Grampians Peaks Trail proves popular

Parks Victoria

The epic new long-distance Grampians Peaks Trail is proving popular with hikers, with more than 3,000 nights booked in campgrounds along the unique 160km natural and cultural hiking experience.

Officially opened in mid-November by the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, and the Federal Member for Wannon, Dan Tehan, the trail showcases the stunning Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park.

The long-distance hike runs down the spine of the park from Mt Zero in the north, through Halls Gap, to Dunkeld in the south, providing an immersive experience on the Traditional lands of the Jadawadjali and Djab Wurrung peoples, who have lived in the ranges they call Gariwerd for thousands of years.

With day hikes, multi-day trips and the full 13-day journey available, hikers can experience a variety of the park’s dramatic rocky peaks and outcrops, ravines, waterfalls, forests and lakes.

Of the 3,096 nights booked in campgrounds along the trail, 1,646 are for multi-day walks, while 1,450 are for adventurous people hiking the full 13-day journey. The northern section of the trail has so far proven most popular.

Hermann Ritzinger looking over the landscape of the Grampians Peaks Trail

Hermann Ritzinger was one of the first hikers to complete the new Grampians Peaks Trail. Credit: Hilda McLeod and Hermann Ritzinger

With the summer heat coming, Parks Victoria is reminding people walking the Grampians Peaks Trail to not underestimate conditions or time taken to complete sections of the trail. With a Grade 4 difficulty rating overall, the trail includes steep and challenging sections that demand good preparation and fitness.

Some simple tips to stay safe on the trail in summer include:

• Choose an itinerary that matches your fitness and physical ability as the trail is very challenging

• Prepare well for your hike, read all the relevant information on the Parks Victoria website and study the maps carefully before setting off.

• Don’t be fooled into thinking you will walk sections quicker than the time indicated – although some distances may be short, they will take the time indicated as the walking is difficult.

• Hikers should carry three to four litres of water per day per person, wear appropriate shoes, hat, clothing and sunscreen to protect from the sun.

• Remember that while there’s no cost to walk sections of the trail as a day-hike, bookings are required for overnight stays

• Mobile phone service is available only at higher elevations along the trail so carry a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)

• Be bushfire aware – Ensure you have a personal bushfire plan

• Look out for snakes – Carry a comprehensive first aid kit including snake bite bandages

To provide more options to access the trail, an additional $5 million investment by the Victorian Government will see 14 trailheads upgraded and three new trailheads, which have already been created.

34,000 walkers a year are expected to experience the wonders of the park, generating $6.39 million in economic benefits and tourism development opportunities.

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