B R A M B U K
Brambuk; the National Park & Cultural Centre is a unique place. Situated in Halls Gap within the natural oasis that is Grampians/Gariwerd National Park, it is the perfect place to experience southern Australia’s natural environment and Aboriginal culture.
Incorporating the National Park Information and Brambuk Aboriginal Cultural Centres; Brambuk is 100% owned and operated by Aboriginal people.
Discover the culture of the local Aboriginal people through multimedia shows, art exhibitions, artefact displays, cultural talks and lots of great activities such as didgeridoo workshops,
boomerang throwing and painting.
Discover the unique six seasons of Gariwerd through our displays or join our Aboriginal guides on tours to ancient rock art sites and experience the secrets of the natural world. Brambuk Gift Shop offers art and crafts, ceramics, paintings, boomerangs, music etc.
The Bush Tucker Café is licensed and serves delicious bush tucker and contemporary food.
• View ancient Aboriginal rock art
• Tour sacred and historic Aboriginal sites with a local Aboriginal
• Take a self-guided tour of sacred or historical Aboriginal sites
• Learn about Aboriginal history and culture
• Learn to throw a boomerang, or play a didgeridoo.
• Dine at a restaurant that uses traditional Aboriginal ingredients
• Visit an Aboriginal art gallery with authentic arts and crafts
277 Grampians Road,
Halls Gap VIC 3381
Phone +61 3 5361 4000,
Open 9am – 5pm Daily
Rising like giant’s teeth from the vast Western district plains are the impressive sandstone formations of the Grampians. Situated 260km West on the road to Adelaide, or via the Great Ocean Road, visitors have been flocking here since the late 1880s. It is a land swathed in rugged bush, sprinkled with water catchments, gushing waterfalls and, in spring, carpeted with wild flowers. But more than anything, it is an area famous for its wildlife, from kangaroos dashing in front of your car, emus grazing in paddocks, to a dazzling array of native creatures: echidnas and kookaburras, goannas and wallabies, cockatoos and lizards, and even the occasional deer. You’d be a bloomin’ idiot to not come here!
Not only is this area beautiful, it’s also steeped in history. Ancient Indigenous paintings adorn rocks at over sixty sites, with thousands of motifs etched onto rock overhangs. There are also traces of oven mounds where they used to cook their food underground. It’s a good bet the traditional owners never burnt their snags, but in January 2006 a huge bushfire went through the Grampians, burning nearly half the park. Today, regeneration is in full sprout with verdant new regrowth alongside charcoaled tree trunks.
Pete’s Primo Pastimes
Strap on your walking boots because there are over fifty marked tracks in the Gramps. Head into the forest, trek across alpine-like landscapes and pass by waterfalls and lakes. The sandstone rock formations make you feel as though you’re walking through ancient canyons. For a list of walks, as well as details on how to get to all of the other activities listed here, check in at the Brambuk Cultural Centre (277 Grampians Tourist Rd; www.brambuk.com.au; 03 5361 4000), situated 2.5km south of the Halls Gap shops. Arguably the pick of the walks is Briggs Bluff (619 metres), although you’ll need a car to access it. Starting from Roses Gap Rd, this 10.8km hike passes Beehive Falls and a natural arch created by boulders. One of the most spectacular short walks is found at McKenzie Falls, where you can watch McKenzie Creek drop hundreds of metres down a series of beautiful falls.
The Grampians is the place to head if you’re interested in hopping on a tour. Activities range from cycling, canoeing, climbing, mountain biking, 4WDing and abseiling (The Famous Mt Arapiles is close by). One of the most interesting places to visit is the Brambuk Cultural Centre, it is the perfect place to learn more about local Aboriginal culture. It incorporates the Grampians information centre as well as the cultural centre, which is 100 per cent owned and operated by Aboriginal people.
You can discover the culture of the local Aboriginal people through multimedia shows, art exhibitions, artefact displays, cultural talks and lots of great activities such as didgeridoo workshops, boomerang throwing and painting.
Where European settlers had four seasons, you can discover the unique six seasons of Gariwerd or join one of their Aboriginal guides on tours to ancient rock art sites. Brambuk Gift Shop offers art and crafts, ceramics, paintings, boomerangs, music etc. The Bush Tucker Café is licensed and serves delicious bush tucker - you can have taste of old Skippy or even emu or crocodile – as well as contemporary food. Brambuk is open daily between 9am – 5pm and is located at 277 Grampians Road, Halls Gap, ph (03) 5361 4000, www.brambuk.com.au
Just over 30km north of Halls Gap is the Hollow Mountain and Summer Day Valley car park. From here you can access Gulgurn Manja Rock Art, which translated means Hands of Young People – although the hands that created these artworks would be considerably wrinkled by now. Also from this car park you can climb Hollow Mountain (388 metres) which is a short, steep scramble up to the peak’s wind-eroded caverns. Eventually you’ll come out onto a ledge and get a view of the huge amphitheatre which looks out to Mt Stapylton, another top walk.
After all that walking you may fancy taking a seat – or a saddle – and that’s where Grampians Horse Riding Adventures (430 Schmidt Rd, Brimpaen) come in.
Cock your leg over for a two-hour horse ride, which caters to all abilities.
www.grampianshoreseriding.com.au; 03 5383 9255.
If you prefer mechanical rides, grab a quad bike and get ready for adventure with
Grampians Quadbike Tours (Schmidt Rd, Brimpaen). They provide tours over a 430-acre property at the foot of the Grampians. www.grampiansquadbikes.com.au.
Ph (03) 5383 9215.
Where to crash
Bramback Backpackers – 330 Grampians Rd, Halls Gap: Ph 03 5356 4250
Here they provide a great range of accommodation from group dormitories to double and twin share rooms. All rooms have en suites with linen and breakfast supplied.
You can have access to a range of facilities including wireless internet, large kitchen, public telephone, lounge area with TV and fireplace, full laundry and BBQ facilities with panoramic views of the Grampians. It is also within easy walking distance of Brambuk Cultural Centre, Lake Bellfield and cafés and restaurants. www.brambuk.com.au/backpackers
Grampians Backpackers – 2 Heath St, Halls Gap: Ph 0479 155 117
Also known as Neds Beds, this hostel has a large outdoor veranda, free laundry facilities, a BBQ area and a games room. There’s free tea & coffee all day.
Tim’s Place: Boutique Backpacker Accommodation, 44 Grampians Rd, Halls Gap.
This eco-friendly energy efficient hostel has free Internet and mountain bikes. www.timsplace.com.au
Asses Ears Wilderness Lodge, 130 Schmidt Rd, Brimpaen
Features: Set on 400 acres surrounded by wildlife, bar and swimming pool.
Contact: (03) 5383 9215; www.assesearslodge.com.au
Grampians YHA Eco Hostel – Corner Grampians and Buckler Rds, Halls Gap;
Ph 03 5356 4544 This place runs on solar electricity and has a wood fire. www.yha.com.au
The Grampians is a paradise for campers and there are sites all over the park. One of Safari Pete’s favourites camping spots is Troopers Creek campground near Mt Difficult, off Roses Gap Road. To find more campgrounds visit www.parkweb.vic.gov.au
Which way, cobber?
Public transport - V/Line runs regular train services from Southern Cross Station to Ballarat and Ararat, with connecting bus services through to Halls Gap on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Check out www.christiansbus.com.au or www.vline.com.au for more information.
By car - Take the Great Southern Touring Route for a scenic drive, which follows the Great Ocean Road and passes by the Shipwreck Coast before winding up to the Grampians. www.greatsoutherntouring.com.au