Meditation & hiking retreat
At a time when we all need a respite from the stresses brought by the pandemic and modern life, this trip can offer you a tranquil, restorative escape and the acknowledged benefits that a meditation and yoga practice can bring. We have partnered with the Kailash retreat centre in the Grampians to offer you a unique program of meditation, yoga and hiking.
You’ll be staying in a beautiful location immersed in the awesome natural surroundings of the Northern Grampians, a relaxing and creative space. You’ll be learning a meditation technique that will also connect with our daily hikes and you will come back to your life better equipped to deal with daily stresses through continuing the meditation practice you have learned. Each morning we’ll greet the rising sun with a meditation session before breakfast and after we come back from our walks there is an option for a Hatha yoga class to relax and stretch out.
Each day we will head off on our hikes to rewild ourselves in the awesome nature of the Grampians Peak Trails, exploring the highlights of the region from North to South. Coming back at the end of the day we can relax in the beautiful surroundings and facilities of the lodge. Over the course of several days we will use a variety of practices to elevate your body and mind, with sound meditations and a fire ceremony and your body will be nourished with healthy vegetarian food. You’ll leave feeling rejuvenated, grounded, and reconnected to other people and your own wellbeing.
This journey will also give you the opportunity to gain insight into Jardwadjali and Djab Wurrung people who know the Grampians as Gariwerd and have walked and lived in this area for thousands of years. There are a large number of very significant Indigenous rock art sites in the area; it is home to 80% of Victoria’s rock art.
Please note that this is not a luxury wellness retreat, it is intended as a holistic trip to connect people with meditation, nature and very enjoyable simplicity. This trip will run with a minimum of 5 people.
Grampians Spiritual Journey
- Daily meditation practice and reflection with teachers
- Explore fantastic sections of the Grampians Peaks trail with daily hikes
- Enjoy outdoor yoga and experience a sound healing session
- Discover the ancient and rugged landscape of the Grampians
- Aboriginal culture — some of the most significant Indigenous rock art sites in Victoria
- Relax by rivers, spectacular waterfalls and swimming holes
- Hike along Northern, Central and Southern sections of the Grampians trails
- Daily trail hikes
- Length: 40km
- Difficulty: Moderate – Challenging
On the trail
We will be exploring along different sections of the Grampians Peaks Trail with varied conditions underfoot. Walking along river trails, steep slopes and descents, stone staircases, rocky platforms, sandstone outcrops, forest gullies, dirt tracks and gravel walking tracks. We will be ascending upto Mounts Stapylton and Sturgeon so you will need to have a reasonably good level of fitness if joining for these options. You need be comfortable with walking up granite slopes, occasionally squeezing through boulders, hopping over streams after rain and through exposed rocky areas on the rideglines. There can be moderately steep sections of walking on the ascents so you should be a confident walker and have reasonable stamina to fully partake in the daily walks.
Kailash is run as a community by resident volunteers. Our accommodation will be mostly in rooms within the rammed earth lodge building at Kailash. Rooms are quite basic but perfectly adequate and there are four shared bathrooms in the building, one of which is also used by volunteer residents who live on site. There is a wonderful lounge space and dining space for relaxing and socializing during meal times and evenings. Kailash has extensive grounds with stunning views of the nearby mountains to wander around and have encounters with the prolific native wildlife. There are also several glamping tents on site which can be used for accommodation, though the latter do not have bathrooms attached (you’d use the lodge).
Meditation and yoga
This is a unique opportunity to develop or further a meditation practice in a beautiful purpose-built retreat in the rugged Grampians ranges and is suitable for people of all ages and levels of experience with meditation, from complete beginner to experienced practitioners. We’ll greet each day with a meditation led by our teachers at the retreat and there’s the opportunity to take daily hatha yoga classes (often outdoors and some days it could be mountain yoga out at the trailhead). After enjoying a healthy and nourishing breakfast we head out with a RAW leader and you’ll explore the stunning Grampians trails, with looks-outs, waterfalls, canyons, swimming holes and Aboriginal rock shelters. You’ll be immersing yourself in the calming energies of mother nature, as we take the mindful awareness practices out with us onto the trail each day. At the end of our time we will have a reflection session on what we have experienced, shared and gained from the week.
Grampians meditation and hiking retreat
After pickup at the Arts centre in Melbourne we transfer for approx 3 hours drive to reach Halls Gap in the Grampians. After lunch we will bus to the start of our river and waterfalls walk up the Mackenzie river (approx 8Km total). We commence from the spectacular Mackenzie Falls, descending a series of stone steps to follow a riverside track to Fish Falls which cascades 60 metres over terraced rocks into a pool below year round. We continue onto the recreation area Zumsteins and further up the river valley into the Wartook valley where we’ll be staying. Our bus then transfers us to our inspiring Meditation retreat and accommodation, with a beautiful rural location giving views of the Northern Grampians.
