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Epic 3 Day Guide to The Grampians Australia

Epic 3 Day Guide to The Grampians Australia

Visiting The Grampians National Park in Australia has been on both Dave and mines bucket list since arriving in Australia. Back in the UK, and in Australia though not as much as we hoped, we are both avid climbers! Rocking climbing is our go-to spot for fun and exercise so of course, The Grampians was always going to be a place we wanted to check out. As our year in Australia went on, the likelihood of us actually getting there was pretty slim! But we did what we always do in life and made it happen! I invite each and every one of you the visit this national park in Australia because it is mind-blowing! Having visited the Blue Mountains in Sydney just months before I had to say The Grampians truly blew us away! In this guide, I’ll be telling you how to spend a brilliant 3 days in The Grampians to have an epic time as we did! It doesn’t matter if you’re not a climber or walker, the landscape here is phenomenal just to look at.

Couple at The Balconies Lookout

Beautiful views of The Grampians are everywhere!

Where is The Grampians?

The Grampians National Park is in Victoria. If you take away one thing from this blog post and don’t read past this line just make sure that you understand this. The Grampians is not in Melbourne. So much information that we find on the internet can be misleading and this fact is very misleading. The Grampians by car is three days west of Melbourne. Of course, when in Melbourne it makes for a brilliant weekend away. What I’m saying is that, if you only have a weekend in Melbourne then you’re probably not going to want to take a day trip to The Grampians (Just one traveller’s opinion).

Driving From Melbourne

Driving to The Grampians from Melbourne will take approximately three hours including stop-offs. Don’t forget that traffic getting in and out of the city can be like hell on earth so plan wisely! The roads that lead up to The Grampians are windy and often narrow so make sure you’ve got your wits about you. Kangaroos are everywhere too especially once you nearer some of the villages located in The Grampians. See the driving route from Melbourne below that you can use as a guide. The end destination is Halls Gap, a popular town in The Grampians where we stayed and in my opinion where you should stay too!

Other ways of getting to The Grampians

The nearest large airport to The Grampians is Melbourne. The quickest to get to The Grampians is to drive but there are other options. You can find a train service that runs to Arat and then buses that take you further into The Grampians. There are numerous tours that you go on for days out in The Grampians as well usually on a mini-bus or coach. 

When to Visit the Grampians – Time of Year/Weather

The weather in The Grampians varies all year round. The first thing to always remember is that Australian seasons are backwards. When the British are toasting their feet by a roaring fire, the Aussies are playing volleyball with the whole family on the beach in the blazing sunshine.

Summer in Australia is anytime from the end of December – February

Autumn in Australia is March – June

Winter in Australia is June – September

Spring September – December

It’s a little confusing to get your head around at first for nationals of the other side of the world. In the summer the temperatures in The Grampians can soar above 30 degrees Celsius and plummet below negative 6 in the winter. We visited in autumn, and though it was cold with some rain we still managed to have an epic time. Pack wisely when it comes to visiting The Grampians in the cooler months especially if you’ve become custom to the Australian heat like us.

The weather in The Grampians won’t stop you from enjoying it if you don’t let it. A fun little quote I love when it comes to rainy days:

When life gives you rain, play in the puddles. Click To Tweet

Where to Stay in The Grampians

The Grampians is bursting with gorgeous little towns and villages all offering unique places to stay. The Grampians, though rural, has every kind of accommodation you could need. Vast numbers of campsites, hostels including an Eco-Friendly YHA, motels, hotels and even resorts! Of course, we were in a trust camper van during our visit staying in at Halls Gap Caravan Park which was amazing, I cannot recommend this campsite more for its facilities and Grampians experience!

Halls Gap

Kangaroos in Halls Gap

Dave’s new friends!

Halls Gap is one of the many small towns in The Grampians. Halls Gap is located in the heart of The Grampians hidden amongst the locals and the cutest town I’ve stayed in for such a long time! Being from the UK, I’m obsessed with cute villages and towns, so much of the UK screams cute and I just love it! So when we arrived at Halls Gap I could feel the outsides of my mouth turning upwards. Halls Gap has all you need during your stay in The Grampians. A shop, Petrol Station, Swimming Pool, Play Park, Restaurants x 4, Bars and an Ice Cream Parlour, for such a little town its full to the brim with amenities!

As the gateway to The Grampians, you also get easy access to all of the show-stopping lookouts, walks, hikes and wildlife in The Grampians. For the ultimate Grampians experience, I recommend camping one way or another!

