Some adventures take weeks of planning and preparation and some just seem to happen all by themselves. This overnighter in Victoria’s Grampians National Park (traditionally known as Gariwerd) is simple and accessible enough to make for a great spontaneous Melbourne microadventure.

  • So many kangaroos!
  • Amazing natural Australian landscape
  • Epic views, perfect for photography
  • Stars
Spontaneous Trip to the Grampians

Saturday mornings. That gorgeous feeling you have waking up without an alarm and getting up when you feel like it. My wife and I enjoyed a morning such as this and casually made our way to the local cafe for breakfast. We had no plans for the weekend and after a quick discussion we decided to drive out of Melbourne and go camping at the Grampians National Park for the night. Our car always has everything we need to camp loaded in the boot for occasions such as this.

Impulsive Escape to Grampians National Park (VIC), Keiran Stone, sky, lake, mountain,

After packing the camera gear and toothbrushes it was a quick three and a half hours to Halls Gap and the campground. The plan was to get there in time for a hike up a mountain for sunset, but we still had enough time for a wander through the Grand Canyon and to feast on a burger.

Boronia Peak

The top of Boronia Peak was on the menu for sunset. A constant uphill hike for an hour brought us to the rocky peak and spectacular 360º views of the valley and surrounding plains. A wondrous sunset capped off the evening and the hike down was easy enough, aided eventually by torches.

Plans to capture the sunrise dragged us out of our tent early the next day to walk the relatively steep service road to the top of Mt William. The multitude of stars gave us a glimpse of the low lying cloud blanketing the surrounding valley and farmland. As the light grew we managed to find a vantage point away from the main viewpoint and set the camera to capture a magical vista and sunrise. It was an unforgettable start to the day and the perfect conclusion to our impulsive one-night adventure to the Grampians National Park.

How To Get There

3.5-4 hours from Melbourne through Ballarat.

Essential Gear
  • Tent
  • Camera (+equipment)
  • Hiking shoes
  • Warm clothing
  • Torch
  • Hiking
  • Photography
  • Wildlife
  • Camping
  • Ice-cream

Skill Level

Intermediate (some strenuous hikes after/before daylight hours)

Distance Covered/Elevation Gain

Boronia Peak (6.6km return, 300m elevation change)

Mt William from the car park (3.6km return, 250m elevation change)