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Discover the Grampians’ volcanic plains

10 Feb. 2021

The Grampians sits within Victoria’s south-western volcanic plains, part of Australia’s most extensive volcanic province. Our well-preserved ancient landscape provides many precious windows into the past. Journey to the Grampians and uncover our geological history with these volcanic experiences - The Grampians Way.

Kanawinka tumuli

The Kanawinka Geotrail

The Kanawinka Geotrail takes you on a surprising journey through Australia’s most extensive volcanic province, with over 60 sites enabling visitors to travel back in time over thousands of years. The trail journeys to Mount Eccles and the nearby tumuli taking you through almost 400 eruption points, most of which occurred between 4.5 and 2 million years ago.

Named after the geological fault that stretches from Portland (Victoria) to Naracoorte (South Australia), the Kanawinka region in south-west Victoria is a stunning contrast of sweeping limestone plains punctuated with remarkable sinkholes and caves, spectacular mountains and extensive lava flows.

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Mount Napier

The Grampians is home to Victoria’s most recently active volcano, Mount Napier. Located approximately 20km south of Hamilton, Mount Napier is also the highest volcanic point in the Western District Plains, with many eruption and lava flow features evident from the last stages of volcanic activity 10,000 years ago.

Adventure along the walking track to the summit. Be astonished by the geological significance as you wind through forests rich in wildlife and pass impressive volcanic features including a lava canal and tumulus. Alternatively, you can also experience the wonderous history and magnificent landscapes with a 4WD.

Also part of the Mount Napier State Park are the Byaduk Caves. The Byaduk Caves are an extensive and accessible set of lava caves. The caves are only 18km from Hamilton. Follow the walking tracks to discover the cave edges and a number of viewing points to observe dazzling displays of wildflowers in the Spring and spectacular lava features.

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The Volcanoes Discovery Centre

The Volcanoes Discovery Centre is a rich source of information about the Grampians’ extraordinary volcanic history.

Located in Penshurst at the foot of the dormant Mt Rouse volcano, the centre details how the area’s volcanoes formed and shaped the surrounding landscape.

From the centre, the 120-metre-high Mt Rouse is within walking distance and at its peak, vast panoramic views of the glorious Grampians can be enjoyed. At sunset you’ll be in for a real treat. See wallabies and kangaroos bounding across the far side of the crater.

There’s so much more to the Grampians than at first the eye can see. On your next trip uncover our unique geological history - The Grampians Way.