The Three Southern Peaks // Grampians National Park (VIC)

Three peaks rise suddenly from the plains of Western Victoria, forming the southern tail of the Grampians National Park: Mount Abrupt, Mount Sturgeon, and the Piccaninny (listed in order of cruelest to kindest on the legs).

Highlights

  • Three peaks
  • Wild bushland
  • Sweeping views
  • French bakery

Each peak has its own trail and all lie conveniently within eight kilometres of Dunkeld. This is a small town with an outrageous number of cafes to get you started in the morning, including a French bakery if you want to tuck a croissant into your backpack, and the Royal Mail Hotel to sooth you with food and drink at the end of the day.

The three peaks stand shoulder to shoulder like siblings in a family portrait. Piccaninny is the youngest, tucked happily between the other two, and like all the best youngest siblings it is the shortest and the sweetest. Its track is sturdy enough that even thongs could get you to the summit in a pinch. While it lacks stature by comparison, its sweeping views and adventurous spirit are as fierce as its siblings.

Sturgeon and Abrupt offer more muscle contractions and are far beyond thongs appropriate.

Sturgeon is the creative, unpredictable sibling; its trail begins with a tranquil wander through the scrub, then takes a sudden uphill turn into a rocky, scrambling bid for the summit.

Abrupt is the athletic sibling, going from car park to climbing in five meters flat, and bouncing over an endless series of saddles. Part of the trail was wiped out by the 2011 landslides and was rebuilt through the middle of one of these scars, giving you a close-up view of natures’ destructive force.

All three peaks have wide-eyed views of rolling plains and brim with wildflowers, wallabies and rocky outcrops. Abrupt, as the tallest sibling, shoulders the best views of the park as its ranges ripple northward.

Essential Gear

  • Sturdy walking shoes
  • Water and food
  • Windbreaker – wind and rain can appear unexpectedly
  • Camera

How To Get There

Dunkeld is 270kms/3hrs from Melbourne. Vline also offers a train+bus service. Accommodation is available in town, including camping in the local caravan park.

Google Maps directions:

Dunkeld visitor information centre

Mt Sturgeon car park

Mt Abrupt car park

Piccinnini car park

Activities

  • Hiking
  • Photography
  • Wildflowers (especially the orchids in Autumn)
  • Croissants and coffees

Skill level

Beginner

Distance Covered / Elevation Gain

  • Piccaninny 2.5km/130m
  • Sturgeon 7km/343m
  • Abrupt 6.5km/500m
EXPLORE MORE MICROADVENTURES IN VICTORIA