Australia: The Grampians National Park (Halls Gap), Victoria

Australia: The Grampians National Park (Halls Gap), Victoria

With the Great Ocean Road and Warrnambool in our rearview mirror of our trusty Kombi Gracie, Mr ESLT and I hit the road again this time our destination was Halls Gap in the Grampians National Park. The distance between Warrnambool and Halls Gap is 159km and google maps reliably informed me that the journey should take 2 hours and 13 minutes. Unfortunately, I did not factor into the equation that we were driving a 1970’s campervan and not a modern car! Therefore our journey took just over 3 hours.

Railway crossing, Australia

Railway crossing, Australia

The road between Warrnambool and the Grampians National Park is near enough one long straight road and in the whole 3 hours we were on the road I think we only passed a couple of vehicles. Having spent time in Melbourne and on the Great Ocean Road it was a completely different experience driving on this deserted road with nothing to see for miles. This is exactly what I had expected when picturing our trip into the Grampians. However, no matter how much I was enjoying the experience and the views I always had the niggling thought in the back of my mind that if we broke down we may end up in a Texas Chainsaw Massacre(esk) situation! Luckily for us, we didn’t (obviously)! It was hard to comprehend the actual size of the Grampians as it took up the whole of the windscreen of the kombi. It is in fact 167,219-hectares (413,210-acres). Proclaimed as a national park on 1 July 1984, the park was listed on the Australian National Heritage List on 15 December 2006 for its outstanding natural beauty and being one of the richest indigenous rock art sites in south-eastern Australia.

We checked in to the Halls Gap Caravan Park which is right in the middle of Halls Gap town ($36/£18.85 per night). This holiday park was very similar to others we had stayed at on the Great Ocean Road – amenities block, camp kitchen etc but this one had something extra and I think it was the surroundings – they were beautiful. After setting up the kombi for the evening we just sat and appreciated where we were. The Grampian Mountains on 3 sides, the noises of nature and the clear blue sky – perfecto!

Our Kombi in Halls Gap, The Grampians, Australia

Our Kombi in Halls Gap, The Grampians, Australia

Halls Gap itself is a lovely town with everything you would need for 1 night or 2 weeks and very child-friendly (if you were thinking of a break with the kids). The town centre is nestled between the soaring rocky mountain peaks that constitute the Wonderland and Mount William Ranges. A number of cafes and tourist shops can be found facing the grassy areas fronting Stony Creek, while the attractive Halls Gap Picnic Reserve is just across the road from the rest of the commercial centre.

Halls Gap, The Grampians, Australia

Halls Gap, The Grampians, Australia

Halls Gap will also always hold a special place in my heart because in the middle of the night when my husband woke up to visit the facilities he came face to face with at least seven real-life truly Australian KANGAROOS! Having been in Oz for over a week and having not seen one he knew I was extremely frustrated. So he instantly woke me up too. It was a very surreal experience stood in the dark in our PJs watching a troop of kangaroos going about their business oblivious to us, even though we were only stood a couple of feet away from them – phenomenal!

Fantastic place – wish we had had more than one evening there! Getting back to nature, so relaxing!

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  1. cindy
    April 16, 2015 / 7:46 am

    Hi! I just want to say that I have really enjoyed your travel blog! I chanced upon your travel blog while searching for ideas for a 3d2n GOR drive! Did you managed to complete Grampians on your 3rd day?? We are thinking of including it in our 3d2n itinerary but was wondering if it would be possible.
    Looking forward to your reply!

    Thank you!

    • April 18, 2015 / 3:28 pm

      Hi Cindy, thanks for your lovely comment. Firstly the Grampians are fantastic! However, I personally think you’d be hard pushed to see everything you wanted to see on a 3d2n drive. In reality we had 5d3n and even then it was a complete whistle stop tour of the GOR and the Grampians. Plus we went in September when the roads are pretty quiet so we didn’t hit much traffic which of course would have put time on our journey. The Grampians are massive with so much to see and do in them, we didn’t even scratch the surface in the 24hrs we were there. If you are unable to extend your trip I’d say (and it breaks my heart to do so) give the Grampians a miss.
      I hope this helps, obviously this is my opinion and you do what feels right for you. Have a great journey and safe travels ;0)

  2. Cindy
    April 21, 2015 / 6:36 am


    thank you so much for your reply. As much as we would want to put Grampians on our “to explore list”, I guess we have to give it a miss. It seems like there are already plenty to do around the GOR without going to Grampians. I am so glad to have found your blog as it really gives us plenty of ideas on what we can do during our time there.
    Once again thank you so much for your reply, great appreciate! 🙂

  3. Nisa
    August 4, 2017 / 4:04 am

    Hi! I’m planning 5 nights to cover the GOR and the Grampians (1 night Lorne, 2 nights Port Campbell/Warrnambool and 2 nights Halls Gap). Do you think that’s enough time or should we give Halls Gap a miss?


    • August 5, 2017 / 7:18 pm

      We did the same route and did 1 night Lorne, 1 night Port Campbell and 1 night in Halls Gap. We found that we had enough time to see everything along the GOR. We would have liked longer in the Grampians as there is so much to see and do. Halls Gap is beautiful and I personally would say don’t miss it, if anything maybe have 3 nights there and just one in Port Campbell? We loved that journey and we’re sure you will too!!! 🙂