Grampians Peaks Trail

Victoria specific bushwalking discussion.
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Victoria specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby Drew » Fri 12 Nov, 2021 5:33 pm

Officially open now: https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... ional-park

I was just having a look at the website and as far as I could tell if you want to book the whole thing you have no choice but to take the full 12 nights. Do you think that's right? The days aren't that short but I expect that the tracks will all be like footpaths so walking times will be shorter than they might otherwise have been. Are they deliberately restricting options just to make as much money as possible out of us? I guess they also don't want people overestimating their ability, but still.
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby Drew » Fri 12 Nov, 2021 5:41 pm

Gunner55 wrote:I have it on good authority bookings will open before December. To do the entire walk you/we will be paying about $600 as you are obliged to use a tent pad. The tent pad is for up to two people, so if solo it's the 600 and if as a couple it will be half that cost per person, obviously. The plan is to disallow off-track camping in the NP. Bookings will be compulsory. ATM a walker is obliged to stop one night at every designated campsite, which I have flagged with a Parks rep was ludicrous and will aggravate some, as why can't you walk two sections in a day if you see fit? Regardless, whatever itinerary you book, you'll be expected to stick to it. Don't you dare live in the moment!


Just saw this earlier post that pre-empted my comment. Crazy. At least it's not quite $600. It's $429.30. I suppose it's not too bad shared between two, but it's obscene for a solo walker. And surely they could have provided a hikers camp option instead of forcing walkers in to Halls Gap?! Again, I guess they just want us to spend money. Maybe after a week of walking a night of (optional) luxury would be good, but you don't really need it after walking 50km over 4 days!
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby CraigVIC » Fri 12 Nov, 2021 5:43 pm

From Parks....
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby CraigVIC » Fri 12 Nov, 2021 5:47 pm

Drew wrote:Just saw this earlier post that pre-empted my comment. Crazy. At least it's not quite $600. It's $429.30. I suppose it's not too bad shared between two, but it's obscene for a solo walker. And surely they could have provided a hikers camp option instead of forcing walkers in to Halls Gap?! Again, I guess they just want us to spend money. Maybe after a week of walking a night of (optional) luxury would be good, but you don't really need it after walking 50km over 4 days!


If you check the bookings a little futher out you'll see the price goes to $525.
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby ChrisJHC » Fri 12 Nov, 2021 9:45 pm

160 km over 13 days?
And you are only “allowed” to average 12.3 km a day - or about 3 hours walking.
Plus this is going to cost you about $500 for a solo hiker.

Don’t think so!
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby Bill P » Sat 13 Nov, 2021 12:10 am

Great to hear GPT is open! Small business owners at Wartook, Brimpaen, Cavendish,Mooralla, Moutajup, Dadswell Bridge, Victoria Valley, Mirranatwa, Hamilton , Dunkeld, Willaura, Pomonal , Moyston and many places in between are eager and capable to to handle the projected 35k pa annual visitors. Great news.!

The improved tracks will also assist non GPT walkers. There's a full stone staircase from Boundary Gap up the north side of the Major Mitchell plateau for example.

If a curated , contrived 'Grampians' 'GPT experience', is not your thing, there still are dozens of free multi day bushwalks available in Gariwerd. That is, until Parks ban 'hike in , distributed camping', as proposed under their Draft Management Plan-submissions for which are closed.

BTW, FYI The no fee campsite at Wannon Crossing is still closed as at 071121 for commercial GPT construction activity, despite no mention of this on Parks websites.

Gariwerd is a great Park, and is so much more than the compromised GPT.

Go there if you can!
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby Eremophila » Sat 13 Nov, 2021 7:28 am

Officially open today as per ABC news. Anticipated numbers of up to 34,000 per annum by 2025!!!

My Sturgeon had a couple of sets of stone steps added to the track back in 2017, presumably to prevent erosion. The only recent additions have been extra signage and emergency markers. The car park desperately needs extending.
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby Nuts » Sat 13 Nov, 2021 8:00 am

An epic string of easy day walks. Can't underestimate what new walkers could be talked into but surely this one takes the cake?

I guess the fees do mean 'a better class of visitor' though how that relates to growing support for parks or any conservation component is beyond me. Until there is a further level of exclusive accommodations even the real movers and shakers wont visit?