Halls Gap Caravan Park

We made this campsite our home for a few nights in The Grampians and I can’t fault it. The campsite is one of the biggest in the national park and so convenient for getting into the national park. The tourist road to find numerous lookouts and walks starts in Halls Gap so you’ve got it all on your doorstep. The staff at the campsite were super friendly making sure you’ve got everything you need and giving you any tips that you need for your stay!

The campsite offers sites both powered and unpowered suitable for cars, tents, camper vans, caravans and more! If you’d rather stay inside then they multiple cabins available that you can book too! The price is reasonable for immense location costing us $40 per night for a powered site/20GBP. For an unpowered site, it’s a little cheaper at $32 per night/15GBP. These charges were correct when we visited in March 2019 and may change depending on the time of year/holidays.

Kangaroos in Halls Gap Caravan Park

Kangaroos in Halls Gap Caravan Park

The facilities at Halls Gap Caravan park were more than adequate. Toilets and showers were kept clean and tidy. Cooking facilities and BBQ’s were located throughout the park, pets are allowed and campfires are specific areas are also allowed. The highlights of staying at Halls Gap Caravan Park were definitely the close proximity to various walks and lookouts in The Grampians. And not to mention the wildlife!

Even though we’ve been in Australia for almost a year and in that time we’ve seen plenty of kangaroos, I still find it sensational seeing them in the wild! As we approached Halls Gap we were greeted by over 50 kangaroos grazing in the grass! These kangaroos literally camped with us all weekend hopping around at night and during the day to which made our stay extra special. You’ll also find Emus, Cockatoos and different breeds of Parakeets around the campsite and in The Grampians.

If you do have any more questions about the campsite then don’t hesitate to contact me via email at [email protected] or check out their website here!

What to do in The Grampians

The Grampians National Park is the perfect getaway for nature lovers, avid walkers, keen photographers and pure wanderlust. Activities in The Grampians consist of getting out in the fresh open air and enjoying some of the worlds awe-inspiring landmarks here in Victoria. Our three days in The Grampians involved lots of hiking, wildlife watching, chasing incredible views and of course, a cheeky BBQ and beer to round off the days. If you’ve got kids then obviously your itinerary may be a little different to mine but you can check out this post on this blog for what to get up to alongside your little people. For us, our weekend was all about finding adventure and all the best lookouts over all of which I’ll be telling you about in detail in this guide. I’m going to split what to do in The Grampians into days of which things go better with others. Usually because if location because I’m all about making travel easier for everyone, it doesn’t have to be hard.

Day One in The Grampians

Upon arrival in The Grampians check in at the campsite. I always like to do this when I arrive at a particular destination because the campsite often has helpful tips for us! Like, the best places to see, eat or they give out maps and all that good stuff. We can research the internet until we go blue in the face but to me, the locals know it best!

Wildlife Watching in Halls Gap

Halls Gap is the place to be in the Grampians. It’s the only place we stayed but the experience we had was out of this world so we’d probably go straight there again if we were to return. The wildlife that hangs out in Halls Gap is pretty magical. The UK is filled with beautiful creatures from small songbirds, robins, foxes, deers, rabbits but Australia’s wildlife is one another level. Though the Australians have no love for the Kangaroo as a tourist it’s a once in a lifetime pleasure to watch a kangaroo hopping around in the wild, you just don’t get them anywhere else in the world. If you want to see multiple Kangaroos hanging out with their pals then you won’t be disappointed in Halls Gap. Over the course of the weekend, we saw over 50 different kangaroos (at a guess, I mean they do all look the same!). But the kangaroo wasn’t the only animal we found at Halls Gap.

You’ll be able to hear the native Aussie birds before you see them. Cockatoos and Parakeets fill the streets of Halls Gap searching for food and boy are these birds beautiful. Parakeets come in all different colours but my favourite has to be the red and blue feathered ones we saw here at Halls Gap. Emus also stroll around in the wild in The Grampians so keep your eyes peeled at all times and don’t get too close!

There are various signs around the town asking visitors not to feed the animals so please please pay attention. We saw so many people trying to feed the kangaroos human food which then makes them dependent on humans. Not to mention it can make them quite sick, same goes for the birds.

Mackenzie Falls at The Grampians

Chasing waterfalls in the best way to spend an afternoon at The Grampians or anywhere in Australia. Some of the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve seen were in the Atherton Tablelands, see more in this post. The Grampians has many a waterfall but the most impressive and a waterfall you must have in your itinerary is Mackenzie Falls. The Atherton Tablelands is home to some majestic waterfalls all of which are pretty and delicate. Mackenzie Falls in The Grampians is powerful, hungry, a little less majestic and a lot more wow. Mackenzie Falls holds the title for my favourite waterfall in Australia so far. It’s a haven for photographers.

