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Monday, December 4, 2023

Exploring the Grampians Peaks Trail in 7 Interesting Points

Skeptical about long hiking trails? Let me tell you, pal; it’s all worth it when you feel the wind gushing through your hair while you stand on rugged rocky ridgelines and witness the enchanting vistas while traversing the iconic walks and hiking the Grampians Peaks Trail.

1. Grampians National Park

Grampians Peaks Trail
Image Source: Depositphotos

Being one of Australia’s most acknowledged places and an alluring destination, Grampians National Park is a natural reserve located in Victoria. Parks Victoria is taking care of the heritage-listed national park, just like other diverse estates in Australia.

The national park is on the list due to its aboriginal heritage, sandstone peaks, rich diversity of flora and fauna, and serene natural beauty.

The national park allows one to delve into a fantastic experience and appreciate the natural environment by walking the scenic trails and hiking the elevation gain to catch the scenic vistas of the landscape around.

2. About Grampian Peaks Trail

Grampian peaks trailing the region were originally part of the Gariwerd Aboriginal cultural landscape. The Grampians Peak Trails(GPT) spreads across the Grampian mountain range. The hiking trails allow you to climb dramatic mountain peaks and bless your sight with spectacular views.

GARIWERD: A Grampians Peaks Trail Thru-Hike

3. How To Reach?

The trail begins at the northern end of the mountain range, around 3 hours west of Melbourne. You can enjoy a 250km odd ride from Melbourne to the Grampians by visiting Australia’s most serene landscapes.

If you feel otherwise, you can opt for public transport via train or bus. The best option, however, is booking a tour that covers your pick-up from Melbourne, and all that is left to you to do is enjoy and explore!

4. Choose Your Trail

Choose the trail that suits your physical ability, take up a new challenge, and experience this trail for an adventure.

4.1. Take Up the Full Grampians Peaks Trail

Brace yourself for a long challenge, but a promised unique experience. Pose yourself with a challenge to hike grade-5 level hiking experience, which you can later brag about. The 13-day hike from Mt. Zero to Dunkeld is nearly 164 kilometres of walking hand in hand with Mother Nature. 

4.2. Explore Ancient Gariwerd Through Multi-day Hikes

The multi-day itinerary is perfect for people who have not experienced levelled hikers but persist in exploring the landscape of the ancient Gariwerd.

The 3-day hiking experience allows one to hike conveniently while navigating and witnessing Australia’s beautiful region.

With a stay nestled amidst the exemplary landscape of the Grampians National Park and hiking sections of the trail by tour choice, the three-day hike makes it perfect for enjoying an outdoor escape without compromising the day’s schedule.

Grampians Peaks Trail
Photo by Lycheeart on Unsplash

I. On day one, you will be hiking through the bushy terrain, witnessing wildflowers around you. If mountain climbing interests you, the famous 60-meter Taipan wall climb will make adrenaline rush in your veins. On day two, you will be mainly hiking through the vast plateaus of the Grampians mountain range, and if the season showers luck on you, you may also enjoy the waterfalls in this region.

II. On day three and day four, you will be walking on the rocky slabs on the back slopes of the mountain range and seeing the rugged rocky gardens spread as far as your sight may reach.

III. On day five, you will go through the beautiful sandstone gorges. One of the must-visit places on day five would be witnessing the so-called Venus bath, where the Stoney Creek flows through the rocky bed hugged by the sloping sandstone wall on either side.

Day six will take on the steep climb of Mt. Rosea, surrounded by its wet, tall forest cover. Mother nature will take you through its roller-coaster on day seven, climbing from nearly 320m to 1017 meters above sea level a few kilometres at the Duwul hike-in campground.

IV. On days eight and nine, you will be hiking a few of the tallest peaks of the Grampians peaks trails with numerous jaw-dropping landscapes waiting to please your heart.

V. Day ten and eleven, you will see most of the Grampians mountain range wildlife trekking between Mt William and Serra Ranges. Reaching the trail’s end, day 12 will be one of the shortest walks, around 8km, through the eucalyptus forests.

Grampians will bid a sweet goodbye to you on the last day of your trek, introducing you to its stunning variety of wildflowers, such as the spider, tiger, wax-lip, and greenhood orchids.

