When-Where-Why?

Having been quite disappointed with most of the Great Ocean Road (it’s really interesting that from the 12 apostles we think), we decided to shorten our stay there and come and discover this beautiful national park .

We absolutely do not regret our choice! The landscape is still different from the other places we had seen and there are lots of beautiful hikes to do! So we spent two days here in December 2019. The weather was perfect.

Australians love this place because they come to spend weekends and holidays.

History

For the record, this place also interested us a lot because there is a lot of information on the aborigines. Today we say “Grampians” but the aborigines call this place “Gariwerd”. Here, two peoples with very similar languages ​​have lived for almost 22,000 years, the Djab Wurrung and the Jardwadjali. In the 1830s only, Europeans arrived. They exterminated a part of the populations, controlled their spirits with Christianity, separated the families, created missions … Nowadays, the descendants still suffer from racism and discrimination. They still live in the area and do their best to preserve their culture.

The Aboriginal flag was not adopted until July 4, 1995 when it was created by Harold Thomas, an Aboriginal artist, in 1971. The flag was created as a symbol to showcase their identity. Black means people, aborigines; red corresponds to the earth and their spiritual relationship with it; yellow represents the sun, the one who gives life.

Before coming

*Money

Here we use the Australian dollar (AUD). 1AUD = 0.62 euros in November 2019.

* Internet & Telephone

There is wifi in a lot of cafes and restaurants but also free wifi in the city.

You can buy phone cards with a lot of internet.

At Vodaphone, for 30AUD you have unlimited calls and messages and 30GB of internet for 30 days.

* Applications to download

I recommend that you download these applications:

– Great walks: The application of hikes in Tasmania. She will give you the list of the biggest hikes in every corner of Tasmania.

– MapsMe: The best application for up-to-date offline maps.

-Wikicamps: This application lists all camping sites (free / paid), water points, and certain places of interest. It works offline.

– Camper Mate: This application gives you access to campsites but it does not work offline.

-FuelMapsAustralia: This application lists all the petrol stations.

Transports

We rented a camper van on Motorhome Republic. You must be transported to come.

Housing

You will have no problem finding accommodation. Being a very popular place with Australians there are a lot of lodge, B&B, camping (paid and free).

We stayed at the following campsites:

Type of camping: Camping in nature, near a lake covered with vegetation. There is no service on site. It is less than 10 minutes from the city and the radiations that lead to the Abrubpt, Sturgeon and Picaninny mountains.

Price: Free.

Water: No.

WC: No

Good to know: Next to the Dunkeld visitor center, there are toilets and showers open 24 hours a day.

Type of campsite: Camping in nature, at the end of an unpaved road. It is very popular on weekends and surely during the holidays.

Price: Free.

Water: No.

WC: Yes.

Good to know: You can shower at the Halls Gap visitor center but it is not free (3AUD) and it is open from 9 am-5pm.

Food

There are restaurants and convenience stores in the cities.

There are farms that sell products. There are farms that produce olive oil!

Activities

If you like to walk, this is the place for you! Here is some information on hikes we have done (there are several so do not hesitate to go to the visitor center of Dunkeld and Halls Gap) and aboriginal sites not to be missed.

Hiking

What: Nice hike with a very nice view of the valley and the surrounding mountains. It climbs a little but is not very complicated. There are portions with large pebbles.

Where: In the south of the park, 10 minutes by car from Dunkeld.

Difficulty: Medium.

Duration: 2h-4h, it all depends on your pace.

What: A nice hike on big stones that takes you to the top of a beautiful mountain. The rock formations are really interesting in this area.

Where: In the north of the park, at Halls Gap.

Difficulty: Medium to Difficult. You will have to hang onto the rocks at times and you should not be dizzy.

Duration: 1 hour.

Good to know: From the parking lot there are several possible hikes. There are also some from the Mt Zero parking lot which last between 1h and 2h round trip.

What: The most popular hike in the north of the park. It is very beautiful and there are several paths to access the point of view. You will pass in a canyon, you will see very beautiful rock formations, and the final point of view will be great!

Where: Gap Halls, in the car park next to the swimming pool.

Difficulty: Medium.

Duration: Minimum 2 hours, the rest will depend on your pace and the route you will take.

Aboriginal Sites

What: At the beginning of the 1980s, the aboriginal communities had the idea of ​​creating a place where they could make their culture known and preserved, and which, at the same time, would serve them to help them find a social development. The donations collected are used to create jobs for local aboriginal communities, to educate children and adults, but also to ensure that aborigines are reintegrated into society and participate in the development of tourism in the region, because you should know that they are victims of racism and discrimination. The building is very beautiful and each part refers to a community and its connection to nature.

Where: At the entrance to Halls Gap.

Price: Donation.

What: Cave paintings.

Where: 30 minutes east of Halls Gap. The path is paved.

Price: Free.

What: Cave paintings.

Where: North of Halls Gap, 1 hour drive. You take the direction of Mt Zero and you park in the parking lot. The road is not always paved.

Price: Free.

What: Cave paintings.

Where: Go to Stapylton Campground in the north of Halls Gap. Depending on where you come from, the road will not be paved everywhere.

Price: Free.

What: Cave paintings.

Where: Southwest of Halls Gap, heading back to Dunken.

Price: Free.

PLEASE NOTE: The road was closed during our visit and it was a big detour so check before you go.

Waterfalls

There are many waterfalls in the area but during the summer, ask the tourist office if they are not dry!

*Mackenzie Falls

What: Beautiful waterfall where you can swim. There are two trails, one with a long staircase that will take you downstairs and another that will take you in ten minutes to a nice viewpoint if you don’t want to go downstairs.

Where: From Halls Gap, towards Zumsteins; it will be indicated.

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