While we were on our honeymoon, which was a road trip, some years ago through the lower coastal part of NSW, Ballarat, Bendigo, The Great Ocean Road, then on to the Grampians, Echuca & finally home, we were awestruck by the incredible beauty & variation of the ever-changing landscape that we passed, from the last remnants of snow at Mt Hotham, where we stopped to have a snow ball fight, the regeneration of new growth through the forests around the beautiful township of Bright, where the iconic Hot Rod run was on, the majestic 12 Apostles & The Great Ocean Road through to the splendour of the rolling hills around the Gold Fields, the magnificent architecture of the historic cities of Ballarat & Bendigo, though both of us prefer the peace away from all cities, through to the mighty Murray River at Echuca with its many paddle steamers from an era long gone.
All spectacular & different!
Reaching Halls Gap, we decided to base ourselves at the Mountain View Lodge located near the Grampians which is famous for its breathtaking natural sandstone ranges offering spectacular panoramic vistas. The self-contained cabins that we stayed in, were fantastic, quiet & very comfortable. We bought a BBQ Picnic basket from them for dinner that night, & cooked it up in the outdoor area, watching a terrific sunset.
We knew then that we had chosen well both in accommodation & location, as we had only read about the Grampians, when planning our trip.
With 167,219-hectare (413,210-acre) of national park, which is situated between Stawell and Horsham on the Western Highway and Dunkeld on the Glenelg Highway, there is plenty to see & do, in the area, ranging from sampling local produce in what can only be described as foodie heaven in the Grampians, with some even calling it the “Gastronomic Grampians”. You can taste your way around the region, with the option of five-star dining, cozy cafés, farm gate provedores, and farmers’ markets. Along with tasting the many varieties of local wines at dozens of historic and boutique wineries scattered throughout the area.
The area also hosts the Grampians Grape Escape, which is a wine, music & food festival weekend around the 30 April/1 May & has been going for 30 years.
Proclaimed as a national park on 1 July 1984, the park was listed on the National Heritage List on 15 December 2006 for its outstanding natural beauty and being one of the richest Aboriginal rock art sites in south-eastern Australia, that are of great cultural significance to the Jardwadjali and Djab Wurrung Peoples, the traditional owners of this area.
You can learn about the region’s unique Aboriginal culture and history at Brambuk – The National Park & Cultural Centre in Halls Gap.