Our maiden trip with CUBby (our camper trailer) and the Beast (our trusty Prado) was a fantastic week spent at the Grampians in Victoria. This was a week of firsts for our family – the first time the kids had been camping, their first toasted marshmallows, their first ‘bush pancakes’, and the first time in a long time that they ‘switched off’ from their i-devices!
Very popular as a holiday destination in Victoria, the Grampians National Park is a great place to explore with a number of campgrounds, bushwalking options, 4WD tracks, and wildlife to discover. The numerous scenic lookouts dotted throughout the 1672 square km National Park are simply breathtaking, with spectacular views of the rugged sandstone mountain ranges.
Most campgrounds within the National Park offer basic facilities – pit toilets, non-drinking water, fireplaces and picnic tables. All camp sites must be pre-booked through Parks Victoria, and it is highly recommended to book early during peak periods (School holidays). We stayed at three different campgrounds during our week, with a couple of nights at each. This gave us a real taste of the whole of the Grampians, and a great chance to explore different areas withing the National Park.
The Grampians is such a great location to visit, as there is so much to see and do, whatever your age and athletic ability! As our kids are still quite young, we tended to look for the easier walking tracks and attractions that they were able to enjoy. This was made really easy by the Grading System that Parks Victoria uses to classify each of the walks and day trips.
Highlights for our family included:
McKenzie Falls – About a 2km round trip to the base of the falls from the carpark. This was quite a steep descent, and very slippery in places, so caution was required (especially with the littlies) – but the Falls themselves were stunning!! Not unlike Melbournes weather, in the 1.5hrs that we were there, we experienced all four seasons! It was quite windy on the way down, rained whilst we were at the base, and cleared to beautiful sunshine just as we were heading back up! This is definitely a ‘must-do’ when visiting!
River Red Gum Walk – This was such a little gem that we discovered entirely by chance! Not mentioned in any of the tourist guides, or even on the map, we found this walk as we were driving down the Henham 4WD track. We spotted a sign that simply said ‘CARPARK’ in the middle of nowhere, so we stopped to take a look. To our delight, it was a fantastic little walking track that was established by the ‘Friends of the Grampians’. It is an excellent track with a path that meanders through a myriad of trees all in their natural environments, finally ending at the huge River Red Gum Tree that is estimated to be over 300yrs old. Unfortunately, the area was completely destroyed by fire in 2006, including the giant tree, which was approx. 1.3m in diameter at the time.
Silverband Falls – A great little walk at around 900m from the carpark, and easily accessible. At the base of the falls, many previous visitors had created small towers using the rocks from the bed of the creek – so be sure to add your own! See below for the Riley’s tower 🙂
The Grampians is one of Victoria’s top holiday locations, as it caters for so many people – young, old, and of all athletic abilities. The scenic landscapes are rugged, awe-inspiring and simply amazing. Education opportunities abound in the areas of Aboriginal history, land regeneration, and geography.