The Grampians in Victoria are truly something else, and pulling up at Boroka Lookout had me completely and utterly lost for words. The sheer beauty is like nothing I’ve ever seen in Australia before, and we could see our next destination way in the distance; Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park.
We’d heard amazing things about this place, and decided to wing it and see if they had a spot available. Arriving just before lunch, we snagged the last unpowered site, which turned out to be an absolute ripper, and this Caravan Park quite possibly takes the cake for the best Caravan Park we’ve ever been to, and that’s a big call to make.
We enjoyed it so much that we booked a third night, and loved every minute of it, which is surprising as we don’t normally enjoy our stays at Caravan Parks!
We paid full price for this
In case you’re feeling that this review might be a little *too* good, you should know we paid full price for our stay here, have not been asked to write a review and most certainly are not sponsored or anything like that. Our thoughts are our own, and if it was a terrible experience we’d have written about it too.
Where is Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park?
You’ll find this amazing caravan park a couple of kilometres up the road from the main city centre of Halls Gap, right next to Lake Bellfield. Now, the caravan park is lakeside, but you can’t see it; you’re just below with a big dam wall not far away. This shouldn’t detract from your experience, but it did trip me out a bit.
Why is Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park such an amazing spot?
I want to start this section by saying I normally don’t like caravan parks at all, and I’m not overly enthused driving into one. Despite this, it only took about half an hour for me to completely lose my mind at how amazing this particular caravan park is, and I kind of feel guilty about it.
We normally love to promote national parks, low cost and free camping, but there’s so many things that make Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park a fantastic place to stay:
We’ve stayed at some pretty stunning places, and Halls Gap is up there with the most scenic. Lakeside Tourist Park is in a sensational spot, with views in every direction that are really, really good. I stopped myself on a number of occasions, staring up the hills and just thinking about how awesome it looked.
The actual caravan park is really well kept too, with heaps of beautiful trees around, grassy sites (where possible), and a heap of cottages and cabins that are semi hidden, and barely intrude. The pools are well kept, and in general its just a stunning place to be.
The amenities are next level
I laughed when Sarah came back to camp and told me that the toilets and showers had heating in them, but that’s exactly what they have. Even in summer time, we found this pretty amazing early in the morning, when it was 13 degrees.
The toilets and showers are immaculate, and brand new, with glass doors, spectacular tiling and they are a massive improvement on what many caravan parks have.
There’s a big indoor area with a couple of TV’s and couches that is also heated, a top of the range camp kitchen and even a big deck with BBQ’s and tables, overlooking the amazing range.
There’s a decent playground, with 5 (yes, you read that correctly) springless trampolines and plenty of room to explore. EDIT – the trampolines have had to go, due to a crackdown on caravan insurance.
They have two heated swimming pools
Coming from WA, we only swim when its warm, and its really rare for me to get into a swimming pool. Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park has not one, but two swimming pools that are woodfire heated, and maintained at a lovely temperature year round.
In winter the water is heated even more, but we found the water a really pleasant temperature and got plenty of swimming lessons and playing in with the kids, which was hugely appreciated.
The wildlife is fantastic
We are used to good wildlife experiences, and have plenty on our travels. However, having a big grassy section metres from your camp site where the Emu’s are out all day, then the Kangaroos and even some Deer arrive as it cools off, with a heap of ducks, cockatoos and other bird life around is really special.
This little oval section was visited by a heap of people late in the afternoon and early evening, and it really is pretty amazing to see a little spot right next to the caravan park filled with animals.
We did see a couple of kangaroos hop through the park as well, which is amazing for the kids.
They do fire pits, wood and all (and they deliver it)
Nothing beats a good camp fire when you are camping, and these guys make it really easy. You can get a big 44 gallon (200L) drum cut in half and delivered to your site, along with kindling and wood. Yes, this costs money ($10 for the drum), and you pay for the wood, but a lot of people were taking the opportunity and if you bring your own wood (you can’t cut it on site) its not that bad value.
We chose not to do this as the site was fairly small, we have fires all the time elsewhere and we had nothing to cook on the fire, so the money got put away for something else.
Cheap and Caravan Parks rarely go hand in hand, and when I think about how good this place is, its an absolute bargain. We paid $36 per night for an unpowered site for our family, as we had the TAWK discount, which reduced it from $44 per night.
If both of our kids were over 5, and we didn’t have the discount it would have been $52 a night which is getting up there, but its not much more than what we’ve paid to stay at fairly average caravan parks (and many charge a lot more).
The sayings and guidelines are great
The caravan park has a heap of little sayings and signs around the place to make you think, or chuckle as you walk by. There’s sayings about camping, marriage, hiking, life in general and a heap of jokes for the kids to read.
I liked the way that the guidelines, and the map is done; things are clear and firm, but not over arching. Instead of saying no loud music, they have signs about keeping music to yourself, and respect going a long way. There’s information about last logs on the camp fire at 10PM, rather than fires must be out by xxx and so on.
We’ve been in some caravan parks that have a list of rules and requirements longer than your arm, and they’re written in a way that makes you feel like you are in a prison, and not a guest in an amazing place. This caravan park has hit the nail on the head really well here, and I was mighty impressed.
What attractions are nearby?
Halls Gap has a heap of different attractions, and then you have the actual Grampians National Park walks and lookouts.
We loved Boroka Lookout (so amazing), and the Pinnacles walk from Wonderland Car Park. Venus Baths is worth a drive, and then Mackenzie Falls are pretty spectacular too.
The Bakery was decent, and the ice cream shop is raved about (and we enjoyed it after a long hike).
What did we not like about it?
Honestly, there’s not much to complain about here. I loved the idea of seeing a heap of Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, and they are pretty awesome, but if you make the mistake of leaving anything open, they are naughty, naughty birds. Sarah left our outdoor kitchen open for about 5 minutes, and came back to most of a loaf of bread gone and two packets of biscuits gone, along with a huge mess everywhere.
They are also super confident; I was standing outside our kitchen doing dishes and they’re at my feet, pecking holes in the rubbish bag that’s tied up right next to me. They also landed on our table when the kids were eating food, and were going for their porridge (and were too scared to shoo them!).
They are fun to begin with, and then they can be a bit annoying, but in the grand scheme of things its pretty minor.
Book a stay
Overall, this is probably the first caravan park that I can say we were actually sad to leave. It’s so well set up, very peaceful and if you want a nice spot to stay in Halls Gap, we can’t speak any higher of it. A huge well done to Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park, and the staff there who were all really friendly and helpful.