GRAMPIANS PEAKS NORTHERN TRAIL
What to Expect
The entire length of the Grampians Peaks Trail is over 160km running north to south. The northern end, which this trip covers is very different to the southern end. Rugged, rocky, and semi-arid, the landscape in the north is a curious mix of forests and desert. Red and green and in the Spring carpeted by wild flowers, the northern section running from Mt Zero to Halls Gap is a wonderful landscape to trek through.
The trail is well maintained, but there are sections you may have to scramble around a rock or two.
The campsites are state of the art, with excellent tent platforms and communal facilities to cook up and eat.
Expect days of 5-7 hours of hiking, along well-maintained trails leading to wonderfully new campsites. Elevation gains and losses vary from day to day, with some difficult days made only more challenging by the varying weather that can range from very hot to freezing in a matter of hours.
This is a great trek through the Australian bush and landscape, filled with wonderous natural beauty and ancient history.
This is a camping expedition. 3 nights will be spent at recently established campsites along the Grampians Peaks Trail. These campsites have wooden platforms for a tent to be erected, so no pesky roots or stones to jab you in the middle of the night.
There is an eating shelter at each site and a drop toilet. There are no showers so wet wipes are handy to bring along.
Getting There And Away
Halls Gap is about 3 hours west of Melbourne. This expedition starts in Halls Gap where we will all meet on Day 1 at 9 am near the Post Office in town. From there we will be transferred to the trailhead near Mt Zero to start our trek. At the end of the trek near Dunkeld, we will be picked up and transferred back to Halls Gap where we can either catch public transport back to Melbourne or head home by car.
Packing for Trekking
Fabrics? No Cotton!
When heading out into the Australian bush where the weather can change at any moment, cotton is bad. When it gets wet, it draws warmth away from your body, making you colder, it also takes a long time to dry. It is best to stick with synthetic fabrics designed for the outdoors, or modern merino wool. Merino garments are a little pricey compared to other synthetic fabrics, but the technology they use to weave wool is incredible, you can’t even tell it’s wool, and it doesn’t stink even if you do! Obviously, the no cotton rule is only for the trekking phase of our trip, you can wear what you like at night around camp!
Rain gear can vary from $20 to $1000 for a jacket alone. There is no need to spend silly amounts of money, but if you’re looking to invest for future trips as well, it is highly recommended to get good quality, breathable and windproof rain gear! We suggest any brand of waterproof breathable textile, over a plastic or nylon laminated type that won’t breathe or be as durable. But as said, there’s no need to go overboard with anything too expensive if you only plan to use it on this one trip.
Personal First Aid kit
You should bring and carry with you a small personal first aid kit. This kit should be designed to take care of the small maintenance type things that most people will need to address during a long trek. This includes items such as blister dressings, bandaids (plasters), tube compression bandage (or knee/ankle brace if you’re prone to joint problems), sunscreen, lip balm, and throat lozenges, antiseptic cream, etc. Your guide will be carrying an expedition first aid kit that is designed to handle any accidents or emergencies we encounter, therefore your personal kit doesn’t need to be over the top!
For this trek, we’ve endeavoured to take care of a lot of things for you, minimising how much you’ll need to carry but you’ll need to carry your own personal belongings. There is a list below to help work out exactly what you’ll need. Ideally, you won’t need to carry more than about 9-12kgs and you should be able to fit everything into a backpack of around 85-100L in size. If you’re buying a backpack, make sure you get one with a decent frame and harness so you don’t carry the weight on your shoulders!
- Hiking boots or sturdy trail runners
- 4 pairs of hiking socks
- Pair of sandals or crocs for nighttime in camp (optional)
- 1 set of clothing to hike in (shirt and shorts/pants)
- 1 set of clothes for nighttime (pants and thermal top)
- Warm jacket. (something warm and light/packable – heavy fleece or light down jacket)
- Waterproof rain jacket and pants
- At least 4 pairs of jocks2
Head and hands
- Sun hat
- baseball cap or wide brim if you don’t have a collar
- Warm beanie (optional)
- A neck warmer or ‘buff’ type multipurpose headband (optional)
- UV resistant and polarised are recommended
- Sunglasses strap. Too many pairs of sunglasses have been donated to the trail on treks to not recommend these strongly!
