About the Region
The Grampians region encompasses the majority of the western Victorian area, however it is most known for the prominent mountainous area, – Grampians National Park (becoming a NP in 1984)
located just 3 hours drive (or 1 hour, 10 minutes helicopter flight) from Melbourne.
Known as Gariwerd by local Indigenous people who have lived in this area for thousands of years, the Grampians contains one of the richest Indigenous rock art sites in southeastern Australia. The park is integral to the dreaming of the descendant of Jardwadjali and Djab Wurrung people who have continued a strong relationship with the park since its declaration. We recommend visiting the Brambuk Aboriginal Cultural Centre, as it is highly informative and interesting.
European explorers ventured into the area in 1836 with Major Thomas Mitchell naming the mountains “the Grampians” after the rugged region in his native Scotland. The Grampians became a centre for farming, mining & timber production, plus a source of water.
Along with history, Indigenous culture, diverse flora, abundant fauna the Grampians has dramatic landscapes of high rocky plateaus and sheltered gullies contrasted with the surrounding flat and open farmland adjoining the park. The park is known for it's rock formations, lakes and geological processes that have sculpted sweeping slopes, craggy peaks and massive sandstone cliffs.
Much of this is all-visible on just our 30 & 40 minute scenic flight, but to gain a greater scope with far more in-depth commentary jump onboard for a 60 minute scenic tour of the whole Grampians National park.
The Pyrenees region consisting of towns - (Amphitheatre, Avoca, Beaufort, Landsborough, Lexton, Moonambel, Snake Valley and Waubra) of central Victoria comprises of award winning wines and the lesser known spectacular ranges, to which the region takes it’s name. With more than 40 vineyards in the area- Grampians Helicopters lands at several vineyards in the Pyrenees for wine tours. Discover the upwards of 30 types of grapes the Pyrenees foothills and ranges create the diversity of microclimates, providing the perfect conditions for winemakers.
Southern Grampians Shire
Towns in this region are Coleraine, Hamilton, Dunkeld & Penshurst. This area has spectacular scenery of the Southern Grampians mountain range, and a strong pastoral history. Highlights of the area include the Dunkeld Arboretum - 2km walk with expansive views of nearby mountains, the Volcanoes Discovery Centre in Penshurst or the Hamilton Art Gallery.
Grampians Helicopters lands for lunch at Royal Mail Hotel Dunkeld Wednesday to Sunday.
Towns included in this region are Armstrong, Dunneworthy, Lake Bolac, Moyston, Pomonal, Streatham, Tatyoon, Wickliffe, Willaura, and of course Ararat.
Ararat, the former gold mining town, now rich pastoral, wine and fruit growing area. Ararat's rich gold rush history was made unique by the fact it was the only Australian town founded and developed by Chinese migrants. Some of this history is covered on our Joy & Scenic flights. If you have time, make a visit to "Gum San Chinese Heritage centre". Highly recommened is a visit to "J Ward" - the former home to the criminally insane, with guided tours daily. The spooky "Aradale", the countrys largest abandoned psychiatric asylum is also worth the visit. Discover the vineyard we land at in the Ararat region that has views to create memories for a long time - our Love Birds tours visit this location. If driving from Melbourne to the Grampians National Park you will pass through the town of Pomonal. This small town of less than 400 people is rich in history nestled together with interesting boutique business, worth the stop on your way in or out.
Grampians Helicopters links the greater Grampians region together by offering the ability to visit a vast area in a small time frame.
Rural City of Horsham
With a total population of around 20 000, this shire includes towns; Brimpaen, Dadswells Bridge, Dooen, Haven, Laharum, Natimuk, Noradjuha and Horsham. With Horsham being the capital of the Grampians regions, making shopping, dinning, entertainment & accommodation all in good supply. Horsham is the home to Mt Arapiles - Tooan State Park, location to one of Australia's best rock climbing. Grampians Helicopters land at a hidden restaurant in Laharum or vineyards check out the lunch tours. You will find yourself driving through Horsham if traveling from Adelaide.
Northern Grampians Shire
Is made up of the well known Halls Gap and Grampians National Park, along with towns; Stawell (including Stawell airport where Grampians Helicopters depart from), St Arnaud, Great Western, Marnoo, Glenorchy, Stuart Mill & Navarre. The area is diverse and dynamic by way of industries, enterprise and environment, with tourism, agriculture and manufacturing all supporting the economy.
Things To Do
Along with taking one of our 25 different flights or tours we have outlined below lots of other great areas to see or things to do in this great part of Victoria. Whether your local and exploring your own back yard or visiting from another region or country the Grampians has something for everyone.
If still stuck on ideas or need more personal information, drop into one of the Information Centres around.
Grampians & Halls Gap Visitor Information Centre: 117 Grampians Road, Halls Gap. Ph: 03 5361 4444