Located 260 kilometres from Melbourne CBD, Grampians National Park is a must-do day or weekend trip. It is accessible by V-Line or by car, but if you plan to drive at dusk, avoid the direct road (C222) from Ararat to Halls Gap; instead take the A8 to Stawell, turning onto the C216 in town. You will save yourself time and hassle due to the number of marsupials who call the fields next to the C222 home.
Make your first stop the Visitor's Centre in Halls Gap to get an up to date listing of the roads and bush walks that are currently open, and a short description of each. Due to the floods in early 2011, the National Park team has been engaged in extensive flood recovery works to repair, rebuild and reopen those that were damaged.
There are plenty of choices for accommodation in Halls Gap from basic camping facilities and up.
Grampians National Park is split into three areas: Northern, Central, and Southern.
The Pinnacle is the most renowned bushwalk in the Central area, and the track can be accessed in town. It is a walk uphill of more than 1000 steps, but once at the top the view of the valley is amazing! If you complete the loop you'll find yourself walking through Silent Street, a narrow path through two large rock faces.
But, if you have the time, make your way to the Northern or Southern areas, as they are less congested and offer equally remarkable sights. A personal favourite, if you are up for a challenge is Briggs Bluff in the Northern area. This track is accessed by the Beehive Falls car park. After an arduous climb, you are rewarded with an astonishing 360-degree view of the Grampians National Park.
Of course, if you are more of a leisure bush walker, there are a great range of shorter distance and easier graded tracks with wonderful views as well.
Remember to always dress for the weather, and pack lots of water.