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Grampians - The place to visit
3:17:14 PM
So the fires were pretty hectic. It is safe to say that over the past 8 years all of the parck has been burnt over three separate fires.

The town of Halls Gap was lucky to escape thanks to an earlier than predicted wind change and favorable wind direction.

The issue now is that the main township of Halls Gap is no longer impending doom from fire but an economy threatened by the lack of tourism to the park, at a time of normally peak tourism. Adventure companies have lost bookings, accomodation cancelled and the media has instilled fear in many prospecting tourists via its over-the-top 'Doomsday' headlines. One friend of mine, a climbing guide is now taking on shifts at the local pub to help pay the bills.

Grampians tourism, local businesses and the community are in high spirits and are on a mission to inform the public that the Grampians is still the place to visit, and it is. In the last 6 days since I evacuated my home between Halls Gap and Pomonal I have been climbing three times, kayaking once, bush walking once and treated myself to world class coffee and traditional Indian cuisine. And to top it off this Sunday the town will be treated to live music all day in the garden of the mountain grand, which will be offering great food, boutique beer and great times.

I want to do my part to let climbers know that the Grampians is still the place to visit, and really you fellow rock climbers who grace out bush and rock everyyear whether it be as vagrants at Stapylton campground, lving in the van, renting a cabin, or travelling from Melbourne are a big part of the Grampians economy and culture.

It is true that the most popular and most often visited crag of the Northern Grampians took a big hit, and the damage has yet to be fully assessed. The good news is that there is still so much more to climb. The Victoria Range in my opinion offers fat more than the Northern Grampians does despite not offering up a Taipan Wall. Take away Taipan and although there are still many great crags, this is nothing on the Vic Range. There is Muline, The Gallery, The Tower, Eureka just to name a few, all of which a world class crags, and all within 30 or so minutes from the car. Plenty of three star 21s, 22s, 23s, 25s, 27s, 28s. 29s, as well as a host of perfect rad experiences. truly worthwhile.

Not to mention the world class and often overlooked Bundaleer, the new and impressive dreamtime, and a host of newly discovrered, 5 star bouldering crags such as Fox boulders, the gallery, the bleaches and a few areas soon to be released.

But where do I stay? - From my experience the typical visitor gravitates to the Northern Grampians to the allure of Hollow Mountain or Taipan and either commutes from Natimuk or camps at stapylton. many people i meet know little of Halls Gap or the Southern Grampians. I was once the same. Until I moved there.

In reality Halls Gap is a much more comfortable place to stay with worl class coffee, gormet food, healthy food, young people interested in art and music, regular live music, beautiful lakes and many many accomodation options. It is also only 30 minutes from Taipan, 45 from the Vic Range crags and 10 minutes from Bundaleer and world class bouldering. There are regularly parties too, climbers always welcome.

So really, whether its a weekend, a week, month or a season the Grampians has you covered. Halls Gap is welcoming and you know what the different experience of a different setting might even see you have a better experience if the fires never came.

I hope I have done my part and convinced at least one of you who was thinking about cancelling there much anticipated Gramps trip to still come. And hey, I'll even make you free coffee, let you camp on my property for free, and bathe in my spa.

I hope to see you at the crag, or at least enjoy my rant.

PS - I should also mention that the people of Wartook, Laharum and Mt Zero would appreciate your visit too.

Kind regards,


4:54:59 PM
Rhys - this is an awesome sell!! Where is your cafe, and I hope you have a good filter on your spa if climbers are going to use it.
5:59:37 PM
I really hate to burst your bubble, but I've just had a look at the PV map because I'm quite keen on a girls weekend for my 40th next week in a holiday house in halls gap, with visions of apres climbing spa and champagne, but bundaleer and rosea are in the closed list. In addition, the glenelg river road down to the vic range is closed, as is dreamtime wall. Although personally I don't think that is a great loss, as i think it's a pile of choss, but you are promoting people to go to a bunch of areas not yet accessible. Eureka is also on Emu's foot track, which is still closed from the last fires.

What people can do from Halls Gap at the moment is the stuff just out of town on the bellfield side of the road, stuff between halls gap and sliverband falls rd, stuff down redmans track (anyone seeking a day of adventure might want to read my barbican wall trip report from a few years ago for inspiration), mt abrupt if you are up for a bit of a drive. Getting to the vic range is a long way around at the moment.