The hope for local employment also needs to tempered by evidence. Profit from long distance walking tracks doesn't need to even involve any real locals from what I've seen. The nearest transport hub may see some small benefit, unless that can be worked around. Pre or post tour accommodation wont be included in an itinerary unless it is absolutely necessary.
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby CraigVIC » Sat 13 Nov, 2021 8:56 am

Nuts, the design is specifically supposed to facilitate walkers who are transferred off-trail to private accommodation each night and those who carry a day pack and have their overnight equipment transferred camp to camp by an LTO/guide.

Those transferred off trail each night obviously pay nothing whatsoever toward the trail, a pretty sweet deal for the LTO.
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby Overlandman » Sat 13 Nov, 2021 9:37 am

Whatever, Wherever, Whenever
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby Nuts » Sat 13 Nov, 2021 9:40 am

If there's any great profit from those using private accommodation the service will be monopolised by bigger business, facilitated by government. This company will likely shape any re-direction the track takes from then. Decreasing or no particular benefit in recruiting/training or stocking locally.

At some stage a politician or manager will give in to the now constant lobbying for protecting profit & growth, for example by accessing increased exclusivity, such as that offered by further developing accommodation inside the park.

Least that seems the logical progression.
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby jimjim » Sat 13 Nov, 2021 8:13 pm

Eremophila wrote:
My Sturgeon had a couple of sets of stone steps added to the track back in 2017, presumably to prevent erosion. The only recent additions have been extra signage and emergency markers. The car park desperately needs extending.


Mt Sturgeon now has a loop walk going up and over the summit by the old track, heads west and descends a big old steel staircase on the south slopes. Possible to loop back to the carpark or continue into Dunkeld along the Wannon River. (Georgous private land, generously donated for the trial)
This will become very popular as its a great walk.
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby peregrinator » Sat 13 Nov, 2021 8:55 pm

I've been thinking for several years about how a similar loop track might be organised in that area. Given how close it is to Dunkeld, with its various tourism offerings, it seemed like an obvious thing to do—without really compromising the wilder parts of Gariwerd.

When you say "trial" jimjim, was that a typo for "trail"?
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby Lophophaps » Sun 14 Nov, 2021 7:00 am

The GPT has day walks
https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/places-to- ... /day-walks
Is it possible to do 2-3 GPT sections as a day walk? A fast walker could do the entire GPT in two days. What is happening about remote camping - just a clearing in the forest - and off track walking? Are these allowed in the Grampians?
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby nezumi » Sun 14 Nov, 2021 8:49 am

I can say from personal experience that Parks is deleting critical comments on their announcement on Facebook.

I replied to at least one comment questioning the price where Parks responded that they just *had* to price it so high because all the campsites are remote and so hard to access - where I pointed out the many of the other hike-in campsites in Park's portfolio are around $17.10 for a 3-person tent pad, or free in the case of the Cathedral Ranges. That comment has since disappeared.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=673153347387451
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby Eremophila » Sun 14 Nov, 2021 2:59 pm

jimjim wrote:
Eremophila wrote:My Sturgeon had a couple of sets of stone steps added to the track back in 2017, presumably to prevent erosion. The only recent additions have been extra signage and emergency markers. The car park desperately needs extending.


Mt Sturgeon now has a loop walk going up and over the summit by the old track, heads west and descends a big old steel staircase on the south slopes. Possible to loop back to the carpark or continue into Dunkeld along the Wannon River. (Georgous private land, generously donated for the trial)
This will become very popular as its a great walk.


My apologies, I had quite forgotten about the new portion of trail there. It was still “closed” last time I was there.

In any event I was referring to changes to the existing track.

But yes, this will be a lovely loop walk. Hopefully it won’t be spoiled by litter and other stuff….
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby oldsalt671 » Mon 15 Nov, 2021 2:09 pm

Anyone got a GPX of the entire trail? Spoke to Parks and was told while they have one, but they consider it proprietary and won’t be releasing it. I am sure it will be up in a couple of week's time.
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby ggorgeman » Mon 15 Nov, 2021 3:04 pm

Lophophaps wrote:The GPT has day walks
https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/places-to- ... /day-walks
Is it possible to do 2-3 GPT sections as a day walk? A fast walker could do the entire GPT in two days. What is happening about remote camping - just a clearing in the forest - and off track walking? Are these allowed in the Grampians?


