Day walks: The Grampians
Eastean Plateau Loop
Distance: 9km circuit
Time: 3–4 hours
One of Victoria’s oldest national parks, Mount Buffalo’s landscape includes granite tors, 300m cliffs, plunging waterfalls, beautiful wildflowers, snow-gum forests and mossy plains.
This loop walk covers many of Mount Buffalo’s most recognisable landmarks. Starting from the Gorge Visitor Area, the route follows the Gorge–Lake Catani track. Soon Billisons Lookout provides views of Mt Hotham and Mt Feathertop, then the walk continues to Lake Catani (a lovely spot for a swim or picnic) through stands of alpine ash and snow gum.
Take the Chalwell Galleries Track, near the camping ground, for an exciting route through a maze of large granite rocks. You’ll need to scramble down between the boulders and lower yourself through a narrow crevice using the handrails. Descending to Lakeside Road to pick up the Lakeside Walking Trail, the route heads west along the southern fringe of Lake Catani.
There’s a short stretch along the bitumen of Mount Buffalo Road as the trail swings north to Grossmans Mill Picnic Area and the Monolith Track. The giant balancing rock stands at 1464m above sea level on a rugged granite tor. A staircase climbs to a viewing area that provides a 360-degree panorama of the plateau and Lake Catani. From here return to the Gorge via a quiet forested gully.
Distance: 9km circuit
Time: 5 hours
Grampians NP’s Wonderland Loop is found in the park’s centre, starting from the town of Halls Gap. On this walk you will see waterfalls, canyons, creeks and forests. The track takes in the Grand Canyon, the Pinnacle, and the Silent Staircase, one of the Wonderland Range’s best known features. Most people walk this anti-clockwise because then it ends with a 400m descent along the ridge. Pick up a map at Brambuk, the park visitor centre. Dress in layers because it can get quite cold.
Mt Oberon to Oberon Bay
Distance: 24km circuit
Time: 7 hours
Wilsons Promontory NP occupies the southernmost part of the Australian mainland, 175km south-east of Melbourne. Its untamed coastline is notched with sheltered coves and sandy beaches.
This full-day walk takes in some of the park’s best views and remote beaches. Leaving your car at Tidal River, catch a shuttle bus to Telegraph Saddle, where the walk starts with a climb to Mt Oberon. At the summit you emerge onto giant boulders with 360-degree views across the Prom, Bass Strait and offshore islands.
After returning to the saddle, take the track that heads south to Telegraph Junction. This easy downhill section meanders through eucalypt forest, past fern gullies and large granite rock walls. Along the way you will cross over McAlister and Growler creeks and skirt tea-tree swamps. At the junction, the track swings west to Oberon Bay through sandy scrub and a forest of tea-tree and ferns. The next section is beautiful, along 2km of pristine beach to the northern end of Oberon Bay, then on to Little Oberon Bay. The last section traverses another scenic headland to Norman Beach and Tidal River.