photo taken at The Balconies (I blocked the lower Jaw, oops!)
Halls Gap at Grampians
After our Great Ocean Road drive, making Warrnambool and Port Fairy our last two stops, we headed north to the mountains– Halls Gap at Grampians National Park!
After a long drive from Port Fairy, we were happy to see a sign welcoming us to “Grampians National Park”. Finally we’re able to rest and get some food! However, it turned out to be false hope because we still had to drive about 40 mins to Halls Gap. It was a long but scenic drive through the Grampians National Park from Dunkeld to Halls Gap.
Halls Gap is the service town center and a good base to explore the ranges in Grampians National Park. That’s where we settled our late lunch too. From this center, our accommodation at Grampians Eco YHA is only 2 mins drive away. It’s a hostel, but we were blown away by the design of the whole place. Comfortable and affordable, check out our experience before booking.
Coming to Grampians National Park, it’s all about exploring the nature. The reason why we planned this detour stop from Great Ocean Road was because of an article we read: it was the top 39 of a travel bucket list. The place is a waterfall, wildlife, walker’s paradise! It’s also famous for its series of five sandstone ridges & waterfalls and home to Kangaroos, Koalas, Emus, and many other animal and plant life.
p.s. Before you hit the mountains, you may want to visit Brambuk Aboriginal Cultural Centre at Halls Gap to learn more about Australia’s Aboriginal culture and history.
Drive up the mountains to some splendid views at Boroka & Reed Lookouts and The Balconies.
photo taken at The Reed Lookout
Reed Lookout and The Balconies
Drive up on Mt Victory Road to Reed Lookout car park and then walk for 10 minutes to the summit. Enjoy the view and then walked on for another 40mins or 2 km to reach The Balconies. If I’m not wrong, we saw this interesting sight along the way to The Balconies. Many stone stacks were piled up as seen in photo below. They’re not natural rock formations because we were able to topple and re-stack them back. Wondered who did all the stacking work here. It’s also a wonder that the wind and animals did not mess up with the formation.
As we reached The Balconies, we saw two sandstone rocks jutting out from a cliff face. That’s when we understood why this attraction was used to be called the Jaws of Death. Get to enjoy panoramic views here as well!
From Reed lookout, follow the signs and drive up to Mt Difficult Road and arrive at Boroka lookout. This look out is apparently more spectacular than the ones at the Reed and Balconies. We didn’t know it then and gave it a miss. :( It’s one of the best lookouts in the Grampians, looking out over Halls Gap and Lake Bellfield.
From the car park, the trail to MacKenzie Falls is 1.9km return. There were also interesting man made and natural paths for us to walk above the waters. Just be careful not to slip and fall into them!
At the base of Mackenzie Falls, water cascades over huge cliffs into a deep pool. It is flowing all year. It was really quite a beauty to behold. We skipped the other two famed waterfalls in Grampians for the MacKenzie Falls because this was apparently the best among the bunch.
Some other famous attractions at Grampians that we did not visit include Clematis Falls, Silverband Falls, Lake Bellfield, and Hollow Mountain. When time pressed, we had to pick a few among many. Lake Bellfield seemed to be just another lake for relaxation. As for Hollow Mountain, we had no time and gear for serious hiking. It is said to be challenging uphill, with some sections being rocky and slippery.
If you can, try to get the walking brochures available at Brambuk the National Park and Cultural Centre Halls Gap, or from a local Grampians Visitor Information Centre.
We had our first close up encounter with Kangaroos at Tower Hill in Warrnambool, but it was not until we came to Grampians that we managed to capture a priceless scene of two kangaroos fighting! Pardon the rough editing and shooting skills. Will do better the next time I travel. Enjoy the video of the southern sea at GOR and the fight! :)
Took a photo of this endearing scene of sheep on green pastures while we drove from Port Fairy to Grampians:
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
One Last Tip: When travelling back to Melbourne from Halls Gap, you will pass by Sovereign Hill at Ballart. We wanted to visit but had no time. Do check it out if you have the time, it looks interesting!
For other useful travel tips of Australia, look at the overview of our Australia itinerary. :) Have fun in Aussie!
Do you have other questions or recommendations for Halls Gap at Grampians National Park? Ask us below or on our Facebook Page or Instagram.
Related Posts: Great Ocean Road Self Drive Itinerary (1/2) Drive to 12 Apostles from Melbourne (2/2) Warrnambool and Port Fairy of Great Ocean Road Accommodation Review: YHA Halls Gap
Travels During October 2013 | Updated 20 July 2016
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