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Official site for Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Day 4: Halls Gap to Ballarat
142 km/88 miles, about 2 hours
Start your day with a visit to the Brambuk Culture Centre to delve into the area's fascinating Aboriginal history and culture. Enjoy the art, artefacts and activities – try your hand at a boomerang. Join Aboriginal guides on tours to ancient rock art sites and to learn more about the landscape's spiritual significance.
Looking with a new point of view, explore the park further, taking in its famous lookouts: Boroka, Reed and the Balconies, all a short distance from Halls Gap and offering stunning views over the Mount William and Wonderland Ranges and Victoria Valley.
Make time to stop at another of the Grampians' star attractions: MacKenzie Falls, one of Victoria's largest and most spectacular waterfalls. Take the steep climb down to the base of the falls (allow an hour return) or the easier, more accessible trail that follows the top of the ridge line.
From Halls Gap, Ararat is just a quick 50 kilometre drive away. Stop in at the Gum San Chinese Heritage Museum to learn about the town's intriguing Chinese history or give yourself goosebumps on a ghost tour of Aradale, Australia's largest abandoned asylum.
Back out on the open road, you're just over an hour's drive from your final destination for the day, Ballarat. Along the Western Highway, admire the imposing Mt Ghiran and explore the beautiful Langhi Ghiran State Park, rich in Aboriginal cultural heritage and home to significant art sites.
Upon arrival in statuesque Ballarat, allow yourself a regal treat: dinner at Craig's Royal Hotel, a grand heritage hotel. To really live like a king, book in to stay the night here or at the nearby George Hotel. Before you lay down your crown, see if you can catch the Blood on the Southern Cross sound and light show at Sovereign Hill, for a dramatic introduction to local history.
Learn about the flora and fauna of the region and explore Aboriginal culture in the natural oasis of the Grampians/Gariwerd National Park.
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Discover evidence of an ancient past in the Grampians: oven mounds, toolmaking materials and a high concentration of Aboriginal rock art sites.
Set off down striking sandstone ridges and between unusual rock formations to behold the awe-inspiring Grampians region stretching out before you.
Explore deep into the Grampians region's parks and be rewarded with the sight of stunning waterfalls and the roar of cascading torrents of water.
The water drops 30 metres at MacKenzie Falls in the Grampians.
Halls Gap (1:30)
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The George Hotel Ballarat established in 1854, the second licensed hotel in Ballarat, has played a key part in the city's social history. In 1854...
Ballarat Lodge & Convention Centre features warm country décor and superb hospitality, making it the perfect venue for weddings, corporate functions...
As one of the first Grand Hotels in the colony, Craig's Royal Hotel Ballarat was born from the wealth of the Australian Gold Rush Era. Established in...
A thought-provoking exploration of the human form seen through Ancient Greek eyes. This exhibition features more than 100 treasures from the British...
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