You’ll meet your teachers for the week ahead and learn more about this amazing retreat which is fully dedicated to spiritual practices. We meet some of the volunteers who live here and help prepare the wonderful vegetarian food we will be eating this week.
That afternoon and evening we’ll start our retreat to rediscover and reconnect to your soul and to learn practices that support your inner journey. Over the next several days we will have focused offerings and short courses to aid in the cultivation of your personal practice, mixed with a hike each day where we can practice bringing aspects of the meditative state and mindfulness as we walk.
Overnight Kailash retreat, (L,D)
We begin the day with a morning meditation and drink in our striking natural surroundings during breakfast, starting what will be an epic day in the best possible way. We then drive to Halls Gap and begin a spectacular ascent through up through a canyon to the heart of the Grampians escarpment for our walk today. The Grampians Peaks Trail starts with a climb via Venus Baths and continues on towards Splitter Falls. After viewing the falls we return to the main track and continue on to the Grand Canyon. Following a steep climb to the impressive rock formations, we continue on through rocky woodland (known as Silent Street) to the famous Pinnacle Lookout.
Perched above the rangers, the views from the lookout over the Grampians and Mt William are magnificent. We head south, following the signs to Lakeside Lookout and then onto Sundial Lookout, reaching Bugiga Hiker Camp via the Bugiga Link track. The walk offers stunning views along the way, with some steep ascents, rocky sections and walking through some narrow rock defiles.
Our van will meet us at the Sundial car park and take us back to the retreat where we will resume our meditation practice and discussion later that afternoon.
Overnight Kailash retreat, (B,L,D)
We start our day with our morning meditation, grounding ourselves and settling deeper into our practice under the guidance of our teachers. After another beautiful breakfast we head off for the Northern Grampians starting from Stapylton camp on the new Grampians Peaks trail. Today is a fantastic walk that offers some of the best scenery of the entire Grampians Peaks Trail. Before we embark on the trail we’ll visit the nearby Ngamadidj shelter, one of many Indigenous cultural sites and shelters in the Grampians. We’ll walk through the Stapylton Amphitheatre, marvelling at the steep and fantastically eroded rock walls we are surrounded by. The first half of the loop trail is fairly easy walking passing wonderful native flora. We then ascend up past the magnificent Taipan wall with its flaming orange sandstone cliffs and emerge onto the ridgeline. The walk then gets more challenging as we follow the trail over the top of the hills with expansive views all around us. It does involve some mild scrambling through rock passages and a reasonable degree of fitness – but there is an option to sit out the return loop of today’s walk and connect with the bus & driver at Mount Zero car park. We eventually drop off the ridgeline and descend back to where we started at Staplyton. Following today’s walk we will also visit a nearby Olive grove for tasting and a drink,
This evening we are given a special performance by our hosts, who will take us on a sound meditation, bathing us in different tones with 90 minutes of journeying deep into your soul.
Overnight Kailash retreat, (B,L,D)
Today we wake up refreshed and feeling great after the immersion into our meditative practices and hiking of the past few days. After morning meditation and breakfast we will to head to the Southern Grampians to experience a walk at the far end of this incredible mountain chain. We’ll walk up Piccaninny and Mount Sturgeon on a moderate ascending trail that gives fantastic views over the Western plains and the nearby township of Dunkeld, backed by the monumental peak of Mount Abrupt. We take a look around the township of Dunkeld before departing back to the retreat, arriving late afternoon.
Overnight Kailash retreat, (B,L,D)
Please note that we may vary walking locations according to local weather, track conditions or group ability and substitute with similar walks in the Grampians should the need arise.
We stay at our retreat to relax and enjoy our last morning with our hosts and reflect back on what the past several days have given us, enjoying one final group meditation. On the drive out we stop by the very Northern Top of the Grampians for a short return walk to Hollow Mountain. The track climbs steeply over rocky ledges and past a huge wind – scoured cavern to a summit that offers fantastic views over the Mt Stapylton amphitheatre in one direction and the Wimmera Plains in the other direction. Return by the same route
We’ll stop in Ararat where you can buy your lunch (lunch today is at your own expense) and have a look around before we begin our journey back to Melbourne, where we will arrive in the late afternoon.