View of Mackenzie Falls from the bottom

Because what a great backdrop?!

Getting to Mackenzie Falls

Mackenzie Falls is 17 km from Halls Gap. The drive is straight forward. Follow the tourist road from Halls Gap and just continue. Note that the road is windy so plan for plenty of time, you can’t overtake and you’ll find a lot of campers on the road. You won’t be able to take a caravan so make sure you’ve dropped that off at the campsite first. Mackenzie Falls is on your right so just watch for the signs and wildlife! You can park for free at all the stop-offs in The Grampians but no camping overnight.

You look down on Mackenzie Falls from the lookouts or hike down to the bottom. I recommend doing both!

Lookouts at Mackenzie Falls

The lookout to see Mackenzie Falls is easily accessible with paths forming the way. The viewing platform opens out over Mackenzie Falls exposing all the cascades that make up the waterfall. The walk to the lookout starts at Mackenzie Falls carpark, 1.9 km return taking 20 minutes – 1 hour or more depending on your speeding and ability. The lookout is show stopping giving a full view of the magnificent falls you can hear from miles away.

Hiking Down to the bottom of Mackenzie Falls

To make the most out of Mackenzie falls you need to see it from below. Listening to the water crash into the pool at the foot of the waterfall is incredible. You’ll find stepping stones and a gorgeous river walk down there too. It’s well worth the 260 strenuous steps to get there! Yes, you heard me correctly 260 steps. Getting to the foot of Mackenzie Falls is easy, follow the path and steps all the way to the bottom. But remember what goes down must come up so make sure you are well prepared! Take plenty of water, sun cream, a hat and all the essentials to make sure you reach the top safely. The steps can be slippery is wet conditions so judge it sensibly.

Upon reach the bottom the views speak for themselves. Enjoy the waterfall, embrace the nature before your eyes and of course take plenty of photographs, We could’ve been there all day snapping shots of Mackenzie Falls.

If you fancy a bit more walking follow the river walk that zigzags in and out of the smaller pools. If you do the full river walk it’s 1.2 km. You can spend hours at Mackenzie Falls we spent at least three hours here on our first day. It was a perfect start to our weekend in The Grampians. No matter when you fit in Mackenzie Falls it will be awesome just make sure it’s a the top of your to see list!

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Day Two – Walks in The Grampians

Walking in The Grampians is no doubt the best way to see the vast landscapes and rocky formations. Find various walks/hikes throughout The Grampians National Park for varying abilities. As keen adventure seekers and very keen climbers, Dave and I aren’t scared of a little challenge when it comes to walking so we tacked a walk to The Pinnacle from Halls Gap, 10 km round trip.

The hike up to The Pinnacle lookout is one of the most popular walks in The Grampians. The views over the national park leave you breathless (quite literally after the walk). Unfortunately, there is no way to drive up the lookout due to its positioning. But some of you may be pleased to know that there are shorter versions, but we think the full 10 km is the most fun!

For the full 10 km walk from Halls Gap to The Pinnacle start at the Botanical Gardens in Halls Gap. You’ll find the gardens just before the primary school set back from the road that goes through the caravan park.

The hike up to The Pinnacle is beautiful winding in and out of rocky terrain, climbing over big rock formations and up high into The Grampians. The ascent to The Pinnacle is the hardest leg of the walk as it’s all uphill. Some paved areas, some scrambling over rocks and even grassy overgrown areas so this walk is definitely not for the faint-hearted or ‘unfit’.

Some of the beauties, thanks to mothers natures handy-work, you’ll explore on the way are:

The Venous Baths

Splitter Falls

Numerous Bridges

Very narrow and impressive stairwells

The Grampians Grand Canyon

Cool Chamber

Bridal Veil Falls

The Pinnacle

The track can be difficult to follow at times so make sure you stay on route and follow the yellow arrows that are painted onto the rocks. The only part of the walk where we got lost was at Splitter Falls. In March 2019 Splitter Falls was dry and with no signs, we had no idea this was the actual waterfall! If you follow Alicia Overseas on Instagram then you may have seen our story where we clambered to the top of this waterfall, thinking that it was part of this track! Turns out we were very wrong and we subsequently had to climb back down. Luckily we did do unharmed – round of applause please, it was very slippery!

