In just two short days you can see and experience so much of the Grampians. Plan a perfect road trip with this guide and experience the beautiful national parks, eat at the best restaurants in the Grampians, and sip on award-winning wine. I've also included some hotel options in the Grampians like a stay in a luxury treehouse that puts you in the center of nature.
At A Glance…
Time: 2 days
Distance: 250+ kilometers or 158 miles
Transport: Rent a car
Start from: Melbourne
Wine, Lookouts, & Kangaroos
Pick up your car from a local rental company in Melbourne and hit the road as early as possible. If you drive straight through you can make it to Halls Gap in just under 3 hours.
But, I think you should stop first at a great winery called Best's Great Western. They are open Monday to Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM. Sundays from 11 AM to 4 PM. Check hours on any public holidays. The Cellar Door is your ultimate destination on the vineyard. It was built in with picturesque views of the Grampians. Tours are self-guided. Remember to assign someone as designated driver and once you've had your fill continue to Halls Gap.
If you plan in advance, try and get a booking in this treehouse hotel. If they are sold out, or it's not in your budget, I suggest Gariwerd Motel. I stayed at this lovely establishment during my trip and it was affordable yet comfortable. You can read my full review here.
It should be a bit past mid-day by now, perfect for a drive and some lookouts. Head to Reed Lookout first, it's only a 20-minute drive from the center of Halls Gap. From Reed Lookout, it's a short 2-kilometer hike to the Balconies Lookout. A gorgeous spot for panoramic views of Victoria Valley.
After your short hike, head down the road (C222) to MacKenzie Falls. Again, this car park has a variety of trails to choose from. Some way longer than others. I suggest the short walk to a beautiful lookout point overlooking MacKenzie Falls. There is also another lookout for Broken Falls Lookout but I found it underwhelming with most of the view blocked by overgrown trees.
As the sun begins to set head back into town and be on the lookout for Kangaroos. When I was visiting there were two main spots to see huge herds of them. The first spot was in the large yard adjacent to The Views Restaurant. The second kangaroo spot was at Halls Gap Recreation Reserve. The sports field has been overtaken by a huge herd and I genuinely wonder if humans use it anymore.
For dinner check out Kookaburra Restaurant or The Views restaurant.
Hiking, Aboriginal Culture, & Sunsets
Today you will be tackling the Pinnacle Lookout hike. Wake up early and get a good meal in. I suggest preparing food for yourself so you get started as early as possible but Livefast Cafe is also a great early-morning option.
Pinnacle Lookout hike is best done before the day gets too hot. The hike isn't ridiculously hard but I wouldn't classify it as easy either. Regardless, I believe in you. Park your car at Wonderland Car Park. Follow the trailhead and make your way through Grand Canyon—a short (less than a kilometer hike) passing through some massive natural rocks. As you approach the rear of Grand Canyon you'll begin to see signs for Pinnacle Lookout. Well-placed signs make your life very easy, pointing the way for the entire X km hike. I know it sounds like a long hike, but I promise the views are worth the trek.
After your hike, grab some well-deserved lunch and coffee at Bushfoods Cafe inside Brambuk Aboriginal Cultural Centre. You really shouldn't miss this incredible facility. The cultural center helps to educated tourists and locals alike on the complex history of the area and Australia as a whole. If you have the energy check out the walking trails leading out from the cultural center. They take you on an easy stroll through very flat terrain with some great bird watching along the way.
Before the sun begins to set, drive back outside of town and head Boroka Lookout. From Halls Gap center this should be around a 20-minute drive. I've saved it for last because there is no hiking required to get to Boroka Lookout. I'm sure at this point your legs are burning. Luckily, this is a perfect last stop with the car park right in front of the spectacular view. Just be sure to get there before sunset because you don't want to miss the show. The sky lights up each night in the most beautiful of colors.
Planning a trip to Australia in general, can be overwhelming. Everyone has an opinion on this beautiful location and you may be frozen and unable to plan anything. Rest assured that no matter what you choose to do in Australia or where you choose to stay in Australia you're going to have a beautiful time.
One last thing... even though researching ahead of time is great, I definitely recommend bringing an Australian travel guide along with you. Here are some of the travel guides I used during my trip...
And of course, if you have any questions DO NOT hesitate to reach out to me via Instagram, Twitter, or just shoot me an email (tessajuliette at gmail dot com).