View of the Taipan Wall from Flat Rock

Northern Grampians

The Northern Grampians offers a natural beauty on a grand scale. Massive rocks and cliffs tower above the farmlands of the Wimmera plains.

Generally much drier than the rest of the Park, the area is rich in flora, Aboriginal and European history. There is much to see beyond the roadsides and much exploration can be done on foot.

Take a short leisurely stroll or something more challenging, and with fewer people, always have the camera ready.

Northern Grampians Region

History

Gulgurn Manja and Ngamadjidj shelters give us a glimpse of some of the early aboriginal culture. Heatherlie Quarry is of great historical significance and there are other examples of early mining activity along Copper Mine Track.

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Location:

Gulgurn Manja

Gulgurn Manja Shelter

Gulgurn Manja - meaning hands of young people.

Access from Hollow Mountain carpark. From the shelter small tribal groups would be able to see the fires of other groups moving over the plains to the north. They used the fine grained sandstone to make stone tools.

The paintings include emu tracks and hand prints many done by children. These paintings were used to help tell stories and pass on the law of the people.

Image: Gulgurn Manja Shelter

 
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Ngamadjidj

Ngamadjidj Shelter

Ngamadjidj - meaning white person.

On the western side (Staplyton Campground) near a small secluded waterhole.

Remains of campfires and stone tools were found here. The paintings at this site are unusual in the fact that they were only done with white clay. Little is known of the meaning of the paintings.

Image: Ngamadjidj Shelter

 
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Heatherlie Quarry

Heatherlie Quarry is noted for its high quality building stone which has been used in more than 20 distinguished buildings in Melbourne, including Parliament House and the Town Hall. During the 1880s the quarry was in full production A tramway was built from Stawell to carry the stone to the main railway line and up to 100 men were employed. However demand for stone eventually declined and it closed in 1938.

Sunday excursions to see wildflowers were a great favourite, but the railway finally closed in 1949 and most of the rails and equipment were removed by the early 1950s.

Today you can still see a number of remains of equipment and tramway and the stone huts have been restored.

The quarry is 14km north of Halls Gap along the Mt Zero Rd.

An interpretative trail has been developed and the area remains a wonderful wildflower viewing site.

Location: Mt Zero Rd, 14 km north of Hall's Gap

The former Mt Difficult quarry was once one of the most important stone sites in Victoria, famous for its high yield of Grampians Freestone. Many famous Melbourne buildings, including the GPO, State Library and Parliament House were built using this stone. Extraction is now only permitted for repairs.

The Grampians National Park Information Centre can provide further details of other historic sites.

Hut made from local stone
 
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Picnic Areas

A great area to have a picnic and study the wonderful wildflowers. The warmer climate gives you the best weather and earliest flowers in the National Park.

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Mt Zero Picnic Area

The northern end of the Grampians is the driest and even in winter a picnic in sunshine is common. Situated at the base of Flat Rock there is plenty of shade, picnic tables and the toilets are close by. A great starting point for the Mt Zero, Flat Rock and Mt Stapylton walks. See a wonderful display of wildflowers in the late winter, spring and early summer.

 
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Golton Gorge

On the east side of the Mt Difficult range in an area recognised as a great wildflower area in the late winter and spring. Lasiopetalum dasyphyllum (velvet bush) is common in the area. There are toilets and it is also the start of the Golton Gorge walk. It is situated on the Halls Gap - Mt Zero Rd.

 
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Walks

A great opportunity to investigate the Northern section of the Grampians. You can take a leisurely stroll or a challenging hike to experience the wonderful colours of the Northern area. Take in aboriginal culture and study the wonderful flora. Magnificent views.

Instructions:

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Mt Zero

Start: Mt Zero Picnic Area  Time: Approx. 1 hr return
Distance: 2.8km return  Grade: Medium (elevation: 150 m)

From the carpark cross some heathland and proceed to the top of Mt Zero for wonderful panoramic views of the Wimmera plains and the northern end of the Mount Difficult Range. Interesting rock formations. See great wildflowers in early spring to early summer.

  
 
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Gulgurn Manja Shelter

Gulgurn Manja Shelter
Start: Hollow Mountain Carpark  Time: Approx. 30 mins return
Distance: 1 km return  Grade: Easy (elevation: 30m)

An easy 1 km return leads to Gulgurn Manja Shelter meaning "Hands of Young People". Interpretive signs tell some of the stories and legends.

Image: Gulgurn Manja Shelter

 
 
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Hollow Mountain

Hollow Mountain
Start: Hollow Mountain Carpark  Time: Approx. 1½hr return
Distance: 2.2km return  Grade: Medium (elevation: 150 m)

Follow the track through great wildflower areas to cliff-face. A short rock scramble to wind scoured caverns from which you get a magnificent view of the Mount Stapylton Range, and the surrounding Wimmera Plains. Return by the same route.

Image: Hollow Mountain

 
 
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Mt Stapylton

Flat Rock on the way to Mt Stapylton
Start: Mt Zero Picnic Area  Time: Approx. 3 hrs return
Distance: 4.6km return  Grade: Medium / Hard (elevation: 200 m)

From the picnic area, climb up over Flat Rock and pass through the Amphitheatre. At the base of Mt Stapylton there is a steep climb to the summit. If you do not feel inclined to do the whole of the walk, we recommend that you go to the top of Flat Rock for some awesome views. Interesting rock formations & great views Near Roses Gap.

Image: Flat Rock on the way to Mt Stapylton

 
 
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Golton Gorge Loop

Start: Golton Gorge Picnic Area  Time: Approx. 1 hr return
Distance: 2.3 km return  Grade: Medium / Hard (elevation: 130m)

From the picnic area the track climbs past rocky outcrops to the top of the range and then through grassy forest to the old copper mining area. The track then drops into the wonderful Golton Gorge with water cascades in the wetter months. Follow the creek back to the picnic area.

 
 
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Ngamadjidj Shelter

Ngamadjidj Shelter
Start: Stapylton Campground  Time: Approx. 10 mins
Distance: 300m return  Grade: Easy (elevation: 1m)

An aboriginal camping place. This short walk gives an insight into the culture and heritage of the local aboriginal people.

Image: Ngamadjidj Shelter

 
 
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Beehive Falls

Start: Beehive Falls Carpark  Time: Approx. 1 hr return
Distance: 2.8km return  Grade: Easy (elevation: 110m)

From the Roadside carpark at Roses Gap, this easy walk follows the creek to the base of the waterfall. Best in winter or after rain. An excellent walk for wildflowers in the spring and early summer and the chance to see some wildlife.

 
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Briggs Bluff

Briggs Bluff
Start: Beehive Falls Carpark  Time: Approx. 4-5 hr return
Distance: 10.6km return  Grade: Hard (elevation: 420m)

From Beehive Falls a 4-5 hour walk takes you up a steep scramble to a plateau with splendid views. Proceed to the base of a cliff-line where signs and markers take you through massive boulders and windswept terraces to the summit and its magnificent view. Rich diversity of flora. Return by same route.

Image: Briggs Bluff

 
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Heatherlie Quarry

Start: Heatherlie Quarry Car Park  Time: Approx. 1 hr return
Distance: 2.4 km return  Grade: Easy (elevation: 40m)

Nestled at the foot of the Mt Difficult Range great place to explore. A gentle uphill stroll leads to the quarry's rockface, abandoned huts and old machinery. Great for wildflowers in the spring.

Many great Victorian buildings have been built of Heatherlie Sandstone.

 
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Waterfalls

Beehive Falls is the main attraction, and this is best after rain. After good rain there are many other smaller falls, like those at Golton Gorge, that one may discover.