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Heading to the Grampians National Park this long weekend? This region has natural wonders and fun activities galore to offer the adventurous traveller. Here are five awesome things to do.
1. Seppelt Salinger Great Western Cup.
Pack up the whole family and head to the Seppelt Great Western Cup this Sunday January 27. Gates open at 11am and there are fun activities for the kids. The crew from Kelly Sports, renowned for their after-school kids' sport programs, will be there to ensure your kids get a runaround.
Of course, the fashions on the field competition, run by the Ararat RSL, will be held in the afternoon so dress up and enter, or take a casual approach and try your luck.
Underground in the 3km of drives at Seppelts Great Western
Since you're in the area, it's only natural to want to pop in to Seppelt's Winery Cellar Door and pick up a few bottles to go in your picnic hamper. If you want to take your time and keep out of the sun, take the tour of the underground tunnels. The kids will love it and so will you. They go every hour on the hour from 11am - 3pm.
3. Halls Gap Zoo. With over a thousand animals on display at this zoo, this zoo offers a wonderful day out for the whole family. See the cheetahs pacing up and down their enclosure, watch the kangaroos interacting with their young, visit the crocodile or check out the white rhino. Every year the zoo introduces another new animal to its collection. The Halls Gap Zoo also has a number of animals encounters that visitors can book in advance on their website. You can interact with snakes, lizards, meerkats, dingoes, giraffes, red pandas and tortoises.
Awesome rock formations at the Pinnacle
4. Take a walk on one of the many Grampians hiking tracks. The natural environment is what draws most people to the Grampians. The granite rocks rise up out of the earth in splendid, imposing formations and with three stunning waterfalls to see, the region will certainly take your breath away.
For beginner hikers, try the Pinnacle walk from the Sundial carpark. It has remarkable views of Halls Gap and offers a few uphill challenges. For the more experienced, start at the Halls Gap carpark. The Grampians Peaks Trail is currently being constructed. It will be a hike of over 160km which can be tackled in short sections or as a thirteen-day adventure. There will be lots of options for guided treks and luxury pack-free walking once the track is fully open. For now, upgrades have meant that 60km of the track is now in excellent condition for hikers. See the Parks Victoria website for details.
The lovely view from the terrace at Spirit of Punjab Restaurant, Halls Gap
5. Eat at Spirit of Punjab There are plenty of places to eat in Halls Gap but there is only one that offers authentic Punjabi cuisine. The food at Spirit of Punjab is delicious and will satisfy any Indian food enthusiast. You can eat indoors or out on the pretty terrace, soaking in the view. The restaurant is decorated in neon lights and statues that tell the Punjabi love stories stand in the front and rear garden. Take your camera.
I camped at the Lake Fyans Holiday Park. The park has onsite vans and cabins as well as powered and unpowered sites for vans or tents. There is a coffee shop and the reception area contains a little store for grocery items and ice creams. The park also has a swimming pool and playground, jumping pillow and games room for the kids. Fish and Chips are usually available on Friday night but call ahead to confirm this.