Books about Halls Gap
Publications on the area
This is an initial list here of what is generally available. It’s far from complete and unfortunately quite a few are out of print. However, most are available in the Stawell library and/or the Halls Gap Historical Society. Please contact us with information about the ones which we have inevitably missed.
General books on the Grampians
- Jane Calder: “The Grampians: A Noble Range” 1987 VNPA
Geology, climate, soils, plants and animals, history, suggested activities. Excellent, superb pen illustrations, but 30 years old, out of print and I’m told very daunting to revise due to changes in print technology. Look out for it secondhand.
- Gib Wettenhall & Alison Pouliot: “Gariwerd: Reflecting on the Grampians” 2006 EM Press.
Superb photos by Alison, five interesting essays by Gib, briefly exploring Aboriginal creation views, the botanical richness, European history, and issues in park management – particularly fire.
- A & B Paton: “Discovering Grampians-Gariwerd” 2005 VNPA
A small pocket book mainly on walks and drives, but starting with a brief introduction to the Park – some history, some on where to stay, the different habitats, some of the common animals. Interesting to see how quickly a book like this gets dated – the 2006 fires and the 2011 landslides have affected quite a few of the suggested walks so not recommended.
Sietsma M: Grampians to Gariwerd – Halls Gap Journals 1986 and 2016 – published 2020. This is an interesting collation of diary entries from early trips to a family holiday house in Halls Gap in 1986. The author has added comments 30 years later when it was her permanent home.
- Victoria’s Wonderland: A Grampians History was published by the Halls Gap and Grampians Historical Society in 2006 and is still readily available. An excellent concise resource.
- Beyond the Smoke: Fires, destruction and images of hope. Published in 2007 by a local editorial committee, it has stories by people affected by the major fires of 2006, along with many photos of fire, destruction and images of renewal and hope. The Community Association still has a few copies.
- The Halls Gap and Grampians Historical Society has over the years produced several short history books on the history of specific topics such as the Mafeking gold rush, the building of the water supply to Stawell. They can be seen in their history room at the hall.
- Other local communities have also produced their own histories: Pomonal, Zumsteins and of course Stawell. Available from the library and for sale in those townships.
Of course we must first mention the books by our own Ken Woodcock, and published by our own Community Association and all currently available.
- Woodcock K: “How to identify the wildflowers of the Grampians”, “How to identify the Native Orchids of the Grampians” and “How to identify Native Birds of the Grampians” Community Association of Halls Gap. Eschewing photos, Ken has used colour pencil to illustrate the flowers, (92 birds,138 flowers and 70 orchids). The advantage of this method is that size and distinguishing features can be easily indicated.
- Ex Pomonal local Jenny Heyme has a double sided A4 brochure of flowers to look for. Produced in 2016 and for sale locally. All of these are small and easy to fit in a backpack.
- Then there is the large Perpetual Calendar produced in 2002 by Margo Sietsma and also published by our own Community Association. Produced before the local six seasons were well known, it has a large photo for each month and a description of what is special in that month, together with smaller photos .
- McCann I: The Grampians in Flower VNPA 1994 400 flowers photographed – mainly life size, common and scientific names, family, size of plant, season of flowering, conservation status. Unfortunately this is out of print. The Community Association has just a few copies. There is some talk of it being revised and reissued by FOGG, but no action as yet.
- Elliott: R A Field Guide to the Grampians Flora. Algona Press 1984. This book covers trees, shrubs, climbers, lilies, grasses, orchids, ferns. Many species, not just the ones with colourful flowers. Easy alphabetical order by scientific name, almost always a pen drawing of the leaf, an indication of the habitat, and a useful guide by colour and size. Now also out of print and only available secondhand . There is also a mini version Plant Identikit with just the most common plants.
Grampians plants also feature of course in large reference books such as:
- Schultz S: Gariwerd Colours – Plants of the Grampians/Gariwerd National Park, self published 2019. The book is a plant-identification book, that is informative, comprehensive, beautiful and user friendly. It also includes information on interesting folklore or myths that are attached to a specific plant or plant family. Presently out of print and only available secondhand
- Corrick & Fuhrer: Wildflowers of Victoria: 2002 Bloomings Books Clear photographs, mostly including the leaves, short clear descriptions. Easy to see whether it is found in the Grampians, but not to any detail.
- Jeanes & Backhouse: “Wild Orchids of Victoria Australia” Aquatic Photographics 2006. 1400 excellent photographs of 362 species plus 45 naturally occurring hybrids, together with detailed descriptions.
And that’s without starting on fungi, mammals, reptiles, insects and more! Or guides to habitats, such as grasslands, box- ironbark forests etc.
Walking & climbing books
Watch this space…..
- Local artist Helen Leach has illustrated several stories set in the wider local area.
- Rockhopping by Trace Balla is a very recent picture book published by Allen and Unwin. Join Clancy and Uncle Egg on a rambling, rockhopping adventure in Gariwerd (the Grampians), to find the source of the Glenelg River. A story about following your flow, and the unexpected places you may go.
- There are also apparently some local indigenous children’s books on the way.
- “Alive in Grampians Gariwerd” CD ( a few still available from the Community Association) is a set of sings composed by Faye White and our community after the 2006 fires. Some of these songs are also on Faye White’s CD “These people, this place: everyday grace.”