Grampians Peaks Trail project
For information about walking the Grampians Peaks Trail or to make a campground booking click here
The Grampians Peaks Trail (GPT) project is a 160km, world-class natural and cultural walking experience that was opened in November 2021.
Showcasing the stunning Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park, the trail connects the park’s spectacular peaks, from the massive sandstone outcrops around Mount Zero in the north to Mount Abrupt in the south.
Eleven sustainably designed hike-in campsites are located along the 160km trail for those undertaking multi-day sections. Bearing Traditional Owner names, the campsites contain raised tent pads, a main shelter for gathering and meal preparation, toilets, gathering spaces, boardwalks, and internal tracks to minimise environmental impacts.
To cater for a wide range of visitors looking for new experiences, including those who may be unable or prefer not to carry provisions for a multi-day hike, Parks Victoria has engaged tour operators to provide facilitated walks on the trail’s northern section.
The facilitated walking experience makes use of three demountable huts at the Gar (Mount Difficult) and Werdug (Lake Wartook) hike-in campgrounds. Built and owned by Parks Victoria, the four-bed huts have a minimalist design developed for the Gariwerd landscape.
• The trail brings opportunities well beyond the walk itself, with the trail being an important economic and tourism development opportunity for the local community, the region and Victoria as a key nature-based tourism destination.
• The trail showcases one of Victoria’s most significant environmental and cultural landscapes, providing visitors with an experience rich in the Aboriginal culture of the Jadawadjali and Djab Wurrung peoples, who have lived in these ranges for thousands of years.
• By 2025, up to 34,000 walkers are set to experience the wonders of the national park, generating more than $6 million of economic benefit and tourism development opportunities for the region.
- $23.2 million from the State Government funding
- $10 million from the Commonwealth Government through Horsham city Rural Council
Who we worked with
Barengi Gadjin Land Council, Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, and Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation worked in partnership with Parks Victoria to guide the trail alignment and shape the visitor information and stories, which promote awareness and respect for this special cultural landscape.
In addition to this, Parks Victoria worked closely with local governments including Horsham City Rural Council, Northern Grampians Shire Council, Ararat Rural City Council, and Southern Grampians Shire Council. Local and statewide tourism authorities were involved in the project.
Relevant government departments such as Regional Development Victoria and Department, of Environment, Land, Water and Planning were key contributors to the project.
Parks Victoria undertook significant stakeholder, community and Traditional Owner consultation on the design and implementation of the Trail.
The original idea for a trail linking the Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park from north to south has been decades in the making. It took a significant step forward in 2014 with the development of a Master Plan for the trail.
In 2015, Stage One of the Trail opened around Halls Gap. Since then, the region has seen a 35% uplift in overnight visitation (up until pre-COVID impacts), making the Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park one of the most popular nature destinations in the state.
With the completion of the remaining trail and facilities in November 2021, visitors can now enjoy this spectacular experience.
Environmental and cultural heritage management
Building a trail of this scale in a national park was complex and required detailed site planning to ensure the natural and Aboriginal cultural values of the Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park continue to be protected and conserved.
The alignment of the track was mapped out in partnership with Traditional Owners and conservation scientists and complies with all necessary environmental and cultural heritage assessments.
The following approvals were received for construction of the Trail:
• Cultural Heritage Management Plan
• Permission to remove vegetation under the Environment, Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act
• Local Government Planning Permit from Northern Grampians Shire Council, Southern Grampians Shire Council and Ararat Rural City Council
• Permission to establish a new walking track within the Major Mitchell remote natural area (National Park Act 1975)
• Integrated land use agreement with the Gariwerd Native Title Claim Group.
The hike-in huts for the Gar and Werdug campgrounds are demountable and were designed to minimise fire and environmental impact, with a similar footprint to the tent pads and no cooking or heating facilities. People staying in the huts as part of a facilitated walk share toilets and the shelter with all users.
All statutory compliance requirements were considered and met during the planning phases of the project, and planning permits were issued by the three local government authorities: Northern Grampians Shire Council, Ararat Rural City Council, Southern Grampians Shire Council.
A tour operator licence is required to operate commercial visitor tours and services within Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park including on Grampians Peaks Trail.