Grampians has been a caravaner's favourite spot for ages now, attracting the grey nomads with its picturesque landscape and breathtaking views. The sandstone mountains that stand tall in mute display, entice adventure seekers to revel at these wonders. Not only is this a great place to admire wildflowers but there are many Aboriginal rock art locations that can take you to the past. There are plenty of camping sites here that you can drive up to, and walking trails for the nature lovers.
What are the grampians? These are a 5 sensational sandstone ridges that run from the north to the south, with gradual slopes on the west and sharp slopes on the east.
Roughed up by nature:
The Grampians National Park was subjected to a bit of nature’s fury recently, nearly half the park was razed down by a fire in 2016. After the fire, there was the deluge. 5 years after the dreaded bush fire struck, floods caused further havoc. The supervisors at this park have been working consistently to help improve the park back to its former glory, reopening camping sites, facilities for visitors and park tracks.
Situated 250 kilometres from Melbourne, there are numerous trails that take you on an adventurous trek past waterfalls, wildflowers and wonderful lookouts. One of the noteworthy ones is the Reeds lookout that gives you a spellbinding view of the mountains and the valley. A breathtaking view of the Eastern plains and Halls gap valley are the drawing factor for another sought after look out, the Boroka lookout.
This is definitely the waterfall ‘strip’, with multiple waterfalls streaming down as cascading water- the all year MacKenzie falls, the Wannon falls, the Beehive falls and the Nigretta falls.
Admiring history- Aboriginal rock art:
To get a closer look at history, step into the numerous rock art sites at Manja shelter, Gulgurn Manja shelter, Billimina Shelter and Ngamadjidj Shelter.
Mount Arapiles gives you some of the best views of the Wimmera Plain, a sight that will encourage you to climb, cycle, drive or even walk up to its Quartz summit.
If you are into rock climbing, then this is one of the best sites for you in all of Australia. A a height of 230 metres, there are more than 2,000 climbs across the various cliffs and pinnacles. There is plenty of information and support available locally, so there is help when you need it.
Making your way to the top: There are two short tracks, that are quite steep though, starting from Centenary Park or Lookout Road. These paths reach right to the car park, after which there is a short road that leads to the picturesque lookout.
What do you do when you get to the top? Well, a little to the right can take you up to the bluff picnic area, where there are other great views to derive pleasure from.Vehicle tracks around the Arapiles is not just for driving a car, but also to cycle all the way up, soaking in the fresh breeze and the heady scent if the wildflowers. The Eastern end of the tracks are closed during winter, though.
The best time to visit Grampians would be between August to October, when the staggering beauty of the wildflowers vie for attention. So, if you are a flower enthusiast, this floral display is sure to impress you. Wildlife enthusiast and bird watchers will also have plenty to admire and delight in.
Caravaners usually prefer the school holidays to visit the Grampians, after all, there is so much to do here. Though there are many camping sites, it would be better to book in advance. Some of the good camping sites are in Smiths mill, Jimmy’s creek, Halls gap and even in Mount Stapylton.