Weekend Hiking in the Grampians
I spend a lot of time hiking close to Geelong, but this weekend I decided to venture a bit further out.
It’s been 29 (!) years since I was last in Hall’s Gap. And after having a fantastic weekend bushwalking and camping there, it definitely won’t be another 29 years until I’m back.
I did 2 of the many many bushwalks available in the Grampians. They have everything from short jaunts to take the whole family on, to overnighters.
I got up super early so I could be at the Grampians and set off hiking as early as possible. I chose to stay at the Hall’s Gap caravan park as there are lots of walks that leave from the back right corner of the park. I headed off towards the Pinnacle, but when I got to the junction of Venus Baths, I turned left (instead of going right to Venus Baths). Both tracks lead to the Pinnacle, but this one was a lot less crowded, and offered the best views of Hall’s Gap. There were lots of steps, and it was hard going for a lot of the way up, but with many stops to take in the incredible views, it was well worth the effort. Once I got up to the Pinnacle, I headed back down Silent Street, past the Wonderland car park and past Venus Baths to Halls Gap.
All up it was about 9km, and took about 3 hours (with lots of stops to enjoy my surroundings, and heaps of photos).
Tip: The part from the Pinnacle to Wonderland car park is very popular, and was crowded, and noisy. I didn’t enjoy that part, but it wasn’t for long.
I got up early once again, packed up camp, and headed to Mt Zero. It was a bit of a drive from Hall’s Gap, but that also meant no crowds. The sign at the car park said that the 1.2km track (2.4km round trip) would take 1 ½ – 2 hours. I knew I was in for a workout!! What I didn’t realise is all the climbing over rocks that I’d get to do – or how much fun I’d have doing it! As well as the climbing, there was squeezing through small spaces in rocks, some flat hiking trails, and breath taking views of the Grampians for most of the way (with Mt Stapylton so close you feel as if you could touch it).
Tip: This definitely isn’t a walk to take young kids on, or inexperienced hikers, but for those up for the challenge you’ll be well rewarded with amazing 360 degree views. Make sure you wear shoes with good grip – not a walk for plain old runners!
An easy drive through Bacchus Marsh, then along the Western Highway, the Grampians is a great place for a hiking and camping weekend. Camping is cheap ($30), the views are plentiful, and the hiking opportunities are almost endless.