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Published May 4th 2016
For the best views in town
I have often wondered what it would be like to loop around a Wonderland, and a recent trip to the Grampians saw me with a chance to complete this wonder. What am I talking about ? A hike through some of the best that the Grampians has to offer.
The Wonderland Loop hike starts in Halls Gap at any one of the numerous information boards in this picturesque holiday village. The hike is marked as moderate-to-difficult and is just shy of 10km in length, so good shoes, drinking water and the trusty camera are necessities.
The hike starts off towards the Venus Baths and follows this same track for much of the walk to these gorgeous rockpools. The track is wide enough for two abreast, and moderate enough to ensure that conversations are not stuttering gasps for air occasionally mixed with words. However this does occur every so often as the beauty of the valley that we are walking through causes us to stop and reflect.
Upon reaching the Falls, the Wonderland Loop Hike veers right and starts a steady climb up the side of the hill. It is here that the trail turns to single file, and views of falls below, the valley floor and the huge rocks that form the other side of the canyon appear to again take one's breath away.
The climb continues relentlessly and we pass Splitters Falls, the Wonderland car park and continue through to the Grand Canyon and the Silent Sisters. Rivalling its US namesake in beauty, but perhaps not size, the Grand Canyon features solid rock walls and faces whom are estimated to be over 500 million years old.
The hike then leaves the Canyon, and not surprisingly continues to climb across stones and rocks of various sizes before we reach the highest point on the loop being The Pinnacle. A deep breath is in order, partly to recover from the climb, but mainly because of the view from the top of Halls Gap below, Lake Bellfield to the South, and across the other ranges and plains towards Ararat and Stawell.
After taking the mandatory selfies atop the Pinnacles Lookout, we commence the remainder of our hike, knowing that from this point everything must be down. The descent takes us initially across the top of the range where further views of Halls Gap and beyond are possible, as well as views to the west from where we had originally come from.
The hike crosses the range and suddenly we are on the eastern side and are descending amongst a backdrop of natural bush habitat, pines, ferns, noisy birds and the occasional inquisitive lizard. A large piece of time colored rock appears on our left and takes our attention for a while before we continue the descent to the Halls Gap car park where we started.
The Wonderland Loop Hike is possible to be walked all year round, with particular good times for photography at dusk and dawn. The walk is well signposted throughout thus making it very hard to get lost, but for those with that particular penchant, a brochure is available online or from the Halls Gap Visitor Information Centre.
Great images and a fun write up about one of our best hiking areas in Victoria! I have been to the Grampians numerous times but never managed to do the full Wonderland loop walk... thanks for the inspiration, maybe next school holidays we will brave the chills and go up!