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5 Awesome Things to do During a Weekend in the Grampians National Park

The Grampians National Park isn’t even one of the biggest national parks in Australia. Yet you still need a car to get between the different points of interests there.ย If you’re wondering whether or not a day trip to the Grampians National Park is possible, it technically is but I’d advise against it. It takes at least 7 hours driving altogether plus you will be exhausted from trekking all day and it’s more dangerous to drive back at night with kangaroos on the road. I spent a weekend in the Grampians National Park which was the perfect amount of time to see the 5 main places.

How to get to the Grampians National Park

First you’ll drive to Halls Gap which is the main town in the Grampians National Park. It takes around 3 hours to get from Melbourne city centre to Halls Gap with no traffic. The great thing is that it’s basically one straight road the entire way!

I rented a car using Car Next Door (get 15 AUD off) which meant that I didn’t have to go to a rental car company and chose a car from the map close to my flat. It includes the price of fuel too!

Where to stay in the Grampians National Park

Since I booked the weekend trip to the Grampians last minute as always, I found a cheap Airbnb (get 50 AUD off) in Ararat. The town was a 40 minute drive from the mountains which was a slight hassle but the Airbnb was amazing.

If you’re more organised than me (very likely), then book accommodation in Halls Gap with Booking.com.ย It’s nestled in the valley of the park, meaning you can wake up and go exploring straight away.

5 awesome things to do in a weekend in the Grampians National Park

Day 1

Reeds Lookout & The Balconies

Reeds Lookout is only a 20 minute drive from Halls Gap. The car park is right next to the lookout so it’s super easy to get to, the ground is flat and it doesn’t require much walking. There are a couple different lookout points beside the car park which give incredible views of the Victoria Valley, different mountain ranges and Lake Wartook.

The Balconies are a 1km easy stroll on flat ground through a forest from Reeds Lookout car park. There are panoramic views of the Victoria Valley. Even when it was overcast, I felt like I was on top of the world with the clouds below me.

The Grampians National Park

MacKenzie Falls

MacKenzie Falls car park is only an 8 minute drive from Reeds Lookout along the same road. From MacKenzie Falls car park, walk down steep steps to the base of the waterfall for 1km. MacKenzie falls is a big waterfall with a deep pool which is ideal for swimming when the weather is nice. It takes about 1 hour return from the car park to the waterfall.

For an easier walk, follow signs to MacKenzie Falls lookout for views of the waterfalls from above.

MacKenzie Falls Grampians National Park

Boroka Lookout

On the way back from MacKenzie Falls to Halls Gap, you can stop off at Boroka Lookout (a 9 minute drive from Reeds Lookout). The car park is right next to the lookout so it doesn’t require much walking. The view of the mountain range, valley and lake is mind-blowing. Personally, this was my favourite view out of everywhere I went.

Check out the route for Day 1 here.

Boroka Lookout Grampians National Park

Day 2

The Pinnacle & Lakeview Lookout

The easiest walk to The Pinnacle is from Sundial car park via Devil’s Gap (which I did). The car park is a 15 minute drive from Halls Gap. From there, follow the yellow arrows on the ground for 2.1km/45 minutes to reach The Pinnacle. The walk is uphill at parts but it’s easy and very scenic.

The harder option is to trek from Wonderland carpark to The Pinnacle which takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes. You will pass the Grand Canyon and Bridal Veil Falls.

On the way back from The Pinnacle, you will come across signs for Lakeview Lookout. It’s a short walk and you can return straight from there to Sundial car park. It’s less busy on these paths so be careful of snakes. My boyfriend nearly stepped on a brown snake before he saw it slithering underneath his foot and luckily hopped over it.

Venus Baths

If you have time on the way back to Halls Gap, go the Venus Baths. Take a short 1km walk around the freshwater rock pools with slides and even take a dip if it’s hot outside.

Check out the route for Day 2 here.

Tips for your weekend in the Grampians National Park

Stay hydrated

It goes without saying that you need to bring water with you wherever you go. Don’t head out without it!