So, top tip, if you do divert to Splitter Falls then once you reach the falls turn around and head back towards the bridge you just passed, walk over it and continue onto the track!

But what if you really don’t want to hike 10 km?

Lucky for the less adventure hungry traveller there are two shorter walks you can take to The Pinnacle. The second most challenging walk up to The Pinnacle lookout is the hike from The Wonderland Carpark. This where you hop onto too

The view from The Pinnacle look out in The Grampians

Even on a cloudy day the views from the Pinnacle is pretty great!

the same route as outlined above just a little higher!

Note to walking enthusiasts doing the 10 km round trip, when you see a sign for The Wonderland Carpark don’t follow it. There definitely isn’t anything wonderland about it and it really is just a place to park the car, indeed very boring.

The walk in The Grampians from wonderland carpark is 2.1 km, a lot shorter than the full hike but still difficult in areas. Expect this trek to require some climbing up and around steep rocks, slippery surfaces when wet and phenomenal views of The Grampians. You’ll experience The Grampians Grand Canyon, Bridal Veil Falls, the Cool Chamber (which you’ll be thankful for on a stifling hot day!) And of course those picture perfect views that make all the sweat and burning thighs worth it.

Still not feeling it?

The final option to get to The Pinnacle lookout point in The Grampians is to walk from Sundial Carpark. This is the easiest of them with a well-paved track to walk along with ease from the car to the point. Still 2.1 km in distance taking just 45 minutes to one hour. If hiking really isn’t your jam then go for this option so you can still see those epic views from above. Trust me, you really won’t be disappointed.

No matter which route you decide to take one thing is guaranteed. What goes up must come down. If you choose to tackle to 10 km round trip from Halls Gap then prepared for a rocky trip back down to the valley complete with a lot of stairs! Yes, my legs were shaking when we reached the bottom.

Essentials to note/bring for your hike to The Pinnacle

A few important things to note before you venture on any of these walks.

There are no toilets

There are no water filling stations

No food to buy

Little to zero phone reception

Don’t forget your suncream!

Bring plenty of supplies and empty those bladders (and whatever else) before you set off! As highlighted above, the terrain you’ll experience on this walk is rocky, slippery and challenging. Make sure you wear appropriate shoes, no converse or pumps if you’ve any sense and of course don’t forget the suncream! Even in March, on a wet rainy day, my nose burnt. Like any adventure that takes you off the beaten just be prepared and know your limits and of course, have fun!

I’ll admit Hiking to and from The Pinnacle in The Grampians left us feeling tired so we didn’t do too much more with the rest of the day. After the walk, I invite you to talk about the opportunity to explore Halls Gap or wherever you may be staying. We ventured into some of the small shops and a cafe. Afterwards, we headed back to our beloved home on wheels and cooked up a storm, spag bol, to revive our bodies after a great day of walking.

Day 3

The final day in The Grampians, I couldn’t help but wish we had longer here. We left The Grampians in the late afternoon so spent the morning hopping from lookout to lookout to catch our final glimpses.

The Best Lookouts in The Grampians

Fire up the engine and head up the tourist drive from Halls Park. Find some spectacular lookout points to get your final Grampians fix before leaving.

The Balconies

After googling lookouts in The Grampians ‘The Balconies’ will have most definitely come up in your search. One of the most impressive views out over The Grampians National Park along with some pretty unique rock formations. The Balconies is named the Balconies as two rocks stick out above one another, take a little look below!

The Balconie

The Balconies in the lookout, read below how people attempt to sit on the edge!

Of course, once upon a time, these balconies made for epic travel photographs. If you Pinterest The Balconies or Instagram them, then, sure enough, you’ll be met by travellers sat on The Balconies. The drop beneath them is hundreds of feet and I’m guessing that’s exactly why a fence has been put in place. But of course, there are always people who are out to break the rules and to some, Instagram is more important than their lives. I got pretty pissed off when I saw a group of idiots climbing over the fence to try and get that ‘viral image’.

As a nurse, I understand how precious life is and how quickly tragedy can strike. I also know how bloody expensive a rescue helicopter to The Grampians would cost, all because you couldn’t play by the rules and be sensible. Imagine if a member of your family had innocently fallen over during a hike or taken ill unexpectedly. The only way into those trails is by helicopter and your loved one could be waiting a long time if the helicopter is already out because someone did something causing injury, or worse, that was preventable. I probably sound like a granny right now but as a nurse and human being, please please don’t climb the fence at The Balconies. Because if you lose your balance then you’ll be lucky to come out alive, no photograph is worth your life. Be Safe travellers!