The link from Lophophaps shows the sections of the GPT available for Day walks. Presumably proximity to vehicle access is the factor here. Perhaps stronger/quicker walkers could access more tracks in a day if they wished. Doesn't appear to be any fees; the fees/charges relate entirely to the sites for overnight stay along the trails?

My understanding is that dispersed/remote camping in the Grampians is restricted to specific areas, and the GPT is routed where dispersed camping is NOT permitted. Therefore, one has the choice of booking GPT sites if wishing to spend overnight on GPT trails (or remote-camp which would not comply with regs). Therefore, the GPT monopolises its sections where one wishes to stay overnight.

I feel the need to further investigate the areas where dispersed camping is permitted. A quick search provided the following (not sure how up to date):
http://thenomadicexplorers.com/sites/de ... ans-NP.pdf

Edit - this map doesnt appear to have been updated to restrict dispersed camping along sections of the GPT (looking at the northern end, which I'm more familiar with).
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby Drew » Mon 15 Nov, 2021 4:08 pm

I've just been looking at the prescribed 3 day sections, as I'm curious to walk some of the new bits of track. But they are so very short! For example the Djardji-djawara and Mud-dadjug hike is 11km first day, only 8km second day (when you'd logically want the longer day) and 15km last day.

I then noticed that there's a section called "4 day+ hikes" where they say you can "add individual overnight and 3 day itineraries together to create your preferred hiking adventure. Start by choosing a 3 day hike and add to it."

But there's not enough info on there to allow you to do that. They need to provide a proper map to show where you can access the track. As far as I can tell the official map is only available in a physical form, at the visitors centre.
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby ChrisJHC » Mon 15 Nov, 2021 5:46 pm

Clearly this trail is aimed at school groups or very occasional / beginner hikers.
While I wouldn’t do this by myself, it might be a way to get my wife out on a multi-day walk.

For various reasons she won’t/can’t walk more than 8-10 kms and carry a lot of gear.
This trail could work for her with the short sections and a pack horse (me) to carry the bulk of her gear.

I’m still not convinced this is a great introductory walk for school groups as the kids would learn that bushwalking involves sitting around camp until mid-morning, walking for 3-4 hours then sitting around camp from mid-afternoon.
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby CraigVIC » Mon 15 Nov, 2021 5:50 pm

ggorgeman, dispersed camping is allowed from the start to Lake Wartook, then around Mt Rosea and then from Jimmy ck onwards.

Of course this will change and imo a two kilometer wide strip following the GPT will be banned at the very least (as it is around all the car based camps now).
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby bmak » Mon 15 Nov, 2021 6:28 pm

While the sections do appear short don’t underestimate the terrain. It’s the usual Grampians that’s not very well marked, steep in sections and rocky.

There’s extra signage and additional items to help with the extra traffic but the sections I’ve explored haven’t changed that much and you could easily make your own walk camping away from the masses.

I don’t think they’ll get the expected numbers completing the walk in one outing.


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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby Drew » Mon 15 Nov, 2021 7:44 pm

bmak wrote:While the sections do appear short don’t underestimate the terrain. It’s the usual Grampians that’s not very well marked, steep in sections and rocky.

There’s extra signage and additional items to help with the extra traffic but the sections I’ve explored haven’t changed that much and you could easily make your own walk camping away from the masses.

I don’t think they’ll get the expected numbers completing the walk in one outing.


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Okay, that's interesting to hear. I'd assumed that the track would be like a footpath, as they (apparently) did on the 3 Capes Track. So that's something at least. But still, I just looked at another "3 Day Hike" and it's 6.2km day one, 11.1km day two, 5.6km day 3! As ChrisJHC, this could be good for first timers or others like his wife who won't walk more than 10km. But the problem is not giving an option to those who want to walk further.
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby EGM » Mon 15 Nov, 2021 8:16 pm

I've been on a few sections inbetween lockdowns this year and the level of track work isn't consistent but no section I've been on is footpath quality, nothing like the track to the look out at wine glass bay or anything.