4.2.1. What to Know?

  • Time: 13 days.
  • Grade: Grade 5.
  • Distance: 164 kilometres.
  • Type: One way (North-South).
  • Key Attractions: Ridgeline hiking, seasonal waterfalls, wildflowers, viewpoints from summits, Grand Canyon, Stony Creek, and native and endangered wildlife.
  • Major elevation points: Mt.Stapylton, Barigar, Gar, Halls Gap, Duwul, Yarra, Wannon, and Djardji-Djawara.
i. Gar and Werdug

Experience the spectacular 360 panoramic vistas of the surrounding landscape from the Gar (which means big mountain) while also delighting yourself over the seasonal waterfalls on the way and clifftop rockpools.

Enjoy your clifftop camping here in the best seasons during winter, spring, and after rain. The difficulty level can be attributed to the steep terrains. The highest happens to be 829 meters, the Lake Wartook lookout, which lies east of Mount Difficult range.

A. What to Know?
  • Grade: Grade 4.
  • Distance: 34km.
  • Type: One way.
  • Key Attractions: Seasonal waterfalls, Lake Wartook lookout.

4.2.2. Bugiga and Barru Yalug

Located south of the Halls Gap, this route will make you come across some of the major attractions along the way in the Central Grampians. The hike suits experienced hikers since you go through the wet sclerophyll forest.

Catch the serene views of Mount William range, Frans Valley, and the extraordinary cliff edges of Mount Rosea.

A. What to Know?
  • Grade: Grade 4.
  • Distance: 24.5km.
  • Type: One way.
  • Key Attractions: Venus baths, Grand Canyon, the Pinnacle, Sundial Peak, Mount Rosea.

4.2.3. Duwul and Durd Durd

The trail boasts some of the highest mountains in the park. Though the climb might be for experienced hikers, the views from the top will make you scream a wow, looking down at the spectacular landscape and making it one of the best hiking trails to traverse.

A. What to Know?
  • Grade: Grade 5.
  • Distance: 32.60 kilometres.
  • Type: One way.
  • Key Attractions: The highest mountains in the park are Major Mitchell Plateau.

4.2.4. Yarra and Wannon

Accessing the southern reaches of Mt William range, the Yarra and Wannon trail makes one walk through nature’s serenity to experience for oneself. With incredible vistas of the Serra range, the course also allows one to benefit from open grassland camping.

After completing your dramatic hike over the day, chase a sunset at the ridges and rest for the night in the Wannon hike in the campground, a reclaimed farm gully.

A. What to Know?
  • Grade: Grade 4.
  • Distance: 22.90km.
  • Type: One way.
  • Key Attractions: Open grassland camping.

4.2.5. Djardji- djawarq and Mud-dadjug

The Southern end of the Grampians Peaks trail is on the part of the trail that is adorned with a scenic ridgeline and steep terrain, making it suitable for experienced hikers to undertake. The trail passes through rocky mountains and summits. It offers some beautiful views of the Victoria range.

A. What to Know?
  • Grade: Grade 4.
  • Distance: 33.40 km.
  • Type: One way.
  • Key Attractions: Eucalyptus forests, Wannon River.
Travel to Wannon Falls, Victoria, Australia

4.3. Enjoy Overnight Hikes on Trails

4.3.1. Barigar

Barigar hike is one of the overnight hikes starting at the northern trailhead of Mt Zero trailhead. You navigate extraordinary features like Mt. Stapylton, Bird Rock, and Taipan Wall during your walk.

Also, delight in the natural beauty of wildflowers and seasonal creeks or stumble to a hidden waterfall near your hike-in campground. The end of this trail happens at the Rose’s Gap road or Gar trailhead.

A. What to Know?
  • Grade: Grade 4.
  • Distance: 16 kilometres.
  • Type: One way.
  • Key Attractions: Wildflowers, Waterfalls.

4.3.2. Bugiga

Start your journey at the famous Halls Gap and traverse the beautiful Serra ranges further. The trip ends at the trailhead, which is a Borough Huts campground. As you go through Stony Creek, the Grand Canyon, and Pinnacle, enjoy your overnight stay at the Bugiga hike-in campground below Mt Rosea.

A. What to Know?
  • Grade: Grade 4.
  • Distance: 22.30 kilometres.
  • Type: One way.
  • Key Attractions: Grand Canyon, Stony Creek.

4.3.3. Mud Dadjug

The overnight trail is at the southern end of the main course, begins at Cassidy Gap Road, and ends at Dunkeld. As you traverse along the trail journey, tire yourself over the summit of Signal Peak, followed by Mt Abrupt, and enjoy panoramic views of the southern Grampians.

The overnight stay happens at a camp at Mud Dadjug, and then you follow the next day by summiting Mt. Sturgeon.

