
Kookaburra
MacKenzie Falls
MacKenzie Falls
By the path to MacKenzie Falls
By the path to MacKenzie Falls
Kangaroo at Zumstein
Kangaroo at Zumstein
Kangaroo at Zumstein
Kangaroo at Zumstein
Kangaroo at Zumstein
Kangaroo at Zumstein
Sign at Zumstein
Sign at Zumstein
Emus in Wartook Valley
Emus in Wartook Valley
Rose Gap Road, snapshot from the c…
Rose Gap Road, snapshot from the …
Grampians National Park
photo by: skippyed