Where To Stay In Grampians – The Grampians National Park in western Victoria is known for its sand dunes and abundance of native wildlife. It is considered one of the must-see places in the state and one of the most beautiful national parks in Australia. This guide to the Grampians will help you plan the perfect visit to this incredible part of Victoria.
The region is a popular getaway from Melbourne, with plenty to do for every type of traveller. The wooded hills and empty ridges of the Grampians offer some of the best walks in the state and a great place to camp. However, for less active visitors, there are still beautiful trips to scenic lookouts, wineries and Aboriginal rock art that make for an exciting adventure.
Where To Stay In Grampians
This blog post is your ultimate travel guide to the Grampians with all the information you’ll need for your perfect trip to the stunning national park, whether you’re planning a weekend stay or more.
Things To Do In The Grampians National Park
The Grampians is located in western Victoria and is the fourth largest national park in the state. The area has been known as Gariwerd to the native Aboriginal people for thousands of years and the park is home to most of Victoria’s original rock art. It is listed on the National Heritage List of Australia for its cultural and historical significance to Aboriginal people and the unique flora and fauna found in the area.
The Grampians is one of the state’s most popular destinations for walking, hiking, camping and rock climbing. There are many trails and campsites maintained by Parks Victoria with good facilities and well-marked routes.
The Grampians is also an amazing food region, with farm-fresh produce and one of Victoria’s oldest wine regions. Whether it’s the famous Mt Zero olives or Seppelt’s Sparkling Shiraz, the region has a unique food and wine scene.
Grampians Luxury Accommodation
The Grampians National Park can be visited all year round. However, summers are generally dry and too hot, which makes it an uncomfortable time for walking, although perfect for going to the waterfalls. There is also an increased risk of bushfires at this time and you should check the latest updates on the area here.
Winter is cold and wet, however if you get a few clear days there are beautiful views and full waterfalls.
Autumn and spring are the two best seasons to visit the Grampians. Both seasons have a mild climate perfect for all kinds of activities in the park.
The national park can be extremely popular and crowded on long weekends. Plan your trip in advance if you want to visit during these times as campsites and lodging can fill up quickly.
Motorhome Hire Melbourne
The Grampians region is relatively easy to get to and is served by major roads and surrounding major towns. Most people travel to the Grampians from Melbourne or the Great Ocean Road, but you can also easily get there from Adelaide in South Australia.
From Melbourne| The Grampians are about 260 kilometers or three hours’ drive northwest of Melbourne. Major country towns between Melbourne and the Grampians include Ballarat, Ararat and Stawell.
From Great Ocean Road | The Grampians lie directly north of the Great Ocean Road. The park is a two-hour drive from Twelve Apostles Lookout to Dunkeld in the South Grampians. It is common to combine a road trip to the Grampians with the Great Ocean Road. Read my Great Ocean road trip guide here.
By car The easiest and most common way to travel to the Grampians is by car. If you don’t have your own, it’s worth hiring one for your trip as it gives you plenty of freedom to explore the different areas of the national park.
Grampians Old Man Emu Stay, Accommodation, Grampians, Victoria, Australia
By public transport Regional Victoria is connected by rail and public bus via the v/line network. Trains depart from Melbourne to Ararat, Horsham and Stawell from where you can connect with v/line coach services to the Grampians. It can be a long journey and often requires multiple changes. A standard public transport journey from Melbourne to Halls Gap would look like this: train Melbourne – Ballarat 1.5 hours, then bus Ballarat – Stawell 1.5 hours, then bus Stawell – Halls Gap 1 hour. Check here for the latest timetables.
With the route There are group tours departing from Melbourne as well as direct bus services. Most young and new arrivals to Victoria join a day trip or a combination tour of the Great Ocean Road. There are also direct transfers to the Grampians from Melbourne for those who want more freedom.
