Insider guide to springtime in the Grampians
Wednesday 11 September, 2019
Spring has arrived and Park Rangers are readying for an increase in visitors to Victoria’s parks and reserves.
In the Grampians National Park, wildflowers and flowing waterfalls are seasonal drawcards, while the slowly warming weather and increasing sunlight hours make spring a perfect time for enjoying a range of recreation opportunities.
Below, Area Chief Ranger Rhonda McNeil, offers an insider’s guide for getting the most out of a springtime visit to the Grampians.
Try the Grampians Peaks Trail
That’s right, the first section of what will be an incredible 13-day, 160km walk across the length of the magnificent national park is now open.
Be inspired by the spectacular outlook of rugged mountain peaks, ancient rock and the rich cultural history of this iconic Grampians landscape, with a 36-kilometre, three-day/two-night circuit walk departing from Halls Gap.
“This spring offers a great opportunity to start your journey on the Grampians Peaks Trail, completing the section that wanders through the Wonderland Range and to the peak of Mt Rosea, ahead of the opening of further sections of the trail in late 2020,” says McNeil.
For more information visit: https://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/grampians-national-park/things-to-do/grampians-peaks-trail
Go rock climbing
Spring weather is perfect for working up a sweat in this stunning landscape, and the national park offers some great locations for no-impact rock climbing.
“While there’s been media reports about climbing bans, no-impact abseiling and rock climbing is permitted in more than 60 per cent of the park, with remaining areas off-limits due to their special values,” clarifies McNeil.
“If you’re a newcomer to climbing, or want help finding a good spot, consider one of the many licensed tour operators that offer abseiling and rock climbing in the park.”
For more information visit: https://parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/grampians-national-park/things-to-do/abseiling-and-rock-climbing
Home to more than 800 species of indigenous plants, it’s no surprise that ‘the garden of Victoria’ is one of the best spots to see wildflowers.
From late September into October the Grampians heathlands burst to life with a colourful show of Grampians Boronia, Blue Pin-cushion Lily, Grampians Parrot-pea and a multitude of other flowering plants.
“There are dozens of species of orchids in the park, delicate colourful varieties that you’ll sometimes need a keen eye to see,” says McNeil.
“Remember, don’t pick the wildflowers and stay on trails to avoid trampling this sensitive landscape.”
Some accessible spots for viewing wildflowers include around Heatherlie Quarry, Sundial Carpark picnic area, and along the Coppermine 4WD track. For people wanting to enjoy wildflowers from the car, the Grampians Tourist Road offers plenty of colourful views with tracks and pull-outs along the way to stop for a closer look.
A Grampians Wildflower Show will also be held in Halls Gap in late September.
Watch water fall
Still bulging from winter rains, the Grampians waterfalls are a delight in early spring.
“If you’re looking for a short and gentle route, Silverband Falls is an easy walk from the carpark and the walking track is suitable for wheelchairs and prams,” says McNeil.
“For those interested in exploring a little further afield, Burrong Falls and Kalymna Falls are two lesser known waterfalls worth visiting, with access best by four-wheel drive due to the rough tracks.”
Use Roses Creek Road to reach Burrong Falls and Mount William Picnic Ground Road get to get to Kalymna Falls.
The heritage-listed national park receives more than one million visits each year, with people flocking to enjoy the spectacular landscape, plants and wildlife, and learn about its incredible Aboriginal culture.
With campground bookings over Easter up compared to last year, McNeil encourages people to book accommodation early.
“While always a popular spot, the Grampians gets particularly busy in spring and summer.”
“If you’re going to visit you should now be thinking about booking campsite or other accommodation around the park.”
Prepare for four seasons in one day
Although temperatures in the Grampians begin to increase during spring, the weather can be particularly variable.
“What starts as a nice sunny day may end in cold wet weather, so ensure you’re well prepared with the right clothes, sturdy footwear, printed maps, and sufficient food and water,” advises McNeil.
“If you’re heading on a long walk, be sure to let somebody know your plans, and be aware that you may not have mobile phone reception in the park.”