Grampians 2 day itinerary
When heading to the Grampians you will probably want to base yourself around Halls Gap- it’s the hub of the national park with all the amenities- fuel, shops, restaurants and information center.
From Halls Gap (the main town in the national park) the falls are easily signposted so you’ll have no trouble finding them.
This is a super popular spot in the park and can get busy during the day so we recommend heading there early- we got there around 7:30/8 and had it all to ourselves until around 9.
The walk to McKenzie falls is a pretty easy one however there are a lot of steps which get quite steep towards the bottom but as long as you take your time you won’t have any problems. You can’t swim in the actual waterfall but if you walk a little bit down the stream there are places to swim- the water is very ‘refreshing’ Aka freezing but still nice on a warm day. On the way down they’re several stops, where you can learn about the history of the falls, or at least pretend too, while you catch your breathe.
This spot has been made super popular thanks to Instagram and its definitely a must on any Grampians itinerary. If you follow the road to McKenzie falls from halls Gap its signposted to the balconies- From the car park it is an easy flat walk across the top of the mountain- it takes roughly 15 minutes and you get some pretty scenic views of the dam on the way. Once you arrive you cannot miss the beautiful rock formations and if you’re anything like us, you’ll want to take some time to admire them. The spot really speaks for itself and was a highlight of our Grampians trip.
This doesn’t really require any hiking and is Kid and wheelchair friendly. You get a great view of the whole of the park from several different viewpoints – it is a great place to watch the sunset. Most of the spots we visited in the Grampians are on the same road and are very easily accessible which is no exception for this spot.
After your action packed first day is coming to and end you might be looking for a place to stay, there are plenty of places to stay in town from motels to caravan parks but if you’re anything like us (cheapskate) and looking for a good old free camp spot we recommend Plantation camp ground- it is 20 minutes from Halls Gap although 7km of that is on a gravel road its easily accessible with 2WD. Don’t worry about rushing your day to get a decent spot because the place is huge and wherever you park you won’t be far from a bathroom, and after a long day of hiking there is even several bucket showers. For the wildlife enthusiasts it is also the perfect spot for bird watching, and spotting kangaroos or maybe they were wallabies or possibly wallaroos- either way they were cute too watch and there are plenty of them. We stayed at this camp ground for all 3 of our nights in the Grampians.
Time to get your hiking gear on as we recommend taking the whole day for this next spot but before you head off you might want to fuel yourself up for the day with a delicious breakfast- we recommend Harvest – a cute dog friendly café in Halls Gap, the staff are very friendly and the food is delicious ( I recommend the mushrooms on toast) and they also use and sell local produce if you’re looking for a souvenir.
There are several options to start this hike. The first one is directly from halls gap (which is the longest) but definitely worth it as passes by several stops which you can not access if you start at the other car parks, this one would be perfect on a nice day, as we weren’t lucky with the weather this time, we decided to opt out of this route but will love to do it if we visit again.
The second option is from sundial car park, this is the easiest out of the 3 although slightly longer than the third option. We recommend this hike for families and the elderly as it is not as challenging as the others. The hike is roughly 4-hour return.
The third option- the one we decided to take. Starting at wonderland car park, you would have drove past this yesterday. This is the more challenging hike but not a problem if you’re an avid hiker - or someone who thinks they are like us. The hike itself is a little steep at times and not a lot of shade so make sure you bring LOADS of water. There is nothing too challenging but there is a squeeze between 2 boulders at the end which seems a little daunting but makes a great photo opportunity. The hike takes 3-hour return but more like 4 if you take in all the views, and have occasional breaks to catch your breathe. Just as get towards the peak, for some reason, there is an option to take another route to the top which is double the distance but ends up at the same place, so if you are a super keen hiker it is “an” option but if there is a shorter route to the same destination you better believe I am taking it.
Now – which ever route you have taken- you’ve made it to the top. Allow plenty of time to take in all the views, and if you want the iconic photo at the tip of the pinnacle you might need to wait in line but don’t worry there are plenty of beautiful spots for photo ops all around the peak.