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The Grampians, home of the national park with the same name, are located in western Victoria, about a three hour drive out of Melbourne. Rugged and stunning in appearance, the Grampians are a visual delight. The bush fires in early 2006 devastated the region, but spring in the latter half of the year saw a burst of regrowth. The landscape now represents a powerful contrast between the new life and the black ash that remains from the fires. The region also boasts an impressive wildlife, with kangaroos, koalas, emus, echidnas and eagles inhabiting the area.
The Park’s information centre is located in Halls Gap, a small town in the heart of the Grampians. There are a number of other towns in the region, among them Horsham, Nhill, Ararat and Stawell.
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Some of the best views in the Park can be driven up to, while many others may require a short walk. The Park offers dozens of excellent bush walks, ranging in length and difficulty. Most, such as the hour and a half walk to Mt Abrupt, reward you with spectacular views of the surrounding Grampians.
Unfortunately, the bush fires which raged throughout the Grampians in early 2006 devastated the region and quite a few bush walks are now off-limits for safety and re-vegetation purposes.
MacKenzie Falls is an impressive and iconic attraction that is one of Victoria's largest waterfalls.
The walk to the Falls is quite popular. From the car park, you will have to walk about 45 minutes on a reasonably steep but well constructed path (with hand rails). Getting there isn't too bad, since it's all downhill - but expect a tougher challenge on the way back up.
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The Pinnacle walk attracts about 100,000 people annually, so you can expect to encounter other hikers while you do the walk. The official Grampians tourism website says it is "strenuous but enjoyable". If you're fit, it's definitely a trek worth making - the views offered at the Pinnacle are amazing.
The Grampians afford some of the finest rock climbing opportunities in Australia, especially at Mt Arapiles, where there are over 2000 climbs of varying degrees of difficulty. Mt Arapiles is extremely popular, but Mt Stapylton and Mt Rosea also offer many climbs of greater difficulty.
The Grampians are renowned for their fishing opportunities, as about a third of Victoria's lakes can be found there. The region's lakes, reservoirs, rivers and streams are abundant with a great variety of fish. The recent drought has diminished water levels, so a phone call to the Grampians National Park Visitor Centre to check on conditions might be in order as a mater of caution.
The Grampians are the best place in Victoria to see Aboriginal rock art. With five major sites of rock art, the Grampians are home to 80 per cent of Victoria’s rock art locations.
|Asses Ears Wilderness Lodge||130 Schmidt Rd, Brimpaen, Wartook Valley||Hostel||81|
|Grampians Eco YHA||Corner Grampians and Buckler Roads Halls Gap VIC 3381||HOSTEL||89|
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