View of The Grampians from the Balconies lookout

See it is possible to get a great photograph without risking your life.

On that cheery note enjoy The Balconies and of course Reeds Lookout, found at the same car park as The Balconies. The walk to The Balconies is 1 km from the car park with a marked path the whole way. Get there early morning to try to miss the crowds.

Boroka Lookout

Views from Bokora Lookout of The Grampians

The stunning views from Bokora Lookout

Personally my favourite lookout in The Grampians! Boroka Lookout is 5 km off the tourist road but well worth the short detour. Enjoy paranamic views over The Grampians and out towards Lake  Bellfield. You’ll find two lookout points both easily accessible a mere 200 metres from the carpark. Take your camera and prepared to be stunned.

The Grampians or The Blue Mountains?

The Grampians! I found these amazing landscapes to both be beautiful, similar and at the same time unique. Unexpectedly, I found myself comparing the two throughout the day and realised that for me The Grampians will always win. I think it’s because of how raw The Grampians still feels. The Blue Mountains is quite built up and most lookouts are literally on the edge of small towns. What I loved about The Grampians was how rural it still felt and the feeling of adventure during our short time there! & of course, there would be some epic climbing when we have the correct gear with us!

However, you choose to spend your three days in The Grampians I hope you take a few pointers from this guide or at least get a taste of how breathtaking this national park is. As always I would love to hear from you so hit the comments below! For any more advice on The Grampians feel free to email me at [email protected] and don’t forget to share this post if you enjoyed it – I couldn’t do this without you!

I love connecting with my readers through my monthly newsletter so make sure you never miss an adventure by subscribing below!

Happy and Healthy Travels,

Alicia

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9 Reasons to Visit The Grand Canyon USA

9 Reasons to Visit The Grand Canyon USA

The Grand Canyon is the most spectacular natural landmark in the world. Yes okay, that might be a matter of my personal opinion but seriously it’s out of this world! I visited the canyon back in 2015 and I haven’t stopped lusting over it since! It’s by far my favourite National Park in the world! If you’ve ever wanted to take an epic helicopter ride you’ll never forget, camp alongside elk and be one of 5 million people who visit a destination each year, then The Grand Canyon has got you covered. I’m going to share with you exactly why you should visit The Grand Canyon.

Random Fun Fact: If I had never visited The Grand Canyon then Dave and I may not be together, it was a major conversation starter when we met!

So why exactly should you visit The Grand Canyon? Here’s my 9 Reason’s

1. You have to see it to experience it!

Ariel view of The Grand Canyon

Visit The Grand Canyon solo or with friends. No matter what you’ll have an incredible experience!

The world is full of epic photographers these days right? Some of the most talented photographers can capture a moment and you feel like you’ve been pulled right into that moment. Many photographs do places fantastic justice, however, the photographs of The Grand Canyon just DO NOT do it the justice it deserves! (& there are some captivating ones out there!) Nope for me, you’ve just got to go and see the canyon for itself to understand how breathtaking this place really is! I am telling you now you won’t regret it!

2. Experience the Most Epic Helicopter Ride

Helicopters on the ground at The Grand Canyon

One of my best life experiences to date!

Now I’m not a fan of flying. I do it because it’s the only way to get to some of the world most beautiful destinations and I think that’s probably why most people grin and bear it! So when I got the opportunity to fly in a helicopter over and into The Grand Canyon I’m going, to be honest, I was sceptical and terrified! I’ve read about plenty of horror stories that involve a helicopter!

However, my travel mates on this trip (who had already done the ride) managed to persuade me otherwise and I’m so glad they did. This is easily one of the most incredible life experiences I’ve had whilst on the road so far! Imagine zooming above a forest for miles and miles and then wow, all of sudden the floor feels like it’s disappeared beneath you and your gliding over The Grand Canyon? Pretty exhilarating huh?

3. The Sunrise/Sunsets

sunset at the Grand Canyon

Dreamy sunsets in The Grand Canyon

I’ve seen some pretty gorgeous sunrises and sunsets over numerous cities and national parks but this one tops them all. There is nothing quite as beautiful than watching the sun rise and fall onto the wonder that is the Grand Canyon. Again there are no photographs or words to describe how brilliant the views are at dawn and dusk.

4. One of the Most Visited Tourist Landmarks – In the World!

View from a helicopter of The Grand Canyon

No filter necessary!

