Friends of my parents wanted to join us on a camping weekend, as they have kids Mum suggested we all go to the Grampians. I was really excited about this as I’d heard so much about this place. It’s one of Mum and Dads favourite places.
My First Impression of Halls Gap The Grampians
Once we got there I understood why it was one of my parents favourite places, there was plenty of space and the backdrop to the camping ground is the beautiful mountains. When I awoke in the morning I was stoked to see kangaroos outside our camper van….we watched a couple that had their boxing gloves on, it wasn’t an aggressive fight so it was fun to watch
Day 1 Itinerary
- We took off on a Friday night after work to the Halls Gap Caravan Park where Mum and Dad like to stay.
- We arrived late at night so once we arrived it was time to relax, with drinks and snacks in hand it was time to catch up with our friends. A great way to start the weekend.
Day 2 Itinerary
- After spending quite a bit of time being entertained by the kangaroos we had our usual yummy camp breakfast consisting of bacon and egg sandwiches with spinach cooked on the camp fire.
- We then headed off to meet our family friends who stayed in the onsite cabins as they don’t have camping gear…their cabin was cool, it had bunks for the kids, kitchenette, couch, dining table and TV, they also had their own bathroom.
- It was then time to walk/trek to Chatauqua Peak
It was then time for us to head to Chatauqua Peak which is approximately 4km return walk from the Botanical gardens which back onto the camping ground. It’s a bit of a climb with lots of steps along the way, but once you get to the peak you get an amazing view of the surrounding area. It really is beautiful.
After spending some time at the peak taking selfies it was time to head back to camp which is via a different track, this is great as you see something different. As we walked along we could hear the sound of wild goats, then suddenly there were 4 that crossed our track behind us and were walking along the cliff just above us!! This was really exciting as I’d never seen wild goats before. I wish I knew what they were saying to us!! They walked along for a bit above us before they ventured higher up into the mountain.
It was a pretty hot day so on the way back to camp we stopped at the shops across the road from the camping ground and headed straight to the ice-cream shop! If you’re at the shops a must is to try out the delicious ice-cream shop…. the ice-cream is really, really good!! I had a double scoop, a spearmint and hokey pokey, they were both the best! Thinking about it now makes my mouth water!
The rest of the day we spent relaxing around the campground. If you are more adventurous there are plenty of other walks/treks to go on.
The evening was spent cooking dinner on the open fire, relaxing chatting to our friends around the fire whilst taking in the ambience.
Open fires are allowed provided your site has a fire pit and as long as there’s no fire restrictions in place.
Day 3 Itinerary
Sadly this was just a weekend getaway and it was time to leave, but not before exploring the nearby areas:
- Lake Bellfield
- Mackenzie Falls
- The Reeds and Balconies Lookout
Although it was time to leave camp we took a road trip to check out the nearby Lake Bellfield which is approximately 6.3km from the camp ground. As we drove to the lake we were lucky to see 4 wild emus. It was a family, Mum, Dad and 2 grown up chicks. This was awesome, we watched them eat and wander along the roadside paddock.
We walked across the dam wall and took selfies with the beautiful lake and surrounding mountains in the back drop. The dam wall is only 800m so it’s an easy flat picturesque stroll to take.
It was then off to see the Mackenzie Falls. It’s a scenic approximately 18km drive to reach them. There’s lots of parking at the top of the Falls, places to have a picnic and public toilets.
The Mackenzie Falls are considered one of the largest in Victoria and flow all year round. There are 2 options to see the falls. If you are unable to tackle the steep approximately 600m stair track down which takes roughly 30 mins one way then you can take the wheelchair track to the viewing platform which looks down on the falls and surrounding area, it’s about 1km to reach the platform.
We took the easy option on this occasion as it was an extremely hot day and there were other things we all wanted to see before heading home.
My parents recommend you tackle the stairs down to the bottom of the falls if you are able and time permitting. They’ve done it a couple of times before and said it’s beautiful. At the bottom of the falls is a pool where you can walk across rocks to get to the other side and then if you wish take a longer trek following the water.