Check the weather beforehand and bring appropriate clothing

I didn’t realise that it would be pouring with rain on my first day in the Grampians. I had no umbrella or raincoat and I got absolutely soaked while walking to the Balconies. It dampened the experience a little bit…

Avoid driving at dawn and dusk

There are warning signs for kangaroos along the road to the Grampians National Park. It’s not uncommon for a kangaroo to jump onto the road, especially during dawn and dusk as they’re attracted to the headlights. Either avoid driving at these times or drive slowly. The cutest little Bambi jumped out in front of my car (and got away don’t worry!). I’d researched beforehand that you’re supposed to slow down without swerving, stop for the animal to cross or beep your horn in an emergency.

Look out for snakes and spiders

I thought there would be little chance of us seeing a snake because the Grampians paths are quite busy with people. Wrong. As Ed was walking along the path, a poisonous brown snake slithered underneath his foot. Luckily, Ed managed to hop over it just in time. Otherwise he would’ve stood on it and most definitely would’ve got bitten.

Check for fire affected areas

Forest fires are really common in Australia, especially in these massive parks. Check the government website for updates on which areas to avoid.

Wear suncream

When the UV Index reaches 3 and above, you should wear clothing covering your body, a hat, sunglasses and SPF30+ suncream. Also try to walk in the shade. Even when it’s cloudy, the UV Index can be around 10 which is extremely high.

Bring mosquito repellent

Especially after a storm, mosquitoes are common and carry life threatening diseases. Bring repellent just in case.

Look up

Tree branches are unexpectedly fall and cause injury or death so make sure you’re always aware where you’re sitting or walking.

The police and emergency services number for Australia is 000.

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5 Awesome Things to Do in the Grampians National Park

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16 Comments

  • Reply
    Summer
    January 25, 2018 at 1:56 pm

    Wow, this is a great guide. Thanks for the in depth details and best places to visit & trips!

    • Reply
      journeywithchloe
      February 11, 2018 at 9:21 am

      Thanks Summer, glad you enjoyed reading it ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Aneesha Rai
    January 25, 2018 at 2:22 pm

    This looks like a great place to camp! Is that possible here? Never heard of the Car Next Door thing, very interesting! Gonna keep it in mind when I visit Australia, it sounds very handy!

    • Reply
      journeywithchloe
      February 11, 2018 at 9:22 am

      Yep, you can camp in Halls Gap which is pretty much in the mountains or at the base. Yeah it’s a great concept and so easy to use!

  • Reply
    Ella
    January 25, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Australia just looks even more incredible the more I read about it. I must admit, I’d never heard of this National Park before but now it’s been added to my list ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the article and introducing me to Grampains National park

    • Reply
      journeywithchloe
      February 11, 2018 at 9:21 am

      I’m glad that I introduced you to another national park, it won’t let you down when you go!

  • Reply
    Daniela
    January 26, 2018 at 12:08 am

    Lovely place and great tips to stay healthy and be able to enjoy it! I don’t think I’ll visit it but I enjoyed reading about it.

  • Reply
    Lieselot
    January 26, 2018 at 12:48 am

    I love the Grampians! I did a road trip there a year ago, and it was beautiful. I totally agree with the places you’re sharing here, super cool spots!

    • Reply
      journeywithchloe
      February 11, 2018 at 9:20 am

      That’s amazing, so glad you can relate to just how beautiful it is there!

  • Reply
    Vicky
    January 26, 2018 at 7:50 am

    Wow, some of those view points are so incredible!!!! This looks like such a great place to hike!

  • Reply
    Sarah Daisey I Detours with Daisey
    January 26, 2018 at 5:14 pm

    This looks like an incredible national park with stunning views! Would love to see it one day!

    • Reply
      journeywithchloe
      February 11, 2018 at 9:19 am

      Yeah it was a stunning national park! Definitely go.

  • Reply
    Raksha Rao
    January 26, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    Wow. This looks absolutely gorgeous. Didn’t even hear about Grampians national park before!

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