The Grand Canyon attracts way over 4 million people every year! & I wish I could be one of those people every year! That amount of people isn’t even imaginable to people like you and me! So there’s got to be a reason why so many people visit? Because it’s bloody wonderful! With so much natural beauty to see and so much to do you can soon see why it’s such a popular tourist destination! From hiking, walking, to rafting, camping and helicopter a ride there’s something for everyone! & after all over 4 million people can’t turn up and be disappointed, can they?!

5. Great Exercise

If you’re like me and love to travel but also love to eat everything that you see then you can easily hike off a good chunk of that junk food whilst hiking the Canyon! Or at least a mouthful! There are numerous different hiking trails in the canyon, some easy and some pretty hard! What I will say Is that the canyon is steep no matter what hike you do if you go below the rim it will be a climb to get back out! And the only way out is UP! We embarked on one of the nicer hikes the Bright Angel Trail which is around 9.9 miles. For some tips whilst you hike the canyon, which I learnt unfortunately from experience, check out the extra tips at the end of this post!

6. The Canyon is still impressive from the top!

Visit the Grand Canyon

You can find OOH AAH POINT on the South Kaibab Trail!

The great thing about canyons is that you are looking down into them! So basically the main attraction is how deep they go! And seeing as you can drive right up to the rim of the Grand Canyon there really is no need to venture any further down into the canyon if you don’t want to! So if your unable to walk long distances due to health reasons or hiking just ain’t your thing you can enjoy the wonders literally a few minutes’ walk from the car! Pretty awesome!

7. Camp with Wildlife

Have you ever camped with elk wandering around your tent? Nope, I hadn’t either until I camped out in the campsites of the Grand Canyon! There are so many to choose from! Luckily I did my trip with Trek America so the campsite was all already booked and planned out for us but if you have a look around online there are plenty of options to choose from! Check out the Westerner 2 tour by Trek America, one of the tours where they visit The Grand Canyon here!

8. The Most Impressive Land Mark in the World

Now again this is subject to my opinion which by the way is usually right, David wouldn’t agree! But even though it isn’t the biggest canyon in the world I reckon it’s probably one of the most impressive. I honestly smile anytime I think of the few days I spent here, from the amazing hike to the breathtaking helicopter ride I was literally speechless for the majority of the trip here & that’s something you don’t often see! The biggest canyon in the world is Yarlung Zangbo in Tibet China at a whopping 19,715 feet deep! It makes The Grand Canyon look like a baby at just 5,697!

9. You won’t ever forget it!

This is an experience of a lifetime and I can guarantee that The Grand Canyon will leave a mark in your heart forever, I know it has on mine and I cannot wait to return for take 2!

So if you’ve come to the end of this post and are still pondering whether to visit the Grand Canyon then I want to know, WHY? Let me know in the comments!

If your thinking of scribbling a visit to the Grand Canyon into your big American road trip then check out my top spots you just can’t miss on a Californian roadie!

Extra Tips!

If your heading on a hike whilst you visit The Grand Canyon then make sure you are prepared! If there’s something I could tell my prior 21-year-old self it would be to take a hat, more sun cream and something more substantial than a 500ml plastic water bottle! You might laugh but back then I had no idea how important these things are! If someone told me now I was to hike 9 miles in 30-degree heat with only 500mls of water I’d laugh in their face.

If you’re taking a hike set off early in the morning so you can be back out of the canyon before midday, we started our climb back out of the canyon at 12 pm, complete idiots! (Hottest part of the day!) You will be pleased to know that there are water points every mile inside the canyon so thankfully all was not lost! But please be prepared so you can enjoy the beauty of this incredible place with nothing else to worry about! Like if you’re going to make it out of there alive and hydrated!

So why wouldn’t me and Dave have met if I hadn’t been to The Grand Canyon? Well, we met on good old Tinder! Yes, success story right here! When Dave obviously saw my amazing photographs and swiped right on his phone his chat up line was this. ‘So what’s that big canyon thing you’re stood at the top of?’ He says he was always joking to this very day but I don’t know! I was just happy to start spouting off about how amazing it is and how everybody needs to go at least once in their life! So I guess you could say we’ve got the Grand Canyon to thank for our amazing life together. Definitely another reason to go back I think?!

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Hiking The Glass House Mountains Queensland

Hiking The Glass House Mountains Queensland

A Quick Guide to Hiking The Glass  House Mountains!

