10 Things to do over your Grampians Grape Escape Weekend
What makes Grampians Grape Escape so special is its surrounds, the stunning setting is begging to be explored. While you’re in the area, why not check out everything else that makes this region something special.
- Chasing waterfalls
MacKenzie Falls is one of grandeur and one of the largest waterfalls in Victoria, flowing all year round. Drive from Halls Gap down Northern Grampians Road to the falls. You can enjoy them from the viewing platform, which is wheelchair accessible.
If you want more, you can easily continue walking from the base of MacKenzie Falls to Fish Falls, which is only a couple of kilometres away.
The view that awaits you at the end of this steep trail is spectacular. Water cascades over huge cliffs into a deep pool, sending fine sprays of mist high into the air above a stunning gorge.
- Take a hike
The Grampians is brimming with natural beauty and there are plenty of walks, many that start either in Halls Gap or just a short drive from the town.
For those wanting a short easy walk from the centre of town, take the 2.3 kilometre track over Stony Creek to Venus Baths. The flat track with no obstacles is perfect for families. The peaceful rockpools are fun to explore and is the perfect place to enjoy some packed snacks.
The Chatauqua Peak walk starts and finishes at the Halls Gap Recreation Reserve, the Grape Escape venue. This 5.6 kilometre circuit is a bit trickier, it will take you about 2 and a half hours, but well worth the views of Halls Gap and the further Grampians.
For more serious hikers, the Pinnacle hike is a must-do. Start from either Halls Gaps town, from the main road, walk past the Halls Gap Pool and up for a longer walk, or for those with limited time, the Wonderland Car Park, a few minutes’ drive from Halls Gap, is a shorter walk that will take you through the Grand Canyon, rock formations that make for a scenic delight.
When walking in the Grampians, make sure you wear hiking appropriate shoes and clothing, take water, a snack and a map. Be sure to visit a local Information Centre for all the know how.
- Look out
You definitely don’t have to exert yourself for an amazing view. You can easily drive to many key places. As well as the MacKenzie Falls lookout, you can drive to Reeds Lookout, on Ararat-Halls Gap Road for stunning views over the Victoria Valley, Victoria Range, Serra Range, Lake Wartook and the Mt Difficult Range, you can even get a great view from the carpark alone. Wander along from Reeds Lookout Carpark to The Balconies, which will give you even more panoramic views.
The stunning Boroka Lookout is on the way to Reeds Lookout and MacKenzie falls and also easily accessible from the car park.
- Eat, drink and be merry
Start your day right with a kickstart of coffee, a rejuvenation of juice and some delicious food.
Get your caffeine hit in the beautiful and delicious Harvest Halls Gap Café and Provedore in Heath Street. Or for a refreshing and healthy juice stop at Livefast in the Stoney Creek Complex.
For lunch and dinner there are also plenty of options, including Black Panther for pizza, Halls Gap Bakery for pies or pasties and the Halls Gap Hotel for a tasty pub meal.
- Wheeling around
Get around town on two wheels by hiring a bike or an electronic bike, a fun way to see Halls Gap when you want to take a break from being cooped up in your car.
Halls Gap E-Bike Hire, at 109 Grampians Road, offers visitors to the Grampians the chance to view the scenery from a push bike or E-Bike along bike paths through Halls Gap.
Helmets are provided and you can hire bikes for a range of time periods.
- Practice your putt
Have a go at a challenging but fun 18-hole mini golf course with your friends and family. Head down to 475-481 Grampians road, 4 kilometres from Halls Gap central, past Brambuk Cultural Centre to Grampians Adventure Mini Golf. Not only is it a lot of fun, it is a beautifully designed course, including two mini mountains form the centre of the course from which six waterfalls and streams meander around, over and under the greens. The course is themed around some of the more popular local icons such as Mt William, The Pinnacle and the Grand Canyon.
A tricky jackpot hole is another worthy challenge, which can award the winning putter hundreds of dollars and their name on the plaque. There is a café and bar on sight, a perfect spot to celebrate your swing or commiserate your bad aim.
Perfect for couples, groups of friends and families, the course is $13.50 for adults, $10 for those ages 4 to 14 and free for children under 4. There are also special family rates.
- Animal Encounters
Victoria’s largest regional zoo is situated in Halls Gap and well worth a visit. Explore the space, seeing a range of native wildlife, birds and reptiles as well as some fun exotic friends. The cheeky meerkats are worth a peek, the giraffes tower over everyone and you can be a part of the experience with different encounter packages and the opportunity feed some of the animals yourself.
Halls Gap Zoo, at 4061 Ararat-Halls Gap Road, is open daily from 10am to 5pm.
- Absorb the culture
Brambuk – The National Park and Cultural Centre is 100 per cent owned and operated by Aboriginal people and is the longest running Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Australia. Experience Australia’s native flora and fauna and Aboriginal culture in this beautiful space.
This is also an information hub for walks and other things to do in the area.
Brambuk, at 277 Grampians Road, is open daily from 9am to 5pm.
- Get an ice cream
Ask any of the locals, it is unheard of to come to Halls Gap without stopping for an Ice Cream. Coolas Ice Creamery, at 97 Grampians Road, is your go-to for everything from refreshing sorbets to pure indulgence. Our top picks are the lemon gelato for those who love something fresh and fruity, or for the sweet tooths, the Stairway To Heaven, with caramel and chocolate bits, is the way to go.
- Stay a while
Want the fun to go on a little longer? Grampians Grape Escape has a number of partner events from April 1 to May 6. Head to the partner events page for all of the details at http://grampiansgrapeescape.com.au/whats-on-in-may-victoria/partner-events/