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A Visit to the Grampians, Victoria

Updated on January 22, 2013
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Bronwen has lived in, taught in and visited a number of countries and loves to share these travel experiences with others.

Waiting for the Bus at Stawell Train Station
Waiting for the Bus at Stawell Train Station | Source

The Grampians National Park

The Grampians National Park

For anyone who enjoys the Australian bush with its lovely its flora and fauna, the Grampians National Park in Victoria is a must. It is situated about two hundred and thirty-five kilometres west of Melbourne and is noted for its outstanding natural beauty. The nearest township is Hall's Gap and the closest larger town is Stawell.

The Grampians were named by Sir Thomas Mitchell in 1836, after the famous Grampians in Scotland. They are a series of sandstone mountain ranges that were formed in Devonian times and are situated in the Western Victorian Highlands Province. They run roughly North-South and the eastern side is steep with beautiful panoramic views from places such as The Pinnacle, while the western side slopes away more gently with views west towards pastoral land and north-west towards the Little Desert National Park. The highest peak is Mount William at 1767 metres and there are several attractive waterfalls.

Australia is a country beset by 'flood and fire and famine' an although huge bush-fires burned almost half of the Grampians National Park only about six years ago, it is already regenerating well as the eucalypts (what we usually refer to as Gum Trees) are designed to sprout again after most fires. Since then, actually in 2011, there were large floods and these have helped with the regeneration after the bush-fire devastation.

How to Travel by Public Transport to Hall's Gap: Some time back we could travel to Stawell by train on the Melbourne to Adelaide line and that service is to be reinstated some time in 2013. However, at the moment, the best way to travel there by public transport is to go by train from Southern Cross Station to Ballarat Central. A good one to catch at the moment leaves Southern Cross at 9.07 a.m. and arrives in Ballarat at 10.33. A coach leaves Ballarat Central at 11.00 a.m., travels via Ararat Station and arrives in Stawell at 12.41 p.m. The coach departs from Stawell Station at 12.50p.m. and is scheduled to arrive at Hall's Gap Information Centre at 1.25 p.m.


The Bushwalkers' Tour
The Bushwalkers' Tour | Source

Grampians Bushwalking and Wildlife Tours

The flora and fauna in the Grampians are quite varied. One of the major attractions of the Grampians are the wildflowers and they and the birds are my favourites. Wildflowers include the pink and red heath although there are many others as well. Among the fauna we enjoyed the wallabies and the different birds we saw - and the many more that we heard but were too slow to glimpse and identify. The bush and the wildlife are a delight for anyone who enjoys getting right away from the 'madding crowd.'

The Grampians Bushwalking Company: This group has been taking enthusiasts on bushwalking tours for a number of years. They offer half-day walks that last for three to four hours for those who do not have the time for longer - or the energy to navigate the steep bush tracks! You can see the Bundaleer and spectacular rock formations. The Company also offers full day walks, four-day wilderness walks and will even personalize tours and adventure hikes. This sound a bit like an ad, but we found them most accommodating and helpful.

Melbourne Wildlife Tours: I believe that these are also to be recommended, but we did not have enough time there to sample what they had on offer.

Red Heath Hiding in a Cleft of Grampians Rock
Red Heath Hiding in a Cleft of Grampians Rock | Source

Grampians Waterfalls

Below is a photograph of one of the waterfalls. It is as pretty as a picture and looks as if it should really be a painting. Although it is a fairly steep walk down to these falls, it is a good path and not very far from where a vehicle can be parked.

Grampians Waterfall
Grampians Waterfall | Source

Places to Stay and Things to Do in the Victorian Grampians

There is a range of accommodation in Hall's Gap and also in Stawell, with a variety of prices. They include cottages, houses, motels, a back-packers' hostel, caravan parks, cabins, caravans and campers for hire, and if you're a YHA enthusiast, a great eco-hostel in the heart of Hall's Gap. The latter boasts two lounges and when we were there a welcoming log-fire burned warmly, there was a big, clean kitchen and there were even eggs from the hens in the yard for breakfast and freshly brewed coffee.