National Parks in Queensland? There are so many to visit and so many to choose from! Queensland is an oasis for all types of National Parks. From Hiking the Glass House Mountains and Mount Tamborine. To lounging on the Whitsundays and swimming the Great Barrier Reef. Queensland screams diversity. A drive down Queensland’s east coast is an all-time favourite with travellers and a place I often see overlooked on these itineraries is the Glass House Mountains. The Glass House Mountains sit an hour from Brisbane offering spectacular views, walks and hikes. If you love adventure and the great outdoors then you must visit the Glass House Mountains. In this quick guide, I’m going to be sharing all my tips for Hiking the Glass House Mountains. More specifically, Mount Ngungun.

‘You’ve had the best exercise then all of us here today!’ I laughed as I wipe the sweat from my forehead just looking at the couple in front with a toddler strapped to their backs – EACH. 

History Behind The Glass House Mountains

The Glass House Mountains is one of Queensland’s heritage listed national parks! The mountains were originally active volcanoes a very very long time ago, we are talking millions of years here! Over the years, the Glass House Mountains have been subject to erosion and variable weather conditions which has left them the interesting shape they are today.

The mountains were originally named after glass furnaces! Captain James Cook was the one to name the mountains and he was originally from Yorkshire in the UK. Which is exactly where I’m from – pretty cool.

Anyway, over the years The Glass House Mountains have become one of Queensland’s most impressive landmarks and have become a favourite for walkers, hikers and climbers of all abilities! Hiking the Glass House Mountains went straight to the top of our bucket list after seeing some incredible photographs of the summit. I admit that even though we’ve only hiked The Glass House Mountains once it’s definitely with regret. From what I’ve seen and what I know about sunrise here in Brisbane, watching the sunrise and fall over Mount Ngungun would be sensational.

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Your Guide to Hiking The Glass House Mountains – Mount Ngungun

Where to find The Glass House Mountains

You can easily make a day trip of hiking the Glass House Mountains. Just 70km north of Brisbane there’s really no need to stay overnight unless you want to. It’s even closer to the Sunshine Coast just 42 Kilometres from Noosa so easily accessed.

Transport to The Glass House Mountains

If you’re in Brisbane or the Sunshine Coast then The Glass House Mountains are super easy to get to!

From Brisbane

Hop on the train from the majority of stations in the city towards Nambour and then get off at The Glass House Mountains Station, it takes around 1 hour 20 minutes on the train! You can use you’re GoCard to if you have one!

When leaving the train it’ takes around 15 – 25 minutes to reach the foot of Mnungun. Turn left onto Coonowrin Road and continue for 80 yards, turn right onto Coonowrin Road and continue for 0.65 miles, Turn right onto Fullerton’s Road and continue for 0.85 miles and the destination and start of the trail is on your right!

Check out the map below for walking directions from the train station as it isn’t that well signposted.

Check out Go-Card Options here – they will save you a lot of money on transport in and around Brisbane

Hiking The Glass Gouse Mountains: Mount Ngungun Hike

Photograph of a girl walking up the Mount Ngungun Access track whilst hiking the Glass House Mountains

The Hiking Track to the Mount Ngungun Summit – fairly easy!

There are four main mountains that you can venture up in the national park. Mount Ngungun, Beerwah, Tibrogargan and Beerbarrum. All of these mountains are accessible with walking or hiking trails available. That said, these mountains are all very different and some require more of a scramble than a hike. Make sure you do all of the research before heading out to Hike the Glass House Mountains.

Pre-Hike Research

Before we chose which hike to do I did a little research and as recommended by Rachael behind The Adventurous Wonderer, we opted for the beautiful walking trail of Mount Ngungun. I’m so glad that I took her advice, this walk really is fairly easy despite being classed as a grade 4 hike. The views once we reached the stop were absolutely stunning. The panoramic view of the countryside that surrounds the Glass House Mountains is a gorgeous side of Australia to see – it isn’t all just beaches you know!

Check out Rachels Instagram here – Amazing photography from the Glass House Mountains!

The hike to the summit of Mt Ngungun is classed as a grade 4 hike. This means that there are some steep rocky areas to the track surrounded by cliff edges with huge drops off the side. Basically, you need some experience of hiking up steep hills with an uneasy surface. It was steep in some areas and the track was rocky at times but the walk wasn’t all that hard. I say walk it definitely classes a hike but a fairly easy one. Don’t get me wrong I still broke a sweat but it was like 30 degrees so I’m allowed? As we arrived at the summit, very sweaty, but indeed very happy. I couldn’t help but laugh as we saw a couple with twins strapped to their backs! I suddenly felt very unfit but rather them than me! Although, I really hope that’s the kind of parent I am when I have my own family.

