As someone who is a hiking, climbing and general mountain enthusiast, the Grampians was high up on my 'to-do' list.
With only a 3 hour drive from Melbourne this place is too close to give a miss!
Whilst several images of The Balconies is what attracted me to these ranges, it would not be the reason for my return. Again, it may be my preference for the secluded and more intimate spots that win me over, but this lookout may just be a little too busy compared to other choices. Don't get me wrong, it is worth the short walk, and if you can persuade yourself to be there in time for sunrise or sunset, the view is pretty spectacular!
The Balconies at Sunset.
Mackenzie Falls, Grampians National Park
The reason the Grampians has become one of my favourite places is entirely because of one spot. The summit of Mt. Abrupt.
Not only was this a peak with one incredible sight, but the whole experience was absolute perfection. Hiking up with a packed picnic dinner, watching the sunset behind the mountains and then being guided by starlight on the walk back at night. It was unforgettable.
We also managed to escape the crowds, which is surprisingly easy when you get yourselves off the boardwalk and start walking at a dramatic incline. Choosing your time of day also avoids rushes of people, we tend to lean more towards a sunrise or sunset walk as the lighting is its own extra reward and everyone is either asleep or preparing dinner!
All up the 6km walk and rock scramble took about 2.5 hours (not including the 3 hour dinner and sunset stop at the peak). To this day this remains one of my favourite sunset experiences.
Mitch skating with Mt Abrupt in the background.
Our Mt Abrupt camp fire. (It was very small and we were surrounded by rocks don't worry)