There is no escaping the charm of Gariwerd (Grampians National Park). As you approach Dunkeld – from any which direction – the mountains appear and so does the instant wonderment of this incredible landscape. What better way to appreciate it, than explore one of the many walks and hikes in the region?
The southern edge of the national park offers walks and hikes of varying difficulty and duration, all the while showcasing the Gariwerd splendour from different angles.
For those wanting to climb a mountain but are short on time, Bainggug is the one for you. It provides fantastic views of the surrounding farm land, as well as Mount Abrupt. It takes an easy 1 hour and 30 minutes and is 2.4km return.
Wurgarri (Mount Sturgeon)
Suitable for those after a bit of adventure, Wurgarri involves water crossings (depending on the time of year), slippery track surfaces and rock hopping. Climbing the steps cut out of the sandstone rewards walkers with stunning views from the summit. It takes 3 hours and is 7kms return.
Mud-dadjug (Mount Abrupt)
This strenuous hike takes you through heathy woodland and over rock slabs to the summit. At the top, views of the Serra Range are to the north, and Dunkeld to the south. The hike takes 3 hours and is 6.5kms return.
A short walk from the hotel, the Dunkeld Arboretum has a walking track around a small lake with timber bridges, a small pier and a historic saw mill. Magnificent red gums and a collection of trees from around the world are a haven to birdlife and local native wildlife. Views over the lake to Wurgarri are primed for a photo. This is a leisurely walk that is short and easy, and can take as long as you like.
Dunkeld Heritage Trail
A series of signs telling local stories and historical facts about Dunkeld are installed around the township. A brochure is available from Reception. This is a great way to stretch your legs upon arrival to Dunkeld.
Royal Mail Hotel Walks (Guests only)
Located on the Royal Mail Hotel’s sister property, Mount Sturgeon Station, this walk offers a step back in time. The 45-minute loop leads you to a heritage-listed River Red Gum, estimated to be 418 years old. At one stage, this tree has fallen over and continued to grow with the main branches now forming the canopy. It is an amazing piece of history, among other incredible trees, views of Wurgarri and native wildlife. The walk starts at a signed gateway along the Mount Sturgeon Station driveway.
Starting along Salt Creek, near the Royal Mail Hotel, this grassy track then hugs the Wannon River below Wurgarri. It is an enjoyable walk where you can spot wallabies, kangaroos, emus and bird life. Finishing at Mount Sturgeon Station, walkers can return via the same track, or continue along the Peregrine Trial.
Gariwerd and the surrounding region is big and vast, with plenty to see and do. To fully immerse yourself in its allure, you’ll need a bed for a night or more. And some hearty, locally grown food after a long day of walking.
Luckily, these are two things the Royal Mail Hotel specialises in. With its perfect proximity to the all hikes and walks on the southern edge of the Gariwerd, the Royal Mail Hotel provides the perfect base for the keen hikers, the leisurely strollers and everyone in between.
To book your base for your Gariwerd escape, visit here.