Hiking in the Grampians
The Grampians is fast becoming Melbourne’s nature escape. With new freeway connections to the area, getting there is a lot more easier and faster than it used to be. The Grampians National Park is known for its sandstone mountain ranges that are suitable for hiking and rock climbing. The region is also renowned for the abundance in native flora and fauna. The Grampians has a relatively cooler climate compared to Melbourne, so it behooves to rug up for a trip during the cooler months.
The tallest mountain in the region is Mount Wellington with an elevation of 1271m above sea level. The summit of this mountain has some of the best vantage points overlooking the whole area. In the winter months snow is also a very real possibility up here.
Our weekend getaway to the Grampians was during the winter months, and we ended up visiting the area during storm weather. This was great for the region due to the recent dry season although meant our hikes were curtailed. We still managed to have an enjoyable weekend away by taking some mild risks with the weather and staying indoors by the fireplace. For the most part we weren’t too badly rained on!
We chose to book something a little different during our Grampians getaway and stayed in a sheep station in Pomonal. We found this accomodation through AirBnB. We were drawn to this place as it was situated on a working farm and had a magnificent view of Mount Wellington. During our drive to the property, we saw heaps of Kangaroos in the region.
The cottage we were staying in used to be the lodging for the farm’s shearers. The cottage was spacious with two bedrooms, a fireplace and a herb garden that we were allowed to access. The owners had kindly provided us with homemade bread, mulberry jam and freshly laid eggs from their chickens for our breakfast.
The Pinnacle Hike
We decided to tackle the Pinnacle first, this is a hike located close to Halls Gap and can be accessed by two different car parks. We decided to do the shorter hike from the Sundial carpark as it had been raining on and off all day. The hike was relatively easy and took us two hours return as we took plenty of breaks for photos. There was a slow and gradual elevation and for the most part, the path was well marked. Near the top of the summit, you do need to be able to climb up over large rocks.
Once we reached the summit, we encountered lots of low lying cloud and precipitation. As a result we weren’t able to see much and the weather at the top of the viewing platform was incredibly windy!
The day after we ventured to Mackenzie Falls, which was a much further drive from Halls Gap. The walk down to the base of the falls is relatively easy as it is all down hill on stairs and some slopes. Coming back up hill though can be tiring work! Once down at the base of the falls we decided to follow the river walk trail to Fish Falls. The walk itself was quite pretty with lots of green vegetation and sandstone rock formations. It’s possible to follow this walk all the way to the township of Zumsteins, although we ran out of time to do this.
We mainly cooked brunch at home with the amazing supplies we had been given by our hosts. Although we did have dinner at the Kookaburra bistro in Halls Gap. This was a relaxed pub style restaurant that served great local wines from the Grampians region and country style food. B got the blackened barramundi in pumpkin purée, whilst I stuck to the pub classic of fish and chips!
The highlight of the meal for me was the mulled wine, it was incredibly sweet but well spiced.
The following day we also stopped off at the Red Rock Olives cafe and shop. We had a fantastic time trying the different olives and olive oils that they produced on site!
The weekend in the Grampians was a perfect opportunity to disconnect and get in touch with nature!