Short & steep hike to the Hollow Mountain Summit in the Grampians National Park
Right at the very northern tip of the Grampians Mountain Range in central Victoria is the ancient jagged and rugged sandstone cliffs and caves of Hollow Mountain.
Hollow Mountain is about 40 minutes north of Halls Gap and a bit over 3 hours direct from Melbourne. The walk in total is a bit over 3kms to reach the summit and return. There are some pretty difficult parts on the trail that require a moderate level of fitness and agility.
The walk weaves through a gorge and through some incredible caves, then up to the top of the massive chunk of sandstone that was formed millions of years ago under the ocean and has been eroding and changing ever since.
The Hollow Mountain Walk is unique and we think it’s the most exhilarating, interesting and fun short trail in the Grampians National Park. You could just visit for an hour or two and see plenty or keep busy and go trekking for the entire day if you have the time for it.
Hollow Mountain Walk trail details
The Hollow Mountain Walk is a Grade 4 hiking trail.
People that are unfit or inexperienced in hiking, young kids or the elderly would consider parts of this track to be unsafe and difficult to hike.
Parts of the walk are along cliff edges, weaving and winding under rocks, so it could be pretty dangerous.
For anyone with a bit of hiking experience, it’s an amazingly, beautifully rugged short walk and this would be considered Medium in difficulty as there are some parts that are super steep where you’ll need to use your hands and pretty much climb. As the distance of the trail isn’t long and the really steep parts where you’ll need to climb are only for very short stretches, it’s really not that hard and you could be on the Mount Hollow Summit with-in about 45 minutes if you tried.
You’ll need to be agile enough to climb up and down large boulders and small cliffs.
There are some large sets of stairs that will require a medium level of fitness or just take some short breaks and you’ll be fine.
From the Hollow Mountain car park, direct to the summit and back is 3.2 kms but you don’t have to go straight there.
You can make the walk as long or as short as you want. Only 750 metres from the car park is the Gulgurn Manja Shelter Aboriginal rock art and there are multiple other tracks that you can take before or after the Hollow Mountain summit.
While making your way up to the summit, explore caves and trek around a bit to extend the walk.
If you’re short on time, about 1 km into the walk you’ll start to get some amazing views, so you could just do part of the walk but still do make sure that you come here as it’s unique and absolutely incredible.
The total elevation gained from the car park to the Hollow Mountain summit is around 190 metres although the difference is about 175 metres in elevation.
The car park elevation is 225 metres and the summit is about 400 metres.
There’s a large car park with plenty of room and facilities in the middle.
There are non-flushing toilets and there is not any drinking water available.
Closest place to buy food & drinks
Horsham is 30 minutes north of Hollow Mountain, out of the Grampians National Park on the way to Adelaide or South Australia.
Halls Gap is 40 minutes south, right in the middle of the Grampians. If you’re staying in the Grampians National Park longer or heading back to Melbourne, Halls Gap is your best option.
Both of these towns have loads of places to eat, drink and sleep at. Halls Gap is the main tourist town of the Grampians and one of the most scenic towns in the state. Horsham is a much larger country town set up for permanent residents rather than tourists, but caters for both.
Hiking to the Hollow Mountain Summit
The first part of the track is flat and easy, then when the elevation starts it doesn’t really stop until you reach the summit.
If you want to head straight to the Hollow Mountain summit from the car park, make sure you follow the track straight as there are several opportunities to go left. Heading left will take you to different sights. The first track to the left goes to an ancient indigenous rock art sight.
About 3/4th of the way up Hollow Mountain you’ll come across two caves, they’re both massive and around 75 metres apart.
It’s pretty eerie and super fun to explore them but you do also have the option of walking around them both.
Not too far from the second cave, you’ll climb a bit higher and make it to the Hollow Mountain summit.
Getting to the Hollow Mountain car park
Hollow Mountain is at the very northern tip of the Grampians.
Halls Gap is the heart of the Grampians National Park and about a three hour drive from Melbourne. From Halls Gap, the fastest way to get to the Hollow Mountain car park where the walking trail begins is to take Mount Zero road, you’ll get there in about 40 minutes.
If you have plenty of time, then you can take the main tourist route that goes past the turn-offs to Boroka Lookout, Wonderland, Mackenzie Falls and the other main attractions. If you were to head this way and didn’t stop, it’d take about 50-60 minutes to reach Hollow Mountain although the drive is amazing and worth every extra minute.
If you don’t want to stop into Halls Gap for lunch or supplies and are driving direct from Melbourne, head towards Adelaide or Horsham. You’ll get to Wonwondah-Dadswells Bridge road in about 3 hours and then the Hollow Mountain car park is about another 5-10 minute drive once you turn off the Western Highway.
Accommodation & Camping near Hollow Mountain
Hollow Mountain is right at the very top of the Grampians and there are dozens of campsites in the national park.
Almost all of the bush camp grounds have some basic facilities and they can be booked here, on the Parks Victoria website.
For private campgrounds that have full facilities and are right next to shops, you can head into Halls Gap and camp in the middle of town. You’ll be camping alongside an abundance of friendly and confident Kangaroos. In Halls Gap, you’ll find loads of accommodation options. From luxury villas to cabins and hostels, there’s room for thousands of guests.
Same goes for Horsham, there are loads of accommodation and camping options there and around the town, but the tourist hot spot is Halls Gap.
From a town similar size to Horsham, but back towards Melbourne, head to Ararat or if you’re going towards the Great Ocean Road, give Dunkeld a try.