6:02:37 PM
Was going to head up to Mt Alexander but now will likely climb at the Gap somewhere. You forgot to mention the ice creams.

9:34:24 PM
Time for some serious wonderland Range exploration then. Anyone been to The Workshop in the last 20 years? I bet Hot Rats is still waiting for a FFA.
10:55:44 PM
On 24/01/2014 JamesMc wrote:
>Time for some serious wonderland Range exploration then. Anyone been to
>The Workshop in the last 20 years? I bet Hot Rats is still waiting for a FFA.

You are meant to be trying to inspire people James. Having had a look at Hot Rat years ago, a FFA isn't something I would be getting too excited about.

12:38:54 PM
From what I can see on the map Wendy, Dreamtime looks like it is open - and I think it is a great crag, it just may not appeal to anyone who demands anything but perfect rock - but you are correct about Eureka being closed.

For people looking for more moderate routes, it would be worth checking out the Waterworks area in the southern Victoria Range, there are loads of great crags down there covering a whole range of grades: Curiousity Crag, Tortoise Wall, Slander Gully, Ruined Castle, all the crags around Gilhams Crag - and most of them offer places where you can find plenty of shade.

1:15:09 PM
Re Dreamtime, everything north of Serra road is marked closed in Parks' condition update linked from their site:

This would include Dreamtime.

As an aside, from memory Henham track was listed as permanently closed due to erosion in the last roads update which would add about an hour to the walk in even if you were allowed in there.

1:51:51 PM
I think it was only the lower portion, I'll see if I can find a pdf with the actual notes.

1:54:27 PM
I just realized I had Henham and Harrop tracks mixed up. Ignore my (now deleted) comment.

I'm also under the impression that Henham Track (Dreamtime access road) is permanently shut.

Harrop Track (Gilhams Victoria Range) is open.

2:01:11 PM
On 30/01/2014 nmonteith wrote:
>I just realized I had Henham and Harrop tracks mixed up.

I've done that before too.

>I'm also under the impression that Henham Track (Dreamtime access road) is permanently shut.

>Harrop Track (Gilhams Victoria Range) is open.

Certainly was when I drove along part of it yesterday.
2:19:34 PM
On 30/01/2014 ajfclark wrote:

>>Harrop Track (Gilhams Victoria Range) is open.
>Certainly was when I drove along part of it yesterday.

And the glenisla crossing rd (which accesses glenelg river rd and top of red rocks rd) was shut at the highway. You can't access the Vic range from Halls gap without going the long way round the bottom of the range and you have to approach the red rocks rd crags from Billiwing rd.
3:03:34 PM
I just went looking to see if they had an updated map since the 23rd, and no, that's still the one on the website. And Dreamtime, along with rosea and bundaleer, and all the northern grampians stuff, are well and truly in the big pink blob that is closed.
3:18:03 PM
It is true that The Northern Grampians will be closed for quite some time. I have seen some pictures of the devastation at Hollow Mountain area. It will takes parks a while to even create a plan. The affected area is so large.

There have been some fantastic reports of successful trips to the Gallery, Tower, Buandik boulders, and with fantastic conditions. Word from parks is they will try to open roads as soon as possible to open acess to many crags. This will open up Rosea, Bundaleer, and create a shorter cut to Buandik.

And Neil if you are nice to people at parks they may even lend you thier key for quick access to dreamtime.

We are all just licking our lips in anticipation for greater access
7:09:47 PM
I've been planning to go bouldering in the Grampians for quite some time now and will finally land in Melbourne tomorrow. So naturally it was kind of a shock when I read of the fires just now. Does it still make sense to go there? Which areas are accessible and which are not? I don't plan on doing any sports climbing, just bouldering.
Thank you!

I just found this map
showing the entire northern part closed. From the little knowledge I have about the location of the bouldering areas, I understand that they are all in that part. Is that correct?
7:28:00 PM
There is bouldering around gallery, red rocks and mt fox. The boulders are very good quality, but info is limited at best....and yes the North is closed.
10:44:03 AM

Rosea and Bundaleer are now open, as is that choss pile of a crag with the locked gates that you aren't supposed to drive around, Dreamtime Wall.

The road through from Halls Gap to the Gallery area is still closed.

There are 17 messages in this topic.


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