The Reeds and Balconies Lookout
We then headed to The Reeds and Balconies lookout which you can do either as you are going to or from the Mackenzie Falls, it’s just a slight detour.
The lookouts are approximately 12.4km from the camping ground we stayed at. Roughly 18mins drive. They are totally worth visiting.
The views are magnificent from The Balconies and Reed Lookout points. The views will not disappoint. From the Reed lookout carpark there’s a viewing platform and you can take a short stroll to another viewing area… a must do!!
I got a little scared here as I was so high up and although there’s a fence it was on the cliff edge and I could look straight down and see how high I was!!
Yes, you guessed it, we took loads more selfies with the Victorian Valley and surrounding ranges as our backdrop.
On this occasion we didn’t take the 2km return walk to the Balconies lookout as we had to get home earlier this day. Again my parents have done this short walk before and recommend it. Their preference is the Reed Lookout of the two.
Knowing we will return to the Grampians I wasn’t disappointed that we didn’t do the walk. Sometimes I’m really glad we don’t see all what’s on offer as that means we will return at some stage!
Do you love walking/trekking?
If you love walking/trekking there are so many tracks you can go on at the Grampians. There are shops right across the road from the camping ground where there’s an information centre, you can pick up maps. There are treks you can go on for days. My family enjoy going on walks but not those serious treks! A trek my parents totally recommend you do if able is the Pinnacle walk, it’s a tough trek through the mountains and rocks but the view at the top is breath taking!
Facilities adjacent to the Halls Gap Caravan Park
- Public swimming pool
- Tennis court
- Recreational Reserve
- Botanical Gardens
- There’s plenty of space to kick a football or throw a Frisbee
- There are other restaurants a short stroll from the campground
There were so many kangaroos grazing in the playground, it was awesome to see. I love kangaroos as does my Mum.
There’s a place across the road from the camping ground to hire E-Bikes from if you want a rest from trekking. You can scoot along the main road to visit Lake Bellfield which was constructed in 1966. Some parts of the lake you can take a swim.
Whether you drive, walk or hire the E-Scooter to get to the lake keep your eyes open for wild emus, deer and kangaroos.
Feedback on my adventure to Halls Gap, Grampians
I loved the Grampians. I loved the serenity, beauty, scenic walks, the waterfall, the lake, the wild but semi tamed kangaroos that grazed around the camping ground, the wild emus and goats, open fire and a place where there’s so much to explore on foot at your own pace….
How long should you stay?
If you love nature and walking then a trip to the Grampians should be high on your list. Depending on how many treks you want to do you can easily spend 3 days here at a minimum.
There are lots of different camping grounds around including free ones or accommodation nearby. We loved where we stayed as there is so much to do at our doorstep, we didn’t have to drive off for the day unless we really wanted to.
There are not many shops in Halls Gap. They are in a great position across the road from the camping ground and cover the necessities.
- Grocery/bottle shop
- Information place
- Souvenir/gift shop
- Ice-cream shops
- Petrol station
- Take-away Fish and Chips
- Pizza Shop
- There are a couple of restaurants
You can buy firewood at the grocery store or the caravan park in the event that you have not been able to bring some along or you’ve run out.
- Allow at least 3 days to explore/relax
- Be prepared to go on as many walks as you wish
- If you love an open fire and stay at the Hall Park Caravan Park -request a site with a fire pit
- Visit Lake Bellfield
- Visit Mackenzie Falls
- Climb to the Pinnacle (you can drive part way, there’s a large car parking area)
- Visit The Reed Lookout and the Balconies Lookout
- Have an ice-cream!!
Halls Gap Caravan Park Location/Travel Time from Melbourne CBD
- From Melbourne CBD the Halls Gap Caravan Park is approximately 254km and you need to allow at least 3 hrs travel time.
- Halls Gap Caravan Park, Corner School Road and Grampians Road, Halls Gap VIC 3381
If you’ve already explored Halls Gap The Grampians or are going to explore the beautiful area I would love to hear about your experience and tips where you recommend I should visit on my next adventure.