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The Grampians
Towns & Attractions
Victoria (VIC)

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For further tourist information about the Grampians region of Victoria

Ararat, to the east, is the commercial centre of a prosperous wine growing and farming region. A former gold mining town, Ararat is home to many historical buildings including an impressive bluestone Post Office, Town Hall, Civic Square and War Memorial. The notorious J Ward which housed the criminally insane for over 100 years is a grim relic of the past, and open to the public. Ararat's picturesque Alexandra Gardens are renowned for their orchid glasshouses.

In 1841, when the early squatter CB Hall followed the path made by the Koorie people into the gap, he had no idea where it would lead. Today, nestled between the Mount Difficult and Mount William Ranges, Halls Gap is the bustling village named after him. There are shops and restaurants, places to camp and motels and guest houses in which to stay. High in the trees around this friendly, relaxed township, koalas can still be found sleeping in the forks of the manna gums. And their grunts are a telltale sign of their presence in trees along some walking tracks.

This can be followed by a visit to the Brambuk Living Cultural Centre, just two kilometres from Halls Gap. The Centre brings to life the rich history and culture of the Koorie communities of the Wimmera and south west Victoria.

Built on lava flows which date back some 4.5 million years, Hamilton is the wool capital of the world. One of the biggest attractions is the Big Wool-bales which houses a comprehensive history of the district's wool producing heritage. Many of the city's grand buildings and fine homes are a direct result of the wealth and prosperity of the wool industry.

Within an easy drive of Hamilton are the extinct volcanoes of Mt Eccles, Mt Napier and Mt Rouse. Their landscape is awe inspiring, as are the myriad of caves and lava blisters in the area.

Hamilton also has one of Victoria's best regional galleries and the Botanic Gardens are a nature lover's delight.

Sir Reginald Ansett, Australia's commercial aviation pioneer, lived in Hamilton. Today, you can step inside his relocated company hangar at the Ansett Transport Museum and be transported back to the earliest days of commercial flight.

At Hamilton you'll find the only surviving Victorian colony of the rare Eastern Barred Bandicoot , a small furry marsupial with rabbit like ears.

To the north of The Grampians is Horsham, set on the banks of the beautiful Wimmera River. The unofficial capital of the Wimmera, Horsham services the needs of the wheat and livestock farmers of the region and offers the visitor city living, country style.

The Wool Factory in Horsham produces some of the best fine wool in Australia while the Regional Art Gallery houses the magnificent collection which includes significant works by Hans Heysen, George Lambert and Charles Bush.

For the sports minded there are plenty of activities - bushwalking, rockclimbing, abseiling, orienteering, boating, canoeing, hunting, cycling, trail bike riding or four wheel driving.

The nearby lakes and waterways are perfect for fishing and even if you're not having much luck you can still enjoy distant views of The Grampians. West from Horsham is Mount Arapiles where climbers from around the world pit their skills against the thousands of climbs available. For the ultimate scenic view of Horsham why not go up in a hot air balloon or on a glider flight?

Stawell was founded on gold in 1853 when William McLachlan, a shepherd on Dr. John Blundell's station found gold there. Gold mining ceased in 1920 when the Union Quartz Mining Company closed. However in 1984 the Stawell Joint Venture re-opened the mines around Stawell and are part of Australian Goldmines. You can visit the mines and view the massive trucks and excavators.

The town is noted for the Stawell Easter Gift foot race, the richest event of its kind in the world. The first meeting was in 1877. At the Hall of Fame Museum you can see the photographs, memorabilia and equipment which highlight the history of this famous sports meeting.

Just south of Stawell is Bunjil's Shelter, one of Victoria's most important Koorie art sites.

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