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Discover the Region

Before hitting the road, hear from some of our locals about the hidden gems they suggest exploring with your friends and family.


From award-winning wineries and picturesque lookouts to fascinating history and adrenaline rushing adventure, Ararat local Grant Thomas loves the variety of adventure his hometown has to offer. After living in Ararat with his family for over 30 years, Grant has some unique recommendations you may have never known existed in your own backyard.

In 2017 Pep Atchison and her husband Adam opened Pomonal Estate Winery, Brewery and Cider House. With a stunning backdrop of the Grampians National Park, the pair welcome you to relax and enjoy a selection of local produce, handcrafted wines, ciders and craft beer after a long day of exploring the Grampians. Hear from Pep and take note of her secret spots, walks and Grampians treasures.


Royce and Jeanne Raleigh moved to Wartook in 1974 and from a bare paddock, have established one of Australia's finest native gardens. They have over 1,000 species of Australian plants on display (which are among the most colourful plants in the world). Jeanne and Royce represent the warm hospitality of our region, saying they “won’t throw a shrimp on the barbie but we’ll put the kettle on”.

If you’re planning to come to the Wimmera, hear from local publican Bill Lovell about just how welcomed you’ll feel. From casting a line in Lake Toolondo to watching one of the Wimmera sunsets and camping under the stars, Bill shares some of his favourite spots in the region. After a day of adventure, he promises to serve you “the greatest beer you’ll ever have” at the Natimuk Hotel, commonly known as the “Nati Pub”.

Northern Grampians

Owner and manager of Flame Brothers Restaurant & Bar, Damon Henricksen encourages everyone to explore the Grampians. From hiking, bushwalking, bike riding and more, he has plenty of suggestions on how to get the most out of our region.

Nicole Thomson has worked at Best’s Wines since 2011 and loves welcoming visitors to the region over an elegant glass of Shiraz (or two). Full of local expertise, Nicole chats all things wine, food and accommodation. She has some incredible knowledge when it comes to the region’s winemaking history as well as things to do if you’re a family on holiday or a couple looking for a romantic getaway.