Stay close, go further.

In spring, the sandstone mountains and epic waterfalls of the Grampians are at their most spectacular. Here are our top spring stops.

1. Creative cafes

Many artists, musicians and adventurers are drawn to the beauty and nature of the Grampians and have set up a strong creative community. One of the best places to get the feel for the place is in the local cafes.

Livefast Lifestyle Cafe has been serving up some of the area's best coffee, local produce and craft beer since 2010. When off-duty you're likely to see the staff out in the National Park for a climb, run, ride or hike, so be sure to ask them for their tips.

2. Waterfalls

A trip to the Grampians is incomplete without a trip to the iconic MacKenzie Falls, one of the largest and most spectacular waterfalls in Victoria. It flows year round but it's a particularly special sight in spring as the winter rains cascade over huge cliffs into a deep pool, sending fine sprays of rainbow mist high into the air above a stunning gorge.

3. Wildflowers

Late August to mid November is the 'season of wildflowers'. As you explore you'll see a huge variety of wildflowers including pink and white heath, orchids and blooming tea-trees in their natural settings.

The Grampians Wildflower Show celebrates the wonderful flowers of the the national park and nearby forests. This year the show is scheduled for September 26-27.

4. Local produce

Before you hit the trails, grab a bag and fill up on fresh, abundant local produce. The Grampians is olive country - Grampians Olive Co, Red Rock Olives and Nicolas Olive Estate all have stores here, and the famous Mt Zero olives are grown in – you guessed it – Mt Zero, at the foot of the Grampians.

See the sheep being milked at Grampians Pure Sheep Milk Dairy and pick up some locally made yoghurt, feta and Grampians Grand cheese for your next stop. The farm gate at Grampians Grove in Moyston has freshly-picked almonds and hazelnuts – perfect food for the trail.

5. Hikes and picnic spots

Bring your provisions along one (or more) of the stunning Grampians walks before stopping for a postcard picnic. The Mount Zero Walk is just under 3km return, and the views of Mt Stapylton and the surrounding Wimmera plains are some of the best in the area. Hollow Mountain (Wudjub-Guyan) Walk is a steeper, more strenuous climb through fallen boulders and along exposed ledges and a short uphill scramble.

Our pick for a picnic stop is Lake Wartook, where you can snack away while taking in stunning views over the lake head to Reeds lookout. It's best at sunset when the sky turns pink. Redfin, trophy brown and rainbow trout are in abundance here – you're likely to see a few people trying to catch their dinner.

6. Grampians wine region

The Grampians wine region is home to some of the world's oldest vines. The surrounding granite cliffs and loamy red soils lend themselves well to producing bold, peppery reds. Visit Best's Wines Great Western, Grampian's Estate and Mount Langi Ghiran to sample some of the region's acclaimed Shiraz, among other varietals.

7. Local brews and eateries

It's not just wine that's produced here - beer lovers have plenty to shout about too. Paper Scissors Rock Brew Co is an exciting Grampians-based independent microbrewery in Halls Gap. All of their beers are brewed fresh on site, including some seasonal favourites to keep things fresh.

In the mood for BBQ? Book a table at Flame Brothers in Halls Gap. Pick from a menu of meats, smoked for 12 hours over local redgum & fruitwoods.

8. Accommodation

Whether you're after five-star luxury, an eco-friendly retreat or something for the kids, you're sure to find your perfect spot to take in the beautiful Grampians in spring.

Named one of the world's accommodation hot spots by Condé Nast Traveler, Meringa Springs in the Grampians National Park is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway. A sunset swim in the onsite pool while enjoying the majestic views is an incredible Grampians experience.

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