Family holidays are always memorable… whether it be for the disasters that befall or the special times that you will remember for a lifetime. The goal is always the same, to explore a destination as a family whilst spending quality time together. The challenge of course is to keep both the little kids and parents happy and entertained which can be a fine balance that is not easily obtained. Add to that challenge a choice of destination that is simple, stunningly picturesque and a native animal haven, and you have a winner with the Grampians National Park in Victoria, Australia. One of the highlights of our family holiday to the Grampians National Park was indeed a half-day rock climbing/abseiling adventure with Absolute Outdoors. This award-winning company offers unforgettable adventures in the Grampians National Park to suit any level of excitement. It’s a definite winner…because after all, what better way is there to spend time in the great outdoors admiring the stunning landscape whilst rising to the challenge of an adventure that the whole family can enjoy? For those of you that crave some Aussie bush time on your next family holiday, then an activity with Absolute Outdoors is a perfect and significant adjunct adventure to your Melbourne & Australia holiday.
The Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park is located 3 hours drive to the west of Melbourne and the region is well-regarded as Victoria’s outback. The majestic mountain range and forest rising out of flat farmland is home to a huge array of native plants and animals, outdoor activities and a rich and continuing Aboriginal history. Don’t miss the chance to see ancient Aboriginal rock art paintings in shelters throughout the park, evidence of Aboriginal people’s long association with the Grampians. Go bushwalking and rock climbing, or fishing and canoeing. Set out on one of the numerous walking tracks for a casual hike or an overnight trek. Hit the waters of Lake Bellfield and Lake Wartook for fishing or canoeing or take advantage of the rocky crags for rock climbing and abseiling. There are impressive wineries to be discovered and meander the local small towns such as Dunkeld, Stawell, Halls Gap, Wartook Valley and Beaufort.
Nature. Adventure. Exploration. Excitement. There’s no better destination than Gariwerd (The Grampians) for your next adventure holiday…
The Grampians is unquestionably a stunning backdrop for adventure activities and Absolute Outdoors tick all the boxes for awe-inspiring adventures in the Grampians. Their activities are one of the highlights of the region as evidenced by all the awards the company has gathered since inception in the late 80’s. The current owners took stewardship in February 2019 and see their role as a natural fit drawing on their international guiding, ecotourism and outdoor education experience. The Halls Gap-based company offers a number of half-day activities including Stand Up Paddleboarding, Canoeing, Rock Climbing and Abseiling. Their signature experience is the Rock Adventure, a 3-hour beginner experience which features both Rock Climbing and Abseiling. Set with beautiful views of Halls Gap and the Grampians, the tour is suitable for beginners of all ages and offers a taste of climbing and abseiling under the supervision of one of the experienced, friendly local guides. Suitable for ages 6+ years, the feedback from my clients (a family of 4 from Norway) who did the Rock Adventure was unmistakeable: “This was a real highlight of our 5 week trip. Guide was fantastic. The Grampians is spectacular. Great family activity.”
Of course, the extra bonus of pursing activities in the Grampians with Absolute Outdoors is the wild animal encounters. So, if canoeing is your choice look out for the White-bellied Sea Eagle, Pelicans, or black Swans. If instead you are rock climbing, then Kangaroos, Wallabies or Emus might just feature (and steal the limelight) on your half-day activity. Absolute Outdoors also aim to expand their offerings in coming months with longer & more complex activities. One such experience recently launched is a guided hike on the Grampians Peaks Trail. The Grampians Peaks Trail is Victoria’s newest, and longest iconic walk. Traversing the entire length of the Grampians, this epic trail will lead you on a 160km journey through a wide variety of environments and conditions. It’s your call whether to go down the supported hiker camps or the stress-free luxurious accommodation and pack free walking option. I know which one I would choose!!
Educate. Inspire. Enable…
Absolute Outdoors is more than an adventure tour operator…they are passionate about adventure tourism and their environment. Their ethos is simply to educate, inspire and enable. Their support in the local community is to help disengaged or disadvantaged youths reconnect. It’s all about encouraging participation in any of the outdoor activities whilst fostering a connection with the guides. Educating the supported youths on the majesty of the Grampians National Park, and finally educating them about how to appreciate and care for the environment along the way.
So, with the combination of exciting adventure activities, the spectacular surrounds and supporting the local community, Absolute Outdoors and the Grampians National Park are a perfect choice. Make sure to include an adventure tour with Absolute Outdoors on your next visit…. I know it will be the highlight of your Aussie adventure!
The BEST times to visit are in the spring and autumn as the weather is more forgiving. Spring: enjoys variable weather. Great periods of clear stable weather are broken up by some rainy days. Comfortable temps during the day and cold mornings. Trade-off for variable weather is the AMAZING display of colours in the landscape from the many endemic wildflowers. Summer: expect HOT weather during the day but predominantly cool overnight. Stable and very little rain. Autumn: offers pleasant temps, cool evenings, generally quite clear and stable with little rainfall. The perfect season for climbing! The trade-off is that water levels in the landscape are at their lowest points of the year so smaller waterfalls are not flowing and lakes are down a bit. Of course, canoeing is still possible!
Good to know:
Located three hours drive west of Melbourne, Halls Gap and the Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park is an exceptional Victoria experience. The Grampians are a rugged mountain range that delivers a striking landscape of sandstone cliffs, spectacular waterfalls, Indigenous rock art, and an abundance of native wildlife. It’s no wonder the region is heritage-listed for its outstanding natural beauty and wealth of Aboriginal Rock Art in south-eastern Australia. The region is world-famous for rock-climbing enthusiasts and other highlights include a variety of spectacular walks from short walks for the family to the newly launched Grampians Peak Trail which is a 13-day hike for the more serious trekkers. Start with a visit to Brambuk, the National Park & Cultural Centre to discover the Park’s exceptional environment and Aboriginal culture. There are plenty of other outdoor activities and picturesque villages abound with cafes, boutiques, and plenty of art galleries. The region is also home to some amazing wineries including Bests Great Western, which is one of the oldest wineries in Australia. It is worthwhile to stay a few nights to soak up the Aussie bush atmosphere and meet the local population of Kangaroos, Wallabies, Emus, and Eagles. Apart from your adventure activity with Absolute Outdoors, other top must-dos include a visit to the Halls Gap Zoo, a round of mini-golf, a long lunch at the Royal Mail Hotel in Dunkeld and don’t miss a hike to MacKenzie Falls and top it off with a brilliant view at the Pinnacle Lookout.
AET Travel (formerly Australia Expat Travel) specialises in exceptional holidays to Australia and New Zealand. We make it simple with our local knowledge, seamless logistics and trusted advice since 2004. Expect a bespoke itinerary curated with the big picture and the small details. Contact us