The Pinnacle in The Grampians: You can do it!
From the Main Street of Halls Gap, at the base of the sandstone mountain range that is at the heart of the Grampians National Park, or Gariwerd as it is called in the local Aboriginal language, you can see The Pinnacle. It is one of the rocky spurs jutting out from the jagged cliff faces that loom over the town.
From the street, The Pinnacle appears unnervingly high and potentially difficult to walk. The good news is that it is not, and the views from the lookout make every bit of effort worthwhile. It is one of the very best vantage points in the Grampians National Park for terrific scenic views over a vast expanse of western Victoria.
There are a number of walking options to reach The Pinnacle, varying in distance and difficulty. The easiest route to The Pinnacle departs from the Sundial carpark within the national park and ascends to The Pinnacle via Devils Gap. This is the best route to use if young children or unconfident walkers are part of your walking group. The 4.2km walk will take one and a half to two hours for the return trip. It does include some water crossings and rock-hopping, so good sturdy shoes are essential.
A more challenging walk departs from the aptly named Wonderland carpark and ascends via the impressive Grand Canyon. It does not resemble the American canyon of the same name but is equally impressive with its unique Australian rock formations, albeit on a smaller scale! The walk continues through the Silent Street before rising up to The Pinnacle.
For the really adventurous, you can walk to The Pinnacle from the base of the mountains, starting at the Halls Gap caravan park. This extended walk will take around five hours return so is suitable for fit and experienced walkers.
All these walks offer a variety of incredible rock formations to see and negotiate, as well as lush vegetation that has recovered from bushfires with fresh spurts of new growth. In springtime, wildflowers burst into life with their brilliant bright colours. With an abundance of wildlife living in the park, your walk may also include glimpses of koalas, kangaroos, snakes, skinks and maybe even an echidna or two.
Whichever way you get there, the view from The Pinnacle lookout will astound you. While you get your breath back after your ascent, you will be able to see Halls Gap far below you, as well as Lake Bellfield. Plus you will get a close-up look at the irregular and fascinating rock formations for which the Grampians are so well-known.
The outstanding natural beauty of this area led to its inclusion on the Australian National Heritage List in 2006. For comprehensive information about this natural environment, as well as about the indigenous culture and heritage of the region, a visit to the Brambuk the National Park and Cultural Centre in Halls Gap, which is free to enter and open daily, is a must.
For those with Apple or Android mobile devices, Parks Victoria provides free interactive maps of the park that provide an overview of facilities, walking tracks and distances. So as well as The Pinnacle, all the wonderfully-named park locations such as Jimmy Creek to Mt Zero are now just a click away.
The Grampians National Park is around 260km from Melbourne and 460km from Adelaide. From Melbourne, it is around a three-hour drive by car or alternatively regional rail provides regular services.
Don’t just look at the weathered peaks and escarpments of the park, like The Pinnacle, from your car window on your way to Adelaide. Halls Gap is a great location for a stopover on your journey, so that instead of admiring the rock formations from below, you can take the time to walk to The Pinnacle and view a spectacle more awe-inspiring than anything visible from a city skyscraper.