Section hike on the Grampians Peaks Trail – Gariwerd NP

A hiker looking towards Mt Difficult on the Grampians Peaks Trail, Grampians, (Gariwerd)
Finally, after many months in lockdown and not being able to leave my home due to Covid restrictions, I was sitting in the car and driving towards the northeast of Victoria to go for a short hike. It was early December, and it was time – time to get out! 
It felt strange to be driving up the Western Highway towards the Grampians. The Grampians Peaks Trail had just officially opened and I was curious to see how the new campgrounds and facilities had been set up. I had also packed some of my new product prototypes, which I was keen to take out and see how they performed. After a 5-hour drive I arrived at the Mt Zero carpark. 
From Mt Zero trailhead I hiked south – I hadn’t made much of a plan but I had packed food for at least 3 days. I ended up creating a 4-night loop, hiking parts of the northern section of the Grampian Peaks Trail in both directions. Due to coldish weather and gusty winds on the way south, and warm sunshine on the way back a few days later, it was a totally different experience in each direction, which I really enjoyed. I also ventured off the Peaks Trail and explored other areas. I couldn’t avoid some road walking, but traffic was minimal and I saw only three cars while walking along a road for a few hours. With good phone reception (check your provider), I was able to book the campgrounds during the day when I knew how far I was going to hike. However, this might not be possible during peak season.
Around Mt Stapylton the trail goes through a rocky landscape, mostly along a ridge line, which provides beautiful views in all directions. It also crosses an area of fresh regrowth which would have been burned some years ago. 
Views from Mt Stapylton, Grampians National Park.
On the northern sections of the Grampians Peaks Trail, Grampians National Park (Gariwerd)
Views over the northern parts of the Grampians National Park (Gariwerd) along the Grampians Peaks Trail.
While enjoying the landscape make sure to keep your eyes open for local snakes, which like to hang out on the warm rocks of the trail preparing for the hunt at night.
A snake sun baking in the afternoon along the Grampians Peaks Trail.
Throughout the hike I came across natural water sources. Some small creeks were flowing, and a few ponds had standing water in them. Frogs were hiding and letting me know they were there. If you walk later in summer or in years with a drier winter and spring, make sure to carry enough water with you.  
Dense vegetation re-growth after bush fire. Grampians National Park (Gariwerd)
Rockface on the way to Rose Gap from Grampians Peaks Trail.
A solo hiker on the Grampians Peaks Trail, Grampians National Park (Gariwerd)
On my way back north I stayed at Barigar campsite, one of the new campsites on the Peaks Trail. It has a large communal shelter plus individual wooden platforms with chains to set up your tent or tarp. It took me a while to figure out how to set up my tarp – I didn’t use the chains as they were too close to each other for my setup, but I tied the front of the tarp to the planks, and had the rear corners hang over the edge so I could stake them in the ground, which worked perfectly.
Platform camping with an OrangeBrown tarp along the Grampians Peaks trail at Barigar campsite in the Grampians National Park (Gariwerd).
Hooded Wind Jacket - BETA- handmade by OrangeBrown
Couscous on rye flat bread - the perfect hiking meal.
The communal shelter is simple but functional and fits well into the landscape. I think that considering the location and anticipated traffic coming through, it offers good solutions to accommodate visitors and protect the surrounding nature. The local owls don't seem to mind the visitors and provided me with an impressive  evening concert from all sides of the valley.
I visited only the one Peaks Trail campground and spent the other nights at other campgrounds within the park, so I can’t comment on other spots along the official trail. 
I will be back for another outing to explore more after the heat of the summer.
For more details about the Grampians Peaks Trail, see the Parks Victoria website.
 
Feel free to leave a comment below – I’d love to hear from you.
Sunset in the forest near Stapylton Campground in Grampians National Park (Gariwerd).


2 Responses

Thomas @ OrangeBrown
Thomas @ OrangeBrown

January 12, 2022

Thanks Davo, the Grampians are really beautiful. You should stop by one day and take them all in. The tarp is a beta version… just testing…

Davo
Davo

January 12, 2022

Hey thanks for the post on the Peaks Trail. I’d heard about the new trail from some friends who had walked parts of it and it sounded great but the photos you posted were fantastic and really showed off the countryside. Sounds like you had a long overdue escape from the city.

That tarp looks perfect… is that an Orange brown product?
Cheers and thanks for the info, Davo :-)

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