Updated: Jun 6
The ultimate Guide to all the benefits of visiting the Grampians/Gariwerd in the winter months.
Gariwerd season: Chunnp / Cockatoo Season: freezing coldest time of the year, bleak mists, rain, winds!
I know what you are thinking - why would I visit the Grampians National Park during winter after you have just told us all that? Actually there are many reasons to visit and experience the Grampians, either explore by yourself, or be guided to see and learn more than you might otherwise.
Winter: Discover the plethora of fungi, such as this mushroom (below)
Use Winter as a time to unwind, enjoy clean fresh air and just some quiet space.
I love winter. It's a beautiful time, but also a melancholic time, a reflective time......
- "Katie Melua"
Reasons to visit the Grampians / Gariwerd in June, July & August
10 Reasons to visit the Grampians this Winter
Less crowds! This time of year you can go for a walk or hike and not see another person, creating that feeling you have really "got away" even if it is just for a few hours - that feeling is amazing. With less people visiting you can also enjoy the local venues for breakfast, lunch or dinner with out the hustle and bustle.
Find Fungi - this time of year my son and I love going for walks to see what kind of fungi we can spot - you will find blue, green, red, yellow and other funky colours and designs, shapes and sizes. Half the fun, if keeping your eyes peeled to see how many you can find. (Apparently there are 500 different varieties around here)
Magical scenery - great photo opportunities. In the morning you will find low mist and clouds (and sometimes snow) and as you travel though the mountains it has this real Jurassic park feel. Some great photos can also be achieved with the ever changing sky.
Colour from native plants! During the winter months many of our native plants are display great colour. This bio-cultural landscape, has more than 1000 species of vibrant wildflowers, 20 of which are only found in the local area.
Wildlife - everyone knows you will see a kangaroo in the Grampians however in winter you will see LOTS..... not just kangaroos, but also wallabies, emus, echidnas, lots of different birds (hang on to your lunch at Stoney Creek - the birds are on stand by to steal your food) plus a few non native animals such as deers and goats are often seen too.
Fire - but in a good way. Warm up with an open fire while you are camping or maybe your accommodation has a wood fire, either way returning after a day of adventure and unwinding with a fire is peaceful and relaxing.
Waterfalls - all but one waterfall in the Grampians is seasonal - and this is the season. Everyone knows about - Mackenzie Falls, but have you been to: Clematis Falls, Splitters Falls, Beehive Falls, Broken Falls, Fish Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Turret Falls - but there are more.
Meet the locals. When there are less crowds you will see the locals, meet the locals and there will be time to chat. Just ask the person who served you breakfast or coffee what is there favourite location in the Grampians or visit the Information centre or Brambuk or even the Historical Society (open 6 days per week) and ask away - everyone is happy to share their suggestions. If you love history - join our history town walking tour.
Fit a lot or nothing in over a weekend. If visiting from Melbourne - travelling up Friday afternoon and returning Sunday - you can fit a lot in, so surprise someone special with a last minute getaway - here is a suggestion on how fulfil you weekend getaway.
Savings - during winter lots of great savings from local accommodation providers and operators. Here are just two: Halls Haven Holiday Units and Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park both have opportunities to stay 3 and pay for 2 nights or stay 4 and only pay for 3 nights. Plus we have four amazing ways to save with our wine tours or helicopter flights - check it out here.
Finally if you are a serious hiker then you have likely heard about the Grampians Peaks Trail.
Bookings are now open for the Grampians Peaks Trail up until 31 August 2023. A spectacular natural and cultural experience on the lands of the Jadawadjali and Djab Wurrung peoples, the challenging hike runs 160 kilometres from Mt Zero in the north to Dunkeld in the south. Bookings are now open for the winter season and hikers are encouraged to check the Parks Victoria website and make their bookings. There are a range of itineraries to choose from. Hikes can be as short as a single overnight hike or up to the full thirteen days. Crisp winter days are beautiful for hiking, however weather conditions can change quickly along exposed sections of the trail and only experienced hikers should undertake the trail at this time. It is a challenging hike - Grade 4 and 5 – so hikers should have a good level of fitness and be prepared for hiking in steep terrain with a full pack.
If you need transfers for any walks or hikes - just book it in with us.
See you in Winter in the Grampians / Gariwerd.