Australia For Visitors > Grampians National Park, Victoria
Grampians National Park
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The Grampians National Park is a national park in Victoria, Australia, that is renowned for its beauty and its rich Aboriginal rock art heritage.
Located 235 km west of Melbourne, the Grampians is a series of sandstone mountain ranges that run in an approximately north-south direction.
The Grampians, with unspoilt and stunning views, are very popular with campers, bushwalkers and rock climbers. The Wonderland area near Halls Gap is one walk that is popular for day trippers.
Panoramic view from the Jaws of Death, Grampians National Park
The Grampians also offer special opportunities for gliding, as these mountains experience a weather phenomenon called the Grampians Wave that allows gliders to reach very high altitudes -- above 8,500 meters (28,000 feet).
The sandstone that comprises the Grampians was laid down as sediments during the Devonian Era (about 350 million years ago). These sedimentary layers were later uplifted and tilted in subsequent geological activity.
About 40 million years ago the Southern Ocean reached as far north as the Grampians and laid down sedimentary deposits that can now be viewed in the Little Desert National Park (located to the west of the Grampians National Park).
Aboriginal Cultural Heritage
The Grampians is one of the best places in Australia to see Aboriginal (or indigenous) rock art.
Some of the main rock art sites here are: Glenisla Shelter (Billiminia), Camp of the Emus Foot (Jananginj Njani), Cave of Hands (Manja), Cave of Fishes (Larngibunja), Cave of Ghosts (Ngamadjidj), and Flat Rock (Gulgurn Manja).
Unfortunately, much indigenous knowledge has been lost since the arrival of the European settlers, and so the meaning of the many facets of these paintings (for example, the right hand prints at Flat Rock) is no longer.
The Halls Gap, located in the eastern section of the Grampian National Park, is the largest town in this area. Many tourists stay in Halls Rock during their visits.
The Grampians National Park has been for thousands of years the home of the Jardwadjali and the Djab warrung Aboriginal peoples. They suffered a number of massacres during British colonization and settlement of this area, especially during the 1840s.
A major bushfire burnt about fifty per cent of this National Park in 2006, but regeneration since then has been very promising.
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Author: David Paul Wagner
(David Paul Wagner on Google+)