In the state of Victoria, two outdoor rock climbing areas rank as some of the best climbing in the world — Grampians National Park and Mount Arapiles. Located northwest of Melbourne, both wilderness areas have a variety of sport and trad climbs. Grampians National Park is one of Australia’s largest national parks. The climbing in the Grampians tends to be more sport climbing (though there are still plenty of excellent trad climbs), with longer approaches and remote crags. It’s a great spot for a weekend of bush camping and rock climbing. Mt. Arapiles is a smaller collection of rock crags with easily accessible climbs, a larger number of “classic” trad climbs, longer multi-pitch routes, yet fewer sport routes (especially at the lower grades).
The Grampians National Park, located 235 km northwest of Melbourne, is known for both it’s famous rock routes and indigenous rock art. The national park features a striking series of sandstone mountain ranges. Tucked in these ridges are thousands of rock climbs. In 1836, these mountains were named by Sir Thomas Mitchell after the Grampian Mountains in his native Scotland. The area is also termed Gariwerd, the name given to the region by the local Australian aboriginal peoples.
Within the Grampians are a vast 8,000+ climbs, numerous crags spread through the mountain range. Crags such as Summertime Wall near Stapleton campground are on the fringe of the national park, while places like Dreamtime Wall are deep in the heart of the outback.
The Grampians has the feeling of what one imagines the Australian outback to be like – vast expanses of Eucalyptus (gum) trees, wallabies and kangaroos bouncing through the bush, the occasional pack of Emus darting across the road, and rumors of koalas in the trees.
Below are a collection of photos from the Grampians.