The ‘Elephants Hide’ is part of the Grampian Mountains, which stretch for twenty kilometres or more north-south in Western Victoria. This mountain range together with Mount Buffalo in Victoria and the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales is one of three vertical rock uplifts in Southern Australia. This fact makes the Grampians a range of many angled rock formations, resulting from the cooling after their fiery birth. Consequently there are many challenges awaiting the novice rock climber and a few for the professionals. The Elephants Hide is one of these and got its name from the fact that its surface looks like the skin or hide on the side of an elephant. The rock has formed a rippled effect over an angled slope. It is a challenge to traverse this, but not impossible, and many school groups from Victoria attempt this climb as their first, here near Halls Gap, the central settlement of the Grampian Range, from where all expeditions check in and set out leaving their details with the local ranger in case of an emergency rescue.
The Elephants Hide is quite stunning to look at, as the ripples and contours giving it the hide like appearance, capture the sun at different angles during the course of the day, especially in Spring and Summer.There are many different types of native Australian wildflowers to be seen in the Grampian Ranges and the area around the Elelphant’s Hide is no exception. If taking your first steps individually, or as a group, to climb this slope, be aware there is a slight danger of slipping backwards and the best way to counter this is too have gripping soles on your hiking boots. Runners will not do the job nor support your ankles for the climb. At the top, like many Grampian peaks, there is a drop, so be aware of this before rushing to the summit. All around, once you have reached the summit, you will see other peaks and the lush countryside used for grazing sheep.
To get here from Melbourne airport having come in from, say America, hire a car or camper van and make your way west on the Hamilton Highway until you reach Hamilton. From here travel north to Cavendish. From here go north following the signs to Hall’s Gap, a distance of some sixty kilometres. From here seek out the guides and ask about the elephants hide and how to get there ; is not far from Hall’s Gap. Accommodation is good here but book in advance as the area is so popular.