A place of spiritual significance to local Aboriginal people, who call it Garriwerd, the Grampians mountains are a hugely popular destination for bushwalking Victoria. Spectacularly tilted, cracked and weathered, the saw-tooth ranges rise from the state’s volcanic western plains. The north of Grampians National Park is a popular hang-out for rock climbers and abseilers but the 2.2km return Hollow Mountain (Mount Wudjeb-Guyan) trail is a fabulous alternative to roping up.
Much of it more clamber than hike, which is half the fun for big and little kids alike, this walk has been known to tear tight jeans asunder.
The ascent starts after a warm-up ramble through desert banksia and snow-like drifts of Grampians thryptomene, one of close to a thousand native plants recorded in the park. (The Grampians attract wildflower enthusiasts with annual spring and summer floral extravaganzas.) Then it’s upwards, around boulders and across exposed rock ledges to a massive iron-stained natural battlement and a huge, hollowed boulder. Its mouth jaggedly frames an expansive view over the Wimmera Plains.
Don’t stop here though; track markers lead further to a hill-top vantage point giving you a bird’s-eye view down the rugged Mt Difficult Range into the body of the park.