Villages of Victoria: a Guide to Halls Gap
Surrounded by spectacular scenery, Halls Gap is the perfect place to rediscover nature.
Indigenous Culture and Rock Art tours
One of the must-see attractions in Halls Gap is Brambuk – The National Park and Cultural Centre, the multi award-winning indigenous centre has been part of the local landscape for the past two decades. The original building, which now houses the theatre and a gallery of artworks and artefacts, was designed by Greg Burgess and resembles a cockatoo in flight. Visitors to the centre can take part in a bushfoods discovery walk, learn how to throw a boomerang, take a tour of the region's rock art and other important aboriginal landmarks with an indigenous guide and learn about the six season of Gariwerd (the traditional name for the Grampians). In a newer building, information about the national park sits alongside a gift store and the Bush Tucker Café, perfect for those who want to try kangaroo, emu and other local food.
Natural attractions – Flora, Fauna, walking tracks and lookouts
The fauna and flora of Halls Gap is a highlight of any visit. Any walk around the town at this time of year will prove incredibly spectacular, because for six months of the year – from mid-winter to mid-summer – the landscape comes alive with the colours of the area's famous wildflowers. Kangaroos, wallabies and emus can readily be seen around the town – go to the field behind Brambuk on the walk back into town to see them en masse.
Many of the Grampians most famous walks start from Halls Gap. Some, like the Venus Baths Loop, are short and easy; others like the Wonderland Loop, almost 10 kilometres long and taking four to five hours to complete, will challenge even fit hikers. Its peak, the Pinnacle Lookout, is also accessible by car for those not feeling quite so energetic. From here, the view – Halls Gap below, lakes and ranges stretching into the distance, and the vast blue sky and national park all around – is amazing and infinite.
The Town – accommodation, food and wine
As the centre of Grampians adventure, Halls Gap has an enormous range of accommodation – backpacker hostels, cabins, camping grounds and self-contained cottages, holiday houses and luxury retreats – as well some great places to eat. Kookaburra Bar & Bistro serves a hearty home-style fare, as does the restaurant at the Mountain Grand Boutique Hotel. At the heart of the town is the Stoney Creek boardwalk, where visitors and locals alike come to eat the bakery's renowned vanilla slice, have a coffee or light meal at one of the cafés – the Flying Emu has newspaper articles about the local black puma pinned on its walls – and stock up on local fudge at the gift shop Smugglers Hearth.