Grampians National Park for Christmas
4 Iconic Hikes in the Grampians
Ruggged ranges, amazing geological features and forests are just waiting to be explored in Grampians National Park, 460km east of Adalaide. We arrived on Christmas Eve from Robe and after spendng more time on decorating the camper trailer than putting it up, we had 5 nights at Smiths Campground in the northern end of the park near Mackenzie Falls.
A great place to start is the Brambuk The National Park & Cultural Centre at Halls Gap, here you can pick up maps and advice around which walks are open in the park as this can change quickly following storm or fire damage. You must book your campsite online for this National Park, or if there is space the National Park centre can do this for you.
Walk 1: Mackenzie Falls to Zumsteins from Smith Campground
We did this as our Christmas walk on a 36 dgreee day after opening our stockings Santa had left us (my mum had sent us from the UK). This is a beautiful 11km return walk along the river after decending into Mckenzie falls down the steps. You can walk directly from Smiths Campground by taking the track opposite the campground road. Mckenzie falls are amazing and it was great to see so many people down there in santa hats. The lookout is also well worth the aditional 900m return walk. It was then back for Christmas dinner Aussie style, BBQ steak and prawns, with a roasted sprout, potatoes, baby carrots and cranberry salad. As well as some of the gorgous wine we had picked up en route from Bleasdale vineyard in SA.
Walk 2: The Pinnacles and Grand Canyon with Silverband Falls and the Boroka lookout en route
We drove down first to Silverband Falls, which is just a short 2km return walk to see the falls, not as impressive as Mckenzie but exactly what it says on the tin, a silver band of water and is worth the walk. We drove down the picturesque one way Silverband Road before looping back up through Halls Gap to the Wonderland Carpark. Our regular followers will know, we stopped off for our caffine hit at the local coffee shop by the river.
The Pinnacles and Grand Canyon is an iconic walk and a must do while you are here. There are lots of routes up some starting from Halls Gap, but we started at the Wonderland car park and took the circular route up the Grand Canyon, then on up through the stunning silent passage to the top of the pinnacle. The rock formations are just amazing. For our return we took the alternative route which joined back on the track further down through the forrest, before crossing some great rocks to hop down at the Grand Canyon junction. If you dont have time for this 5km hike, head up and down through the Grand Canyon.
On our way back to the campsite, we popped into the Boroka lookout
Walk 3: Mt Difficult Day Hike
16.2km 61/2 hours starting at Beehive Falls Carpark at Roses Gap. This hike is situated further north in the Grampians and had just re-opened that week following bush fires. Its a challenging hike, especially in the wet making the roacks very slippery. But a great day hike, passing through Beehive falls and rewarding views at the top.
Walk 4: A 6km circular Walk from Halls Gap, taking in Venous Baths, Clematis Falls via Bullaces Glen and Chataqua peak.
It was a really hot humid day after a cold start, crazy weather and temperature changes. We started our walk in the centre of Halls Gap and an easy path takes you to venous baths. From here the path goes steeply up to Bullaces Glen through the forrest and onto Chataque peak, which is a tricky scramble. From Clematis falls you drop back into Halls Gap, where the icecream shop rewards your effort, they have an amzing array of flavours. On the way back we stopped off at the Balconies lookout a 2km return short easy walk
There are so many other walking options checkout wildsight.com.au for more ideas. I would love to come back to the Grampians. Maybe not at Christmas as the campsite was full of large noicy groups…but hey it was Christmas.