When it comes to natural wonders and wide-open spaces, there’s plenty worth seeking out in Australia. With over 500 national parks, the problem isn’t finding them – it’s choosing just one or two to visit. Here’s where we think you should head once you’ve picked up your rental car at the nearest Enterprise Rent-A-Car branch.
Majestic mountain ranges are dotted with cascading waterfalls, and edged with unique rock formations, creating the spectacular natural beauty that the Grampians National Park is known for. Located in Victoria, approximately a 3-3.5 hour drive from Melbourne, this is the perfect place to escape the city and appreciate some of Mother Nature’s finest work. Visit Halls Gap for food, maps, and other supplies, and select your perfect accommodation from a range of campsites, luxurious hotels, and everything in between, before venturing out to explore. Here are the top 8 natural wonders waiting to be discovered in the Grampians.
For breathtaking views across the mountains, look no further than the Pinnacle lookout. To get there, park the car at Sundial car park, and begin your hike. Whilst it’s not a difficult trek, it is not suitable for those with mobility issues or low fitness levels, as it does require some rock hopping. The 45-minute walk is scenic and enjoyable. Take some time to relax at the top as you soak up the magnificent views of the entire Grampians region before hiking back down.
Located 14 minutes from Halls Gap, Boroka Lookout is much easier to access, with two viewing platforms just a short walk from the car park. Enjoy panoramic views of Halls Gap, Lake Bellfield, and the east Grampians. For the best sights, make your way here in time for the sunrise to watch the Grampians come to life with an enchanting swish of colour.
Who doesn’t love chasing waterfalls? There are several beautiful falls in the Grampians, however the largest and most impressive is Mackenzie Falls. The water flows all year round, rolling over huge cliffs and dropping into a deep blue pool below. It takes 45 minutes to drive from Halls Gap to the car park. From here it’s an easy 1KM walk to the viewing platform, and a 30-minute trail to the base of the falls.
Glimmering natural rock pools on a bed of sandstone create one of the prettiest and most unique attractions in the Grampians. Venus Baths can be reached via a short and easy loop walk from the Halls Gap Botanic Gardens along Stoney Creek. During the summer months, the pools may dry up or become stagnant, however on a warm spring day they offer a perfect place to cool off with a dip in relaxing surroundings. Even when swimming is not available, the Venus Baths are still an attraction worth adding to your itinerary.
Discover the unique beauty of Silverband Falls, a seasonal waterfall with just a slither of water plunging down the rocks. It is best viewed after rainfall, when the waterfall is in full flow. The name was given by European settlers, because the stream resembles a silver band. What makes Silverband unusual is that the water disappears between the rocks at the base of the falls, only resurfacing 50 metres downstream. The walk from Silverband Falls carpark is easy, taking around 20 minutes each way.
Of all of the stunning views in the Grampians, the sight of Lake Bellfield’s expansive blue water stretching out with a dramatic mountainous backdrop must be one of the best. Aside from the amazing view, there are also a myriad of activities available here. One a hot day, this is an ideal spot to cool down with a swim. Boating, canoeing, and fishing for redfin, blackfish, and brown trout, are also popular activities here. Alternatively, make use of the picnic area and enjoy lunch with a view.
Nestled amongst the striking Wonderland Range in the Grampians National Park, lies The Grand Canyon - a rocky gorge surrounded by incredible scenery. The 900-metre loop walk is relatively easy; however it does involve some steep stairs and a small amount of rock hopping. Head through the gorge along the side of the creek, passing small cascades and a larger seasonal waterfall on your way.
Named for the way that they stick out from the mountain, the balconies are an unusual rock formation providing delightful views across the ranges and Victoria Valley. Park at Reeds Lookout car park and stop at Reeds Lookout on the way for more wonderful views. The Balconies are a beautiful spot at any time of day, however visiting as the sun sets allows an even better view as the ranges meet a sky swathed in pink and purple tones.