Parks Victoria has completed a significant milestone towards opening the Grampians Peaks Trail a world-class walking experience, one of the largest ever investment for any hiking experience in Australia, showcasing the beauty of the Grampians National Park’s natural and cultural landscapes, completing upgrades to 60 kilometers of track.
Upon completion, The Grampians Peaks Trail will be a hike of 160km, or approximately 100 miles, that can be experienced in sections, or as one 13-day journey. It will provide a range of hiking options, including fully-facilitated walks and guided tours, connecting some of the Grampians’ most spectacular peaks.
Traditional stone masonry methods are being used alongside modern construction techniques to build a trail in extremely rocky areas. Thousands of hand-built steps are being shaped from Grampians sandstone, also used on iconic buildings like the Victorian State Library, which has been mainly sourced on-site. This work takes considerable skill and patience and, depending on the location, it can take one builder a full day to install three steps. Stone has been chosen as the material to help with fire proofing and as it has an estimated life span of 50 years.
A glimpse into the north and south experiences has also been revealed. The north experience is a three-day hike from Dead Bullock Creek to Halls Gap and is rich in Aboriginal culture. The south experience, a three-day hike from Cassidy Gap to Dunkeld, will focus on the culinary offering of the region, opening up potential for commercial opportunities.
The next phase of the project involves scoping and building the remaining 100 kilometers of new track and construction of 10 remaining hiker camps, plus a school group camp. The Grampians Peaks Trail is expected to be fully completed by the end of 2020 with the northern and southern experiences both opening in September 2019.
The Grampians Peaks Trail is an important economic and tourism development for Victoria. The Grampians Peaks Trail is expected to generate $6.39 million by 2025 and support 115 full time jobs.
The journey is rich in Aboriginal culture and is expected to generate 80,000 visitor nights by 2025. It will provide an insight into the Jardwadjali and Djab Wurrung people who have walked and lived in these ranges they have called Gariwerd for thousands of years.
The Victorian Government has invested over $20 million in the project, supplemented by $10 million from the federal government.