There are plenty of caf├ęs and bakeries in the township for hungry hikers, an Aboriginal Cultural Centre and the Hall's Gap Zoo with a mixture of Australian and exotic animals.

The best thing to do, of course, is the hiking. The views are varied and stunning.

Wide View Showing Escarpments
Wide View Showing Escarpments | Source

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    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Feza: Thank you. If you do visit, I hope you have a wonderful time.

    • profile image

      Feza 2 years ago

      LOVE that the web helps me to discover peolpe's work from a world away. Glad you enjoyed my latest post. I will definitely be keeping an eye on you. (You're making me want to splurge on a ticket to Australia!!)

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      ahorseback: Again, thank you for visiting. I enjoy reading your hubs, too. Now I live in the suburbs I really appreciate opportunities to escape to 'the bush' and enjoy God's wonderful world.

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 4 years ago

      Once again your discriptions of this heaven on earth remind me of movies "Quigley Down Under ", and the crockadile man ! Excellent write up my sweet friend !

    • BlossomSB profile image
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      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      Nell Rose: It's a long, tedious flight, but it must have been much worse for our ancestors, taking weeks on sailing ships. Do come, and then go on to New Zealand. There is such a lot to see and enjoy. Thank you for your lovely comments.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      I have always wanted to visit Australia and this just makes me want to go there now! lol! great photos, so beautiful, it sounds lovely, voted up! nell

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      North Wind: Yes, it does! It is so fresh and smells lovely. The vapour from the trees fills the air and is the reason for the special shade of blue of the mountains. The trees are now grown in many other countries, I've seen them in England, California and Israel.

    • North Wind profile image

      North Wind 4 years ago from The World (for now)

      BlossomSB, this place looks wonderful. It must smell wonderful as well with the eucalyptus trees. I have always wanted to have one growing in my garden simply for the smell.

    • BlossomSB profile image
      Author

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      flashmakeit: Thank you, the falls are lovely, especially as this is such a dry country.

      vellur: I'm so glad you enjoyed it and thank you for the vote.

      Lipnancy: The Grampians in Scotland that it's named after are lovely, too.

      cat on an soapbox: They ski on the Scottish Grampians, but we only get snow occasionally on ours.

      shara63: Glad you enjoyed the trip! I wish it for you, too.

      shiningirisheyes: Thank you for your lovely comment.

      teaches12345: Yes, I really must make a copy of that photo and try and paint it, but life seems to be so busy right now. One day!

      MsDora: Thank you for reading - and for your comments.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 4 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks for this beautiful scenery at the Grampians. The picture of the waterfall is awesome. Thanks for sharing.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I certainly found this area so beautiful. I loved the waterfalls photo. Thanks for sharing from your adventure.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      One more beautiful and stunning hub on such a magnificent part of the world.

    • shara63 profile image

      Farhat 4 years ago from Delhi

      thankyou BlossomSB, i really enjoyed your journey second hand....assuming myself there in the green Grampians valley, surrounded by the enchanting beauty of the waterfalls, rocks with red heaths underneath, wonderful animals and everything that makes this journey memorable...I wish for me it becomes first hand some day ...thankyou, for sharing it over here and all those useful tips as well!

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 4 years ago from Los Angeles

      Ah! There is so much to learn and discover. I had never heard of Grampians National Park until now. Thank you for sharing the interesting info, your trip highlights, and beautiful picures with us!

      -Cat :)

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Thanks for sharing your trip with us. I had never heard of this interesting place before today.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      A beautiful place to visit and enjoyed and a great travel guide beautifully showcased. Enjoyed reading. Voted up.

    • flashmakeit profile image

      flashmakeit 4 years ago from usa

      Thank you for sharing your trip and photographs. The waterfalls where very beautiful.