Strike gold on this Wimmera-Mallee sojourn

Find your happy place in our parks and state forests

Grampians hike and falls

This route zigzags through some of Victoria’s most interesting landscapes.

It starts with with the region that changed our state's fortunes forever – the goldfields.

Ballarat is so much more than Sovereign Hill. Start with a walking tour of the Ballarat CBD, stroll the Ballarat Botanic Gardens, visit the scene of the Eureka Stockade.

Drive along the Avenue of Honour. This breathtaking avenue of deciduous trees is dedicated to the thousands of service personnel who gave their lives in war. It's a sobering sight.

Take in the sights of the historic gold towns of Creswick and Clunes on your way to Maryborough, another beautifully preserved goldrush town.

From Maryborough, follow the Pyrenees Hwy to Avoca. This is the he gateway to the famed Pyrenees wine region and the Mount Buangor and Langi Ghiran state parks.

Head to Ararat, which boasts a museum that preserves J Ward, the old prison for Victoria’s criminally insane inmates, and the former Aradale psychiatric hospital.

It has many historic buildings and Chinese gardens that commemorate the Chinee influence on early Victoria.

Just up the road is the gorgeous gold town of Stawell. Gold is still mined commercially here. The town's picturesque Central Park is home to the Stawell Gift, Australia’s oldest professional foot race, held each Easter.

From there, head to Halls Gap to explore the magnificent Grampians National Park. The park is a haven for hiking, nature-watching and imposing mountain escarpments and lookouts.

Head west through Horsham, Dimboola and Nhill to explore a totally different landscape less than an hour away.

The mallee scrub of the Little Desert National Park is an arid patch of the Wimmera that’s home to wildflowers and the endangered mallee fowl.

Trek north-east through wheat country to the tiny towns of Jeparit, where you’ll find a memorial at the birthplace of Australia’s longest-serving Prime Minister, Sir Robert Menzies, and Rainbow.

Rainbow was named for the crescent-shaped sand dunes that support a colourful carpet of wildflowers in the area each spring.

There, you can camp on the shores of ancient Lake Hindmarsh. This is the gateway to the incredible Wyperfeld National Park, one of our state’s mallee country gems.

Skirt the edge of Wyperfeld through the tiny town of Patchewollock on your way to Underbool.

There, visit incredible Pink Lakes in the Murray Sunset National Park. This chain of salt lakes is turned pink by a form of algae in the ultra-salty water.

From there, it’s a short distance to Ouyen, a town that for many years was home to Victoria’s Great Vanilla Slice Bakeoff. Grab yourself one of the custardy treats at the local bakery to build your strength for the one-hour trip north to Mildura.

Before you go

  • Download the VicEmergency app and tune into the local emergency broadcasters
  • Remember to keep 1.5 metres from anyone you don’t live with
  • Carry a fitted face mask to wear in large retail premises or if you’re in a crowd
  • Get tested and isolate at your accommodation if possible if you have any coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms while you’re away
  • Book ahead or have a plan B in case your destination is at capacity
  • Never leave a campfire unattended, and always extinguish them with water rather than soil
  • Don’t forget to shop local and support our Victorian businesses and producers, and
  • Keep up-to-date on public health information at