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Girls’ trip – the Grampians Way

12 Nov. 2020

Imagine a weekend where you leave it all behind to reconnect and make memories with your best friends.

Many of life’s great stories hail from a girls’ trip. Down the road and over the hill, escape the daily grind and discover a new perspective in the Grampians.

Whether you like devouring artisanal produce and the rich flavours of regional wines, discovering local artists or pursuing adventure, the Grampians is a destination that will provide memories for a lifetime.

Here are some of our ideas for an unforgettable girls’ retreat – The Grampians Way.

Day 1: Wine, food and lookouts

Midday

The Grampians offers some of the best wine and local produce in Australia. Take some time away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy the sophisticated flavours of our local wineries and cellar doors, cosy cafes and award-winning restaurants.

If you’re coming in from Melbourne, your first stop should be Salinger’s Café in the renowned wine and food village of Great Western for a humble feast of seasonal delights. Once you’re finished here, stop at one (or both) neighbouring wineries; Best’s Great Western, Grampians Estate and Seppelt Wines. With picturesque backdrops of vineyards and mountain ranges, you’ll be in for a remarkable winery experience. Taste your way through award-winning wines while learning from the locals and listening to the historic stories of the region. Remember to assign someone as designated driver! Alternatively, relax, unwind, and make the most of our wineries with one of our wine tour leaders. Grampians Wine Tours offers full day or half day local winery tours 7 days a week.

Late Afternoon

Your journey into Halls Gap will leave you breathless. As you wind through the rugged mountain ranges, take in the breathtaking landscapes on offer. Instantly, you’ll leave your worries behind as the vast surrounds of the region bring a sense of calm.

Before checking in to your accommodation, journey to Reed Lookout and The Balconies, only a 20 minute drive from the centre of Halls Gap. From the summit of Reed Lookout, you will be inspired by spectacular views over the Victoria, Serra and Mount Difficult Ranges.

If you and your girlfriends are up for a little more adventure and inspiring scenery, take a leisurely 2 kilometre hike from Reed Lookout car park to The Balconies lookout. The unrivalled panoramic views of Victoria Valley and surrounding ranges are a truly unforgettable experience.

Another option if you’re looking to reconnect with nature is MacKenzie Falls. A 10 minute drive will lead you to a variety of trails, some longer and more adventurous than others. We suggest taking a short leisurely walk to the lookout point overlooking the majestic MacKenzie Falls, an extraordinary place to stop, listen and find peace from within.

For an experience like no other, alter your itinerary a little and visit these lookouts at sundown. On a clear evening they offer some of the most enchanting sunsets you’ll ever see. Pack a cheese board and watch the sun descend over the Valley around 5.00pm in the winter or 7.00pm in summer.

Make your way back into town and settle into your accommodation. We suggest planning ahead of time and making an accommodation booking before you arrive. In the Grampians there are accommodation styles to suit every taste and budget. If you and your girlfriends are looking for a country retreat set in native bushland, rest and unwind at Grampians Pioneer Cottages. For deluxe self-contained accommodation check out Hemley House. A luxurious, elegant and contemporary stay awaits at DULC; or if glamping has been on your girls’ trip bucket list, then look no further than Lakeside Glamping – think cosy safari tents, starry night skies, a wood fire heated pool overlooking the valley, and hundreds of curious kangaroos right at your doorstep.

Evening

To end your day of exploration, unwind and enjoy al fresco dining with views of the dramatic peaks from the sweeping verandah at the Halls Gap Hotel or Paper Scissors Rock Brew Co.

Day 2: Massages, shopping and more wine

Morning

Begin your morning with excellent coffee and a delicious breakfast at Livefast Lifestyle Cafe. Then take the time to get to know our locals and their unique stories. Shop beautiful jewellery and wares inspired by the local landscape and flora and fauna at Russ Studios; find a range of ethical fashion, organic skincare, home reusables and accessories at Dot and Frankie; or browse the beautiful works of art from local artists and artisans at MOCO Gallery.

Afternoon

Recharge and rejuvenate with a treatment massage from Grampians Healing Hands Massage before taking a short 10 minute drive to Pomonal for a light lunch at Red Rock Olives. Here you’ll dive into some of our region’s best produce. Savour the taste of the Grampians with a grazing plate of delicious local fare and fresh olives, while browsing an extensive range of house made olive oils, vinegars and other delightful goodies.

To finish your afternoon, continue your gourmet journey and drop into Fallen Giants or Pomonal Estate for a cellar door tasting and an afternoon glass (or two) of Shiraz, Cabernet or Riesling.

Evening

Tonight, you can explore more of the town’s culinary fare. If Italian-inspired modern Australian is your style, then book a table at The Views in Halls Gap; if you hanker for the exotic flavours of Indian spices, don't go past the intriguing Spirit of Punjab with its amazing decor and authentic cuisine. Each restaurant is sure to offer a delightful end to your Grampians girls’ trip.

Day 3: Picnics and exploring

If you have some time in the morning before leaving Halls Gap, we suggest taking a short stroll to Venus Baths, only 2.3 kilometres away. Pack a picnic of local goodies and enjoy the peace and quiet of the river and tranquil rockpools. The naturally formed pools filled with fresh water make Venus Baths the perfect place to take a swim and cool off in the warmer months.

As you journey back home, you will pass through a number of small regional towns such as Ararat. Make the most of your last few hours with us and explore the shops and cafes, but not before stopping into Mount Langi Ghiran for their multi award-winning wines. Stock up and take a little bit of the Grampians back home with you.

Whether you’re looking for a fully immersive phones-away escape, or simply a brief retreat with a dash of food, wine, adventure and culture, it’s time to gather your tribe and start making a plan for a memorable Grampians girls’ trip.

Before visiting us, we recommend you review your travel plans in line with the latest safety guidelines: www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert. And take a look at our guide to travelling the Grampians responsibly and safely.