Start your journey at the Hamilton Miniature Railway, a delight for kids and adults alike with its charming train rides every Sunday. For a geological adventure, head to the Penshurst Volcanoes Discovery Centre and explore the newly completed Rock Garden. Then, why not embark on a walk up Collorrer (Mt. Rouse) for panoramic views of the Grampians landscape. Don't forget to make use of the BBQ facilities for a scenic picnic like no other!
Families seeking outdoor fun can't miss the Lakes Edge Adventure Playground right by Lake Hamilton. With a 4.2km circuit around the lake, it's perfect for a leisurely stroll or bike ride. Plus, with picnic areas, BBQs, and even an off-leash dog park, visitors won’t run short of things to do. Similarly, the nature trail and kids play area at Hamilton Institute of Rural Learning is a sure fire way to delight kids with an indigenous food garden, children's native play garden, red gum carvings, a nature trail and more, all to enjoy. Don’t forget to stop by the Sir Reginald Ansett Transport Museum next to Lake Hamilton, for an interactive lesson in transport.
North of Hamilton is Rocklands Reservoir, the second largest lake in Victoria. Covering over 6700 hectares of land, the reservoir offers something every family member will enjoy; fishing, boating, canoeing, hiking and picnicking.
Just one block from Hamilton main street, the family-owned and operated AAt 28 Goldsmith Motel offers a friendly, country welcome that makes you and your family feel instantly at home. Escape the crowds at the charming and self contained Southern Grampians Cottages in Dunkeld. Or, bring the whole family along to Grampians Retreat, specialising in large groups. Here, guests can laze by the pool in summer, watch wallabies graze, listen to a myriad of birds and enjoy campfire nights under starry skies.
Begin your Western Grampians adventure with a visit to the Horsham Town Hall and Regional Art Gallery, providing a wealth of knowledge about the region and often hosting family-friendly events or exhibitions.
The family-owned olive grove, Grampians Olive Co, is the perfect lunch-stop on your Western Grampians day trip, offering a unique taste of the region. Or, swing past Conway Pies, a local gem celebrated for its delectable savoury pies.
For a genuine country life experience, visit Rosehaven Farms, where you can get up close and personal with friendly farm animals. This sensory experience is designed for visitors of all ages, allowing you to cuddle, brush, and pat donkeys, feed alpacas and sheep, or simply take a walk around the working farm.
Base yourself at Horsham Holiday Park, for a comfortable and convenient stay while exploring the Grampians, and make the most of pet-friendly cabins and powered sites, a solar-heated pool, bouncing pillow, mini golf, and more. For a unique stay, check out Tiny Away Escapes at Grampians Edge, offering cosy tiny houses on wheels, newly renovated cabins, and pet-friendly campsites at the edge of the Grampians National Park.
Horsham is also the perfect gateway to cruise from town to town exploring the Silo Art Trail, Australia’s largest outdoor gallery. Don’t forget to tune in to MIXX FM by ACE Radio at 94.5 FM, 98.5 FM & 101.3 FM, providing a great soundtrack for your journey through Western Victoria.
Halls Gap offers an array of attractions, from the Halls Gap Zoo to the indoor and outdoor kids play spaces at Halls Gap Hotel. Play mini-golf at Grampians Adventure Golf and savour a delicious snack from Adventure Cafe Bar, relish gelato treats, and venture into various bush walks like Venus Baths loop, the Botanical gardens, Chatauqua Peak, and Clematis Falls.
Families will love the Stawell Aquatics Centre too with its indoor pool and super-fun outdoor slides. Spend your afternoon by grabbing a cold drink or craft beer from small, independent brewing company Grampians Ale Works. As if all that isn’t enough, Grampians Rail Trail and Cato Park can provide many more avenues for the whole family. Planning a stay in Stallwell? Look no further than The Miners Rest, luxury accommodation perfect for a family of four.
Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park, situated in the heart of Grampians National Park, offers various accommodation options from cosy cabins to glamping options. Lake Fyans Holiday Park provides a tranquil escape with cabins and campsites against the majestic Lake Fyans backdrop, promising a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure, where each member of the family can find their calling. Breeze Holiday Parks: Halls Gap and Grampians both offer warm welcomes, pet-friendly environments, and proximity to the region's rich natural wonders. Additionally, BIG4 NRMA Halls Gap Holiday Park provides an ideal base surrounded by towering mountain ranges, with added adventure for kids through their Shipwrecked program in partnership with the Bear Grylls Survival Academy. For the larger families, Grampians Under the Stars, Serenity Holiday Accommodation are great options, or opt for a pet-friendly pyramid at Grampians Getaway and bring your best friend along for the adventure.
A great way to experience the Eastern Grampians is by driving Route 222, Ararat-Halls Gap Road. The Eastern Grampians Tourism website has a handy interactive map that makes planning your trip easy. There’s plenty to do, so we recommend taking a few days to soak it all in.
First up, road trippers from Melbourne simply cannot miss the Cyril Callister Museum. This family-run spot is a celebration of the man behind the invention of Vegemite, situated within a retro petrol station in the cosy township of Beaufort.
Upon arriving in Ararat, spend a day at Alexandra Gardens, with an outdoor pool, water splash playground, and a soon-to-be-complete all-abilities playground. For indoor escapades on rainy days, visit the Astor Cinema, Gum San Chinese Museum, or the Ararat Fitness Centre for family fun.
Other Ararat highlights include a historical (and spooky!) exploration of J-Ward (not for the very young!) or recreational activities like fishing at Green Hill Lake, visiting One Tree Lookout, or mountain biking through Ararat Regional Park.
Settle into Eastern Grampians with a stay at Acacia Caravan Park, where you can enjoy the use of the camp kitchen, free barbecues, free Wi-Fi, playground, secure amenities, laundry and take a swim in the solar heated swimming pool. Acacia Caravan Park offers select pet-friendly cabins and fenced pet-sites, so you can bring along your furry family-members, too!
The next morning, hit the road on Route 222 and straight for a morning of paintball at Grampians Adventures.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, stop by Barney’s Bar and Bistro in Pomonal for great food, friendly and welcoming service and plenty of outdoor space for kids to play.
A short stroll from Barney’s Bar and bistro are Pomonal Cottages, 6 2-bedroom self-contained cottages complete with access to a swimming pool, large recreation and barbeque area, playground and scenic views.
Families with people who experience challenges with learning, communication, understanding and behaviour may wish to enquire at Bellview Connection Equine Facilitated Learning for an opportunity to connect with horses and nature.
And while you are in the region, pick up some seasonal homemade small-batch preserves, or treat yourself to homemade ice cream at 5 Ducks Farm.