Take a fascinating day tour of Ararat’s haunting J Ward. In this former asylum for the criminally insane, tour guides will share fascinating stories and little-known facts as visitors of all ages roam through its spooky corridors. The museum houses tales of early case studies, old hospital equipment and even the arts & crafts of former patients.
At night, those who dare can experience a ghost tour through Australia’s largest abandoned lunatic asylum. Wander the haunted halls of Aradale Asylum, hear stories of the criminally insane and learn about its unique, unnerving history. Book your Friday or Saturday night tour with Eerie Tours.
There’s nothing more comforting than wrapping your hands around a glass of our famed cool-climate Shiraz on a wet afternoon. Drop into many of our award-winning wineries for a glass or two. Settle in for a tasting and a bite to eat at Mountainside Wines, ATR Wines, Pomonal Estate or Clayfield Wines.
To experience the Grampians wine region under one roof head to Grampians Wine Cellar in the heart of Halls Gap. The informative staff will talk you through the history of our wine region and help you find the best drop for your palate. While you’re there, head next door to Dot and Frankie specialising in ethical and sustainable fashion, skin care, accessories and lifestyle products.
Truly escape the winter chill with a warming meal at one of the many restaurants and cafes the Grampians has to offer. When in Halls Gap, enjoy dinner at Flame Brothers Restaurant & Bar, Spirit of Punjab Indian Restaurant, Kookaburra Hotel, The Wander Inn, SEN Restaurant, Adventure Café Bar or Halls Gap Hotel.
For breakfast head to Dunkeld and experience delicious coffee at Izzy’s Café and the Dunkeld Old Bakery or enjoy award-winning dining at the Royal Mail Hotel. You can discover the region’s best eateries here.
The Grampians is lucky to be home to many creative souls who draw upon our ancient landscape for inspiration. One of whom is local artist Ros Mcarthur, located in Dunkeld. Visit Ros McArthur Art Studio and discover a range of stunning oil paintings and a limited range of prints.
The Grampians is also home to glass artist, James McMurtrie. James' spectacular artworks are inspired by the mountains surrounding his studio. With 25 years’ experience, James creates quality sculptural glass through traditional glass-blowing techniques.
While you’re in the area, pay a visit to Gerard Murphy Furniture in Dunkeld. Gerard is a second-generation furniture maker and has more than 30 years’ experience in the design and manufacture of fine furniture. Another must is MOCO Gallery set in the natural bushland of the Grampians. Exhibitions change regularly and showcase works from local artists. Before or after your MOCO Gallery visit, why not grab brunch, lunch or something from the all day menu and a hot beverage to enjoy inside Adventure Café Bar with the fire roaring?
Other wonderful and insightful galleries in our region include Horsham Town Hall & Regional Art Gallery in the west, known for its self-curated and touring exhibitions. In the East we have Ararat Gallery TAMA and, in the South, discover the historic wonders of Hamilton Gallery.
Whatever the weather, the Grampians is an ideal location for all things adventure, culture, food and wine. We hope to see you (with umbrella in hand!) very soon.