Nestled at the foot of The Grampians, Halls Gap is a small town surrounded by mountain ranges, and bushland. It is a popular spot for hikers, rock climbers and bushwalkers as it’s the base for some of Victoria’s most well-known and much-loved tracks and lookouts. And while it feels eons away from the city, it’s really only an easy three-hour drive from Melbourne. It’s the ideal getaway if you’re feeling like immersing yourself deep in nature, breathing in eucalyptus-laden air and slowing right down for a few days.
We stayed at BIG4 NRMA Halls Gap Holiday Park which is just a few minutes out of town. It’s a big park with views of the mountains on one side and fields on the other. A creek runs along the back and it fast became the perfect place for my inquisitive kids to explore and play. Resident kangaroos, emus and deer often make an appearance and the birdlife is abundant; cockatoos, rosellas and delightful fairywrens that are rather bold and brave considering their size.
- Studios, cabins and villas, ensuite sites and powered slab and grass sites for tents and caravans.
- A main hall that has a woodfire heater and space for art activities and visits from the local zoo. There is also a big movie screen so it’s the ideal spot for an afternoon cinema session (a daily occurrence during the school holidays).
- For those that love to stay active, there’s tennis courts, a basketball court and a heated swimming pool, volleyball court and abseiling (during the Christmas holidays).
- The kids will be delighted by the bouncing pillow, children’s playground and go-kart hire.
The walk into Halls Gap is an easy one and perfect if your kids have bikes or scooters. The town is small and quaint with a distinct holiday vibe; there’s a wonderful playground, a popular bakery, an even more popular ice-cream shop, small grocery store and bottle shop and a few cafes serving fresh, nutritious meals for hungry hikers. Personally, I recommend Harvest which is on a side-road just past the Information Centre. The coffee is superb and the vanilla slice one of the best I’ve ever eaten. They also have a freezer stacked with homemade take-away meals so if you don’t feel like cooking, but you want a healthy dinner, this is your answer.
On the edge of town is Brambuk, the National Park and Cultural Centre which is an absolute must-see if you’re in the area. The first building on the site features an information center, boutique and bush food cafe and there’s an abundance of maps and resources for those keen to do more advanced hikes in the National Park. The Cultural Centre is located a short walk away and it’s an impressive architecturally designed building in the shape of a cockatoo with outstretched wings (the cockatoo is the totem animal of the local Yardwadjali and Djap Wurrung tribes, the traditional owners of Gariwerd – The Grampians). The staff are happy to answer questions, chat to the kids and there are opportunities to paint boomerangs and watch movies in the small cinema. But most importantly, it’s a recognition and celebration of Koori culture and I only hope that there’s more of it in the future.
You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to bush walks in The Grampians. Of course, with little ones who prefer not to be carried, we’re a little limited when it comes to distance and difficulty. Thankfully Venus’ Baths is an ideal walk for the whole family. It starts in the centre of town and is a relatively flat walk with lots of interesting twists and turns along the way. The baths at the end are beautiful; rock pools set amongst bushland that beg for you to take your boots off and splash barefoot, even in the depths of winter.
Halls Gap is one of those special places that you’ll want to return to. Pack your winter woollies, a few good books and head there with your favourite people. It’s the ideal town to make some memories.
Explore BIG4 NRMA Halls Gap Holiday Park
Get back to nature with the kids and discover why Halls Gap is a family favourite.Find out more