Start the Hike at Mount Ngungun Access Track

The start of the walk begins at the foot of the mountain accessed via the Mount Ngungun access track. The track winds all the way to the summit so it really is impossible to get lost. The round trip is 2.8 kilometres so nothing too scary! Depending on how fit you are and the pace you like to hike at I would recommend giving yourself 1-2 hours to enjoy the wonders of Mt Ngungun! After all, you don’t want to rush and miss the great scenery on the way up! There’s also a fun cave you’ll want to explore!

My partner at the top of a cave that you pass whilst hiking the Glass House Mountains Queensland

Who’s the king of the castle? or cave?

Explore the Cave!

If you’ve been here before then you’ll know that David and I are keen climbers! If you are new are want to find out more about me and this blog then click here! So when we were presented with a cave halfway up the mountain David was like a little kid at Christmas, very excited to get in there and climb all over!

Please note that we are experienced rock climbers and this cave is slippery and high! Only climb in it if you have the confidence and ability! The architecture of the cave is just as amazing to look at from the bottom too!

After exploring the cave carry on the upwards trail to the summit which is where the real magic happens!

The views from the top of Mount Ngungun are stunning with miles of  Queensland countryside at your feet. The other mountains are in the view out in the distance. The views honestly won’t leave you disappointed! We were left speechless at how beautiful the views from the top are!

Australia’s amazing national parks are often overlooked due to the impressive beaches of the east coast but in my opinion, mountains are just as or if not more beautiful than beaches! After all, aren’t most beaches pretty much the same?

Enjoy the Views!

When exploring the summit of Mount Ngungun watch your step but be sure the ensure to enjoy the 360-degree views! Take a picnic and relax as you watch the birds of prey swooping around the sky and take in the beautiful scenery that surrounds you. Make sure you leave plenty of time for photographs. We hiked up Mount Ngungun in the daytime on a beautiful day but if I could do it again I’d go up and enjoy sunset and sunrise!

My partner David at the Summit of Mount ngungun after Hiking the Glass House Mountains

David enjoying the views!

If you’re after something a little more challenging then you can try hiking the other mountains in the national park! Mount Beerwah and Tribrogargan might just be the mountains for you! These climbs offer a more challenging hike to the summit and somewhat of a scramble in places!

Other Options for Hiking the Glass House Mountains

The most important thing when hiking the Glass House Mountains is staying safe. Make sure you don’t go it alone! If you are one of the solo travellers amongst us make sure you go in daylight hours or at least let somebody know what time and what hike you’re going to attempt! After all, sunrise and sunset at the Glass House Mountains looks spectacular – why should you miss it if you’re a solo traveller? There isn’t any water when you’re on the trails so make sure you take extra just in case! (especially if you’re a Brit like me and not used to the warm climate!) I’ve created a list below of all the essentials fun and boring you may need for this hike.

Essentials for Hiking Mt Ngungun

Water – I recommend a Life Straw Water Bottle or Camel Pack Hydration Kit!

First Aid Kit – in case of slips, trips or unwanted visitors like spiders and snakes – you never know!

Walking Boots & Head torch – always better to be prepared!

Sunscreen factor 30 and above!

GoPro and DSLR to capture all the fun!

Don’t Forget How Awesome Hiking is for Your Body!

I’ve found that travelling, as amazing as it is, can also take a toll on our physical and mental health! Road trips can be tiring, hostels can be a damn right pain in the arse and why do I want to eat all the food which is bad for me?! If you’re like me and want to try all of the cuisines wherever you are then you’ll want to look after yourself too! Getting outside in the fresh air is a great source to relax the mind and focus on what you’re doing in the present! Not to mention how good the physical exercise of hiking to the summit is for you! So pull on our training or gym gear and hike to top enjoying the wonders of The Glass House Mountains. You can have an epic day out whilst taking care of yourself too!

Another bonus of hiking the Glass House Mountains? It’s completely free so super easy if you’re a budget traveller. The fact that the Glass House Mountains are only a short train journey away from Brisbane means you only need to take a day trip to enjoy them! I’m a lover of working whilst I travel and I love days out like this. It means that I can still pick up all of the nursing shifts for the week as well as enjoying my times travelling! If you’re planning on hiking or have hiked up the Glass House Mountains then let me know in the comments below – I would love to hear about it!!

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Wishing you lots of Happy and Healthy Travels!

Alicia