A. What to Know?
  • Grade: Grade 4.
  • Distance: 22.10 kilometres.
  • Type: One way.
  • Key Attractions: Red gum woodland, Signal Peak, Mt Abrupt.

4.4. Stroll Your Day Walks in the Woods

Suppose you are incredibly tight on your schedule or want to explore part of the Grampians Peaks trail before endeavouring for a challenging one. In that case, day walk trails are perfect for understanding the terrain and difficulty levels.

4.4.1. Mr. Stapylton loop

The trailhead of this loop is at the Mt Zero picnic area. As you traverse through this loop, you come across the stunning orange-coloured Taipan wall, getting along the climb over rocky terraces while padding the bird rock.

Follow the signage and enjoy this short walk through the Stapylton Campground and Stapylton Amphitheater. Some of the attributes of this trail are the challenging steep sections, exposed rocky outcrops, rock hopping, and slippery surfaces, making it difficult to hike for newbies.

A. What to Know?
  • Time: 4 to 5 hours.
  • Grade: Grade 4.
  • Distance: 9.7 kilometres.
  • Type: loop.
  • Key Attractions: Stapylton Amphitheater, Orange-colored Taipan wall.
Paige Claassen sends Groove Train (5.14b//8c), one of Australian's most iconic sport climbs

4.4.2. Lowers Waterfalls

One of the most beautiful sections of the Grampians Peaks trail is the Lower waterfalls of Gar. As the name suggests, the trail section has access to serene seasonal waterfalls and stunning views from rocky lookouts.

With steep rock steps and exposed cliff edges, the trail is suitable for fit and experienced hikers.

A. What to Know?
  • Time: 2 hours.
  • Grade: Grade 3.
  • Distance: 4.2 kilometres.
  • Type: loop.
  • Key Attractions: seasonal waterfalls.

4.4.3. Lake Wartook Lookout

This easy-to-go trail amongst the Grampians peaks runs through the Mt Difficult road for a shorter distance with a medium difficulty grade. Start your journey from the Lake Wartook lookout and climb up through the rock staircases and rocky terraces to complete your summit.

A. What to Know?
  • Time: 40 minutes.
  • Grade: Grade 3.
  • Distance: 1.1 kilometres.
  • Type: Loop.

4.4.4. Lake Wartook Lookout to Halls Gap

Starting at Lake Wartook lookout, the trail leads you down, descending on the Halls Gap through Chautauqua Peak Saddle, Clematis Falls, and the Botanic Gardens.

While you start your journey at the trailhead, you must follow the south to leave behind Mt Difficult Road and walk through forests.

A. What to Know?
  • Time: 3-4 hours.
  • Grade: Grade 4.
  • Distance: 10.9 kilometres.
  • Type: One way.

4.4.5. Signal Peak

Appreciate the views of the surrounding landscape after you ascend the summit of 780 meters. The journey through this section of Grampians Peaks trail starts from Mt. Abrupt car park and takes you through physically engaging steep sections, slippery surfaces, or rock hopping at times.

Interestingly, the track crosses the landslides that occurred decades ago in 2011.

A. What to Know?
  • Time: 3-4 hours.
  • Grade: Grade 4.
  • Distance: 7.8 kilometres.
  • Type: Loop

4.5. Schools and Independent Groups

Have fun with your school pals and office colleagues on your day at this Peaks trail and delve into the beauty of native Australia. The Grampians Peak trail puts forward several options in front of the schools and independent groups thinking about undertaking the hiking experience.

They can avail themselves of the benefit of walking, camping on a trail, or camping off course, whatever suits their convenience. Apart from the camping facilities mentioned above, other locations like the Halls Gap, Wartook, Roses Gap, and Dunkeld offer private accommodation for school groups, including camps.

Mentioned below are a few of the campgrounds for groups on the Grampians Peaks itinerary

  • Stapylton Campground.
  • Coppermine Group Camping Area.
  • Troopers Creek Campground.
  • Longpoint West Camping Area.
  • Stony Creek Group Camping Area.
  • Borough Huts Campground.
  • Jimmy Creek Campground.
Grampians Peaks Trail
Photo by Tommy Lisbon on Unsplash

5. Wrapping Up

Grampians National Park is a natural gem of Australia, and Grampians Peaks Trail is a perfect way to explore, whether it be watching the picturesque landscape from a sandstone cliff, catching a glimpse of native wildlife in the bushland, watching the mind-blowing views of the milky way at night, or being part of the heritage.

The spectacular Grampians peak trail will make you fall in love with an enchanting experience. 

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