The small town of Halls Gap is right in the heart of the Grampians and is usually where most people base themselves for their trip. It has all the essential facilities and amenities such as a petrol station, public toilets and water taps, cafes, a supermarket, a camping and hiking shop and an official Tourist Information Centre.
You’ll also find Brambuk – The Swali Gap National Park and Cultural Center dedicated to sharing the history and culture of the Jardwadjali and Djab Wurrung Aboriginal communities of South West Victoria, as well as information about the park in general.
An Adventurer’s Guide To The Grampians: Where To Eat, Drink, Stay And Play
Halls Gap also has plenty of accommodation options, from caravan parks to hostels and guesthouses. I have some recommendations below.
The nearest large town is the former gold mining town of Stawell. It is only a 20 minute drive from Halls Gap and is located on the Western Highway connecting Western Victoria to Melbourne.
Dunkeld is a small town on the southern edge of the Grampians National Park and a good alternative base to Halls Gap. Located at the foot of Mount Sturgeon, it has a few essentials, including lodging, restaurants, and a visitor information center.
Note that Dunkeld does not have a petrol station. The nearest is Glenthompson, just a 12 minute drive away. Alternatively, you can continue to Hamilton or Halls Gap for fuel.
The Grampians Motel And The Views Bar & Restaurant, Halls Gap
The Grampians have a variety of accommodation options for all budgets and comfort levels. Many people use Halls Gap as a base and choose a hotel, caravan park or campsite near the town. However, you can also base yourself in Dunkeld in the south or one of the larger towns nearby such as Stawell or Hamilton.
Camping in the Grampians is one of the most popular ways to experience the park. There are many caravan parks that have camping sites as well as powder sites for vans. Or you can stay at one of the public campsites operated by Parks Victoria.
Halls Gap Caravan Park| This is one of the most popular caravan parks in the area and is right in the middle of Halls Gap. They have a number of facilities, including dusty, unpowered sites and self-contained cabins. Non-powder sites cost around AU$36 per night and powder sites $43.50 per night. Cabins start at AU$105 per night. Check here for their latest prices and availability.
Public camps There are 12 campsites spread across the national park operated by Parks Victoria. Three of these pitches are free, while the rest must be reserved and paid for on their website here. All have basic bathroom and shower facilities, as well as water tanks and fire pits.
Grampians Walks And Camping
Plantation camp This is the largest and most popular public campsite in the Grampians. It is completely free and has space for many tents, caravans, motorhomes and cars. It is 10 km north of Halls Gap along the rolling Mt Zero dirt road. Note that there is not much phone reception at the campsite.
Wannon Crossing Camp| This is another great free camping option, although it is much smaller than Plantation and fills up quickly on the weekends. However, in the middle of the week this is the perfect quiet place to land. It is located halfway between Dunkeld and Halls Gap on the Grampians Tourist Road. Please note that there is no phone signal at the campsite and in the surrounding area.
Grampians Eco YHA| This hostel in Halls Gap is a long-time favorite among backpackers and all budget travelers. It has bedrooms and private rooms. Their facilities are fantastic with great kitchens and common rooms. It’s the perfect place to meet other travelers. Beds in dorms start from AU$40. Check here for their latest prices.
Houses of the Southern Grampians| These self-contained cabins in a spacious garden are an ideal place for a little extra comfort in Dunkeld. Prices start at AU$100 per night. Check availability here.
The Grampians’ Royal Mail Hotel Is Getting A New Fine Dining Restaurant
Aquila Eco Lodges If I wasn’t a budget traveler, then this is where I would stay. They have four self-catering accommodation in a beautiful location near Dunkeld. Its sustainable and advanced design is stunning and definitely my dream type of accommodation. They’re not cheap at $300 a night, but if you’re ready to splurge, it’s worth it. Check here for availability.
For more accommodation recommendations, see my post on 10 of the most unique places to stay in the Grampians.
Although many people think of the Grampians as an outdoor adventure, it also has a great food and wine scene.
Royal Mail Hotel,