- Daily meditation practice and instruction by retreat teachers
- Guided, pack-free Grampians hikes led by an experienced RAW leader
- Option to join outdoor yoga classes, sound meditation and a fire ceremony
- Yoga mats for classes, meditation cushions
- Twin-share accommodation in a lodge room or glamping tent
- Beautiful healthy vegetarian food to support your practice
- 4 Breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners and snacks
- Return transfers from central Melbourne to the Grampians
- Daily trailhead transfers & local support driver
- National Park fees
- RAW Travel carbon offset for your trip and an Australian tree planted on your behalf
- 10% GST included
- Breakfast on day 1 and lunch on day 5
- Travel insurance
- Transport to Melbourne pick up point
Need to Know
This walk is quite challenging due to the ascents and descents involved, plus navigating your way over the rock plateau and narrow rock defiles in some places. It’s best suited to hikers of reasonably good fitness and confidence and walk for up to 5-6 hours a day.
RAW Travel has a detailed guide specifically for multi-day walk training, you will receive this as part of your booking.
Excellent vegetarian meals are offered, homely and made with love from the retreat residents. Each meal has vegan options, is gluten-free, fructose sensitive and
made from nutritions and yummy whole foods and where possible from the on-site garden. Dietary requirements can be accommodated as long as they are provided
to RAW in advance of the trip and indicated on your booking form.
As you can see from the pictures in our gallery the purpose-built mud-brick lodge offers a suitable style of accommodation with basic twin and single rooms and glamping tent options. It has a beautiful lounge area for socializing and relaxing and a wonderful Mongolian-style Yurt for practicing meditation and workshops. The lodge is set in a secluded area on the edge of the Grampians National Park with views of the Northern peaks. There are a mixture of single and shared twin rooms, which will be assigned on request on a first-come, first-serve basis. We don’t charge any extra for the single rooms but there is a limited amount. There is also an option to stay in a glamping style canvas tent ( single or couple sharing a bed) but these tents don’t have bathrooms and you would need to walk back to the main lodge to use the bathroom facilities.
An introduction to ‘Himalayan Meditation’. More than just a style of meditation, this is a connection to a lineage of living energy, embodied by His Holiness Shree Shivkrupanand Swami. The technique is free, accessible and beyond religion, race or culture. The powerful practice awakens soul consciousness and assists in the connection to one’s own humanity.
Yoga classes are tailored sessions drawing on David’s 15 years of Hatha yoga sadhana. Including asana, movements, sound and philosophy, all shared from an embodied practice. A great way to begin or deepen your yoga journey, we are able to customise your session for you to receive an outcome you have in mind, e.g. relaxation, energy or technique refinement.
This retreat provides an excellent introduction to anyone new to meditation and is suitable for all levels of experience. Even if you’re a person who has been meditating for many years you will gain benefit and enjoyment from joining this journey. Our teachers at the retreat will be guiding us through meditations and discussions to address people’s questions around their practice and provide support in an informal and relaxed environment. We will be starting the day with meditation and optional yoga classes and then practicing what we learn out on the trails each day, bringing a heightened awareness to our walks in nature.
Social and environmental
All our adventures are fully carbon offset so that you know your travel has minimal impacts. Hiking itself is a low-impact activity but we offset the cost of all our office operations and food production as well, so you can be satisfied that you have chosen a form of travel that is both good for you and good for the planet. Each year we also plant trees on behalf of every customer who has travelled with us, aiming to build towards a carbon positive effect with our operations.
As a B-Corp a focus on local community is an important part of who we are. We are committed to supporting our local community and charities in many ways through fundraising events, sponsorships, environmental clean-ups and empowering people through training.
Australia – Guided walks
Grampians Peak Trail: Victoria
- 3 day day circuit walk from Halls gap
- 36km of Peak trail through mountains, waterfalls
- Fantastic rock formations and Grand canyon
- National Park campsites
Great Ocean Walk
Great Ocean Walk and Beyond
- Walk the best sections of the Great Ocean Walk and Great South West Walk
- Explore the ancient wonders of UNESCO World Heritage Listed Budj Bim
- Immerse yourself in the wild dramatic coastlines of the Shipwreck Coast
- Visit a hidden grove of giant California Redwoods and Otway forest waterfall
Great Ocean Walk
The End to End Guided Trip – Great Ocean Walk
- Fully cooked breakfast provided every morning
- Comfortable well-appointed accommodation
- Gain insights; local history, culture, and landscape
- Exclusives with our shipwreck historian & a local Indigenous Elder
Great Ocean Walk
Great South West Walk – Guided
- Discover wild dramatic coastlines and white secluded beaches
- Stroll quiet bushland trails in Mount Richmond National Park
- Immerse yourself in 6,600 year-old UNESCO World Heritage listed Budj Bim
- Spot Australian and New Zealand fur seals at Cape Bridgewater
TRIP date selection
when would you like to travel?
Please select your preferred dates for on-demand trips or select a scheduled date for group departures. If you have booked a self-guided trip please understand that because your trip date is on demand and we must check availability of all properties on your chosen dates before it can be fully confirmed