After three and a half years of work, the newly opened Grampians Peaks Trail (GPT), offers hikers new hike-in camps and 160 kilometres of the pristine wilderness. The trail was established by Parks Victoria and consists of 11 new campsites designed by McGregor Coxall, Noxon Giffen and OPS Engineers.
The trail and sites explore the rich Aboriginal culture of the Jardwadjali and Djab Wurrung Peoples who have lived in these ranges for thousands of years.
Parks Victoria worked closely with Traditional Owners during the establishment of the trails and sites, laying guidelines and boundaries for landform, ecology, spatial typology, and cultural immersion at each site.
Every site responds to the vivid landscape around it. The campsites and amenities pulsate with the land’s aura, mastering the connection between aesthetics and practicality. The design doesn’t take away from the trail’s sights but invites hikers to journey through the landscape and enjoy a place of solace.
McGregor Coxall’s landscape approach ensures each of the campsites “touch the ground lightly”, minimising the impact on the environment and maintaining the Grampians iconic, biodiverse landscape as the hero.
A common thread is established through all of the sites, incorporating site-specific responses that curate the various contexts, stories, and conditions of each of the locations.
McGregor Coxall likens the series of huts as “a family of architecture”, yet each responds to the conditions and surroundings of the site. In this way, sun exposure, wind and sightlines for each location are considered as individual dwellings.
The campsites and amenities each blend with the landscape, where colours and materiality bring hikers closer to nature, even in rest.
Speaking to the material selection specifically, Noxon Giffen shares that the “branches of organic cladding mimic the sequence of vegetation”.
Charred and silvered timbers are paired with oxidised mild steel creating a colour palette that references rocky outcrops, sandstone and burnt-out trees from historical bushfires.
Overtime these structures will be overrun with vegetation, patinaed with age and slowly blend into the terrain that they sit lightly on.
The campsites of the Grampians Peak Trail, defined by lush, untouched landscapes, respect the history and significance of the land. And for every step of the way, a new vista, of art or nature, awaits.
Landscape architecture – McGregor Coxall
Architecture – Noxon Giffen
McGregor Coxall project team – Nick Griffin (project director), Thomas Flugge, Rupert Carmichael, Christian Borchert
Noxon Giffen project team – Justin Noxon (design director), Andrew Jenner (project architect), Darren Giffen, Stephanie Morgia, Olivia Peel, Sophie Chomard
Engineering – OPS Engineers
Photography – Shannon McGrath
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