- Warm gloves (optional)
- Sleeping bag
- Thermal or inflatable mattress
- Sleeping clothes (optional)
- If anything, your spare/nighttime thermals work well to save doubling up and bringing extra clothes. The sleeping bag is where you will get the warmth, although wearing your base layers can make it much more comfortable.
Health and hygiene
- Personal toiletries
- Wet wipes or antiseptic hand gel
- small facecloth
- Feminine hygiene (if required)
- Sunscreen (min UPF 30+)
- Lip Balm (or paw paw cream from your first aid kit)
- Personal Medications
- Pain killers (whatever works for you)
- Gastro-stop (or similar)
- Throat lozenges
- Anything else you think you might need
- Personal first aid kit
- This is for general first aid maintenance and doesn’t need to be huge. Blister dressings, bandaids, paw paw cream, your above medications, burn/bite/antiseptic cream etc.
- Waterless hand sanitiser
- Toilet paper
- Hiking Backpack 85-100L, comfortable, ideally with a frame for support
- Trekking poles (optional)
- Ability to carry 3L of water (2L bladder and 1L bottle preferred)
- Lightweight quick-drying towel (optional)
- A few small accessory carabiners (handy to clip drink bottles etc)
- Head Torch with spare batteries
- Waterproofing system
- Dry bags, large heavy-duty garbage bags (bring a few spares!)
- Camera! (optional)
- 1 x awesome attitude (this cannot be hired, must be brought from home)
Note: If you have any questions regarding the above list or any other items that you want to ask about please do not hesitate to contact us. We can provide you with additional information at any time.
- All cooking equipment
- Additional First Aid Kit
Our Local Guide Team
Our Grampians Peaks Northern Trail is guided by one of our well trained, engaging and informative local guides. He or she will give you a greater appreciation of the landscape you are walking through, provide a historical context at certain sites and point out culturally significant areas as well.
Our guides are also great companions, ensuring that your welfare is taken care of. They will ensure that trekking conditions are safe, provide alternatives if need be, understand the weather and the terrain and how they interact and generally make sure you have a safe and rewarding journey.
Without a guide you are only seeing and understanding a fraction of the significance of Gariwerd and the ancient landscape you are travelling through.
Map Of Grampians Peaks Trail
The map below shows us the general course of the trail. This is a great representation of what the main campsites and mountains we traverse. Thanks to Parks Victoria for providing this map.
High Heart Rate Holiday
The Grampians Peaks Northern Trail is considered on our own expedition scale as a High Heart Rate Holiday. Whether you are pushing up a mountain or doing other physical activities, this holiday is primarily focused on challenging yourself physically. There are sections that will certainly get your heart rate going and other sections that are quite easy. Balance this with well-maintained trails and excellent food and this trek fits perfectly into an active holiday category. You need to be of average to high fitness for this expedition or willing to commit to training to take part. Call us if you are unsure of your fitness level and we talk you through what you need to do to be ready.
Physical: For this trek, you will require an above-average level of fitness. We cover on average about 13 kilometres each day, with some days having large altitude gains or losses. Like any trip, the fitter you are, the more you will enjoy it!
Mental: Mental preparation is as important as physical preparation. For this trip, you must be aware of the terrain and height challenges! Ideally, you will be fairly confident on your feet, and be able to judge when to slow down and concentrate.
We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group – patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone’s travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don’t keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well – this takes just a little effort on your part.
All guests are required to be full vaccinated against COVID-19
We Are Here To Help!
We have tried hard to provide you with a greater insight into this expedition but we ain’t perfect!
If you do have further questions please contact our expert team members through one of the below channels.
No Roads Expeditions Support Hub
Australia HQ: +61 (03) 95988581