The Grampians are overlooked by most first-time travelers to Australia. I’ll be completely honest, we added it on to our trip only because we had a few extra days in the Melbourne area. Don’t be an average, visit the gorgeous mountain ranges and wander the national parks that hold a huge variety of native plants and animals and some of the best hiking in the area.
Located in the State of Victoria, The Grampians are a mountain range and national park area a 3-hours drive from Melbourne. 260 km (160 miles) north-west of Melbourne
How To Get To The Grampians
Driving is, by far, the best way to see the Grampians. If for some reason renting a car is not an option for you there are buses and trains that connect Melbourne to the Grampians. But, it’s way easier (and allows more flexibility) to simply rent a car. We rented one from Avis in downtown Melbourne but there are tons of options for you to choose from.
The most popular way to get to drive to the Grampians is by following the Western Freeway out through Ballarat. But, there are a number of fantastic routes you can take to get there. We connected the trip with our Great Ocean Road drive (you can find more info on planning that trip here). Hall’s Gap is the biggest town in the area and a great landing point to put into your GPS.
I suggest aiming for an early morning pickup and drive so you can make the most of the day. The short three-hour drive allows plenty of time for exploring hikes and caves.
Best Hikes & Activities in The Grampians
I've included a short list below of the very best things to see and do in the Grampians. Of course, this portion of Australia is huge and there are endless things you can add to this list. Check out this article for an in-depth breakdown of all the best hikes in the Grampians and even more info.
Broken Falls Lookout
Reed Lookout & Balconies Lookout
Brambuk Aboriginal Cultural Centre
Where to See Kangaroos in The Grampians
Spotting Kangaroos in Halls Gap is extremely easy and honestly, if you don’t see kangaroos in Halls Gap you may be blind. While I was visiting two main spots were always full of huge kangaroo herd.
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.
Both of those links will take you to Google Maps, be sure to save them!
Best Hotels in The Grampians
Like most cities, you have a pretty large range of accommodation offerings in the Grampians. Choose from basic camping facilities to budget motels to full-on luxury lodges. We staying in Halls Gap for the night and booked a room at Gariwerd Hotel. I have a full review of that hotel stay here but can honestly say it was great. I definitely recommend it if you are looking for a low-cost but still nicer option.
Other Tips For Visiting The Grampians
Supermarkets are your friend: If you are trying to save money on the trip you’ll want to make your own food since most restaurants are pretty expensive here. Be sure to stop at an Aldi right outside of Melbourne. Halls Gap, and most towns near the Grampians, only have small supermarkets that are pricey.
Camp to save money: There are 13 campgrounds throughout the park. You’ll find toilets, fireplaces and picnic tables in all of them and most have water. To stay there you have to pay through a self-service permit system located at the campgrounds.
Expect spotty service: The Grampians are pretty remote and internet service was spotty at best. I had a very hard time getting my emails to load, let alone accessing Instagram or other social media websites. Google searches on the web worked OK… but it was hit or miss if the page would actually load.
Google Maps still worked: While internet service was slow, especially for things like Instagram and web searches, Google maps worked perfectly. I always suggest downloading the map for use offline just in case.
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).