Chuck “Horsham” into a cheeky Google search, and you’ll be presented with piccies of mouth-watering cheese platters, massive outdoor art galleries and towering rock formations (perfect for adventurous rock climbers).
A short road trip west of Melbourne (around three and a half hours), Horsham is nestled in the western Grampians and is one of the few regional areas in Victoria that combines culture, art, food, shopping and nature (without the selfie sticks).
If you’re itching to get out of our (loveable) concrete jungle, here are all the reasons Horsham should be next on your regional hit list.
#1 Food For The Soul (But Also, Your Tastebuds)
Horsham and the surrounds have an impeccable selection of boutique cafe's and restaurants, all of which highlight the region’s fresh produce. Think: fresh cheese, handmade pasta and gelaterias.
#2 Wine, Wine, Wine & Dine
Along with a host of on-trend cafes, modernist bars and excellent restaurants, Horsham is home to a handful of truly unique food and drink vendors. One of these includes award-winning Barangaroo Boutique Wines. Make sure to taste their Vermentino, paired with a seasonal tasting board championing some of the regions best produce.
Norton Estate is another highlight, featuring a sprawling vineyard with views as far as Mt Arapiles. Taste your way through the range at their generous cellar door. Leave room in the backseat for a stash of their flagship, Arapiles Run Shiraz
#3 Olive Oil Lovers, Prepare To Nerd Out
Every self-respecting foodie knows that nothing beats bread, salt and a ridiculously good olive oil. The good news is that you can taste to your oily heart's content at Grampians Olive Co. One of Australia’s oldest olive groves, there are also lunch platters and tours throughout the day.
#4 Over 200kms Of Outdoor Art…Yes, Seriously
Horsham is the perfect base for exploring the Silo Art Trail. Across 200kms of rich land and six regional towns, towering wheat silos have been transformed by internationally recognised street artists including Julia Volchkova, Guido van Helten, Fintan Magee, Matt Adnate, Kaff-eine and Rone.
#5 Immerse Yourself In Culture And History
The Grampians is home to over 80% of all of Victoria’s Aboriginal rock sites. Start at the Gulgurn Manja Shelter (meaning the ‘hands of young people’), where you’ll find paintings of bars, emu tracks and handprints, unique to this area.
#6 Take A Hike
There’s nothing zero about Mount Zero’s pinnacle. Over 2.8kms (return), you’ll rock scramble and be thankful for the handrail installed at the steepest peaks. Reward yourself at the Mount Zero picnic area with a BYO picnic that you’ve filled with local goodies. The Hollow Mountain walk is another must for adventurers, with slippery track surfaces, rock hopping, rock scrambling and a wide cavern.
For pro rock climbers, Mt Arapiles is known for its world-class climbing opportunities—there’s some of the best in Australia.
#7 Killer Accommodation
If you’ve veto-d bush camping (we hear you), don’t worry—there’s a huge range of accommodation options from low key to luxe. From motels in town (complete with obligatory pool) to cabins with kangaroos at the doorstep to luxe lodges with stunner views, you definitely won’t have to pack the sleeping bag and LiLo!
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Image credit: supplied