Review: Grampians Tour with Autopian Tours

Wildlife in the Grampians is fantastic

Wildlife in the Grampians is fantastic

Whilst living in Melbourne I was keen to explore some of the rest of Victoria. We had already driven the Great Ocean Road and I fancied another trip out of the city.

Our driver Andrew picked us up from a city centre hotel and drove us over the West gate Bridge and to Ballarat where we stopped for tea and biscuits. It was early June and a brisk chilly morning so we didn’t stay long before hopping back on the bus. Andrew was a great guide and got us all to introduce ourselves over the microphone on the bus.

The views even on a cloudy day are terrific

The views even on a cloudy day are terrific

We arrived in the Grampians National park around 11 and visited the cultural centre, which had the Aboriginal flag flying over it. It was fascinating to learn a little of the history of the place and its peoples.

Next we wandered into the village to spot some kangaroos. Well, I expected to see some kangaroos. What I didn’t expect was for two dozen of them to be chilling on the footy oval, completely at ease with a bunch of humans wandering up pretty close to them. There were more than enough of them to make up two footy teams with! If you don’t believe me check out my Grampians video!

Australia doesn't have many mountains, but the ones it does are pretty good

Australia doesn’t have many mountains, but the ones it does are pretty good

We had lunch at Stony Creek in Halls Gap with a couple of cheap bakeries and a lovely setting by the creek. The birdlife was fantastic, again check the video to see more.

Next was the good bit – the drive up to the mountains! It was a windy road up to the Boroka lookout, with awesome views across the region, Halls Gap, lakes and distant mountains. The low cloud got in the way a bit but it was still breathtaking.

Reed lookout and the Balconies were even more spectacular – the Balconies are iconic and when the cloud lifted it offered the most stunning view of the day, just sensational.

Mackenzie Falls

Mackenzie Falls

The only thing we hadn’t seen were any waterfalls so we drove over to the mighty Mackenzie Falls, which was well worth the trip, and Broken Falls, which we sadly couldn’t get too close to due to path maintenance being carried out on the day we went.

On the way home we got one final treat when we saw some wallabies chilling by the roadside – the Grampians is as good for wildlife as it is for magnificent views!

Summary

The trip was excellent, our guide was well informed and fun, and the only downside was it was a lot crammed into a day. I’d recommend stretching it out over a weekend. We paid $130 for this including admission to Melbourne’s Eureka Skydeck.JP

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