Some bits have in my opinion been made more difficult by adding rock steps etc presumably to prevent erosion but definitely at the cost of enjoyment.

As mentioned above it might not be fast going but even the recommended times are low for someone who is experienced. 4 or 5 hours walking just isn't enough for a full day.

Still I am very keen to read the first trip report from a forum member. Who's willing to pull the credit card out first?
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby Tino B » Mon 15 Nov, 2021 10:01 pm

From the March 2019 Parks guide, it’s possible to make dispersed campsites in (still) quite large areas covered by Grampians Peak Track (we’re Aussies and shouldn’t be adopting American nomenclature).

I’m going hiking in the next week from Mt Zero car park to near Mt Difficult on day 1. The next day I’ll hike through to Halls Gap. I’ll use the track but that’s it.

As others have said, the set itinerary has days that are so short that some would be done by lunchtime on most days.

I haven’t seen exactly how far apart the tent pads are at Gar or the other mega site in the north are but the ones I saw a few weeks ago at the Stony Creek campground are placed cheek by jowl - a pity if you’re next to a tent with heavy snorers or worst still a rutting couple.

Thankfully, the creeks are flowing and I won’t need to use the water tanks that will be used by those who have just been to the toilet.
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby Baeng72 » Tue 16 Nov, 2021 6:24 am

If I recall, Gar is very linear. So, you if you're lucky, you could be up one end, and noisy folk the other?
I stayed at Bugiga in mid 2019.
It was just my son and self, and we were tucked in around dark (early because winter), and an hour or so later a bunch of noisy people arrived and took tent pads either side of us, setting up.
Most voices were pretty muffled, but there was a woman, in outside voice, letting everybody know her every action.
My son and I still laugh about 'anybody want some milk? I got milk? Anybody want some?'
It might have been not so loud, but it sounded like someone talking through a megaphone just outside the tent.
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby ChrisJHC » Tue 16 Nov, 2021 6:58 am

Tino B wrote:From the March 2019 Parks guide, it’s possible to make dispersed campsites in (still) quite large areas covered by Grampians Peak Track (we’re Aussies and shouldn’t be adopting American nomenclature).


The “trail” vs “track” discussion has been gone over many times.
The general consensus is that either is fine.

e.g. Kokoda Track / Kokoda Trail were used interchangeably during WW2.
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby ggorgeman » Tue 16 Nov, 2021 8:41 am

CraigVIC wrote:ggorgeman, dispersed camping is allowed from the start to Lake Wartook, then around Mt Rosea and then from Jimmy ck onwards.

Of course this will change and imo a two kilometer wide strip following the GPT will be banned at the very least (as it is around all the car based camps now).


Thanks for the clarification CraigVIC and TinoB re dispersed camping. I feel more optimistic about including parts of GPT in future walks, without necessarily booking in.
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby CraigVIC » Tue 16 Nov, 2021 9:51 am

If anyone is wanting to walk the gpt and 'do the right thing' then you'll have to beat the new management plan coming in. You could do the northern section easily now, carefully noting the hatching on the map, but that will end like night follows day. Parks Victoria are already putting out on social media that camping on route is not allowed.

It will be a Prom southern circuit style experience in the future. The idea seems ridiculous to me as unlike the Prom and other parks the Grampians have huge sections of very open forest where sites for one or two tents are a dime a dozen. Enforcement won't work and human nature is people will only follow the rules when they feel the costs/ease are reasonable.
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Re: Grampians Peaks Trail - Open??

Postby Dexter » Tue 16 Nov, 2021 5:38 pm

I posted on the Facebook announcement and asked about the pricing. Particularly why it should be so pricey when the project is tax payer funded. This is their response.

"Hi Gavan – thanks for your feedback [SMILING FACE WITH SMILING EYES] The funding we get doesn’t cover the full cost for ongoing servicing. The cost of camping contributes to the operation and maintenance of this outstanding experience and to protect this heritage-listed national park. Each hike-in campground is uniquely designed to be sympathetic with the natural environment with excellent amenities for a great experience for hikers. They all include basic toilet facilities, untreated water tanks and some have an unpowered communal shelter or gathering area for meal preparation. They are newly built and in remote locations, therefore the cost to maintain and service the new campgrounds is higher than others. Thank you"

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