About Us

The Grampians - Geologically, a uniquely formed mountain range. Ecologically, one of the most diverse National Parks in Australia. Culturally, home to ten’s of thousands of years of human history. All of this in a destination that offers some of the best opportunities for outdoor activities and adventure sports.


Based right in the heart of the Grampians, Absolute Outdoors is the key to connecting people with place and unlocking the true Grampians experience.

Our experiences range from gentle guided walks with breathtaking views, to hair raising adventure activities for all ages and abilities. We offer guided walks, canoeing, Stand Up Paddle-boarding, rock climbing, abseiling and mountain biking as well as a range of uniquely crafted experiences all in either half, full or multi-day packages.


As an experiential tour operator, no matter how you spend your time with us, our goal is to share our home with you in a safe, engaging and informative way leaving you with a deeper understanding of yourself and your destination - The Grampians. 

Our Mission
"To educate, inspire and enable YOU to build a connection between people and place through the medium of adventure."
Our History

Our story began back in 1989 when a small group of friends begun organising social adventure trips to the area. Like all good things, these trips grew in size and popularity, leading to a need to charge a fee to continue sustainably. The ethos of these trips was based around sharing experiences, learning, connecting people together, and with the places they are visiting. Although Absolute Outdoors has changed forms and evolved significantly over the years, our ethos remains the same - to share, learn, experience and grow.

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Our Purpose
"To continually improve the health and sustainability of our community and the environment."
Our Team
Adrian Manikas Profile

Adrian Manikas

Managing Director


Adrian is passionate about the outdoors and sharing experiences. Having dedicated most of his life to outdoor pursuits, both his own and assisting others in theirs, Adrian has accumulated over 11 years of experience across the adventure travel, guiding and outdoor education sectors. A spontaneous crossing of the Kokoda track focused Adrian's imagination on the great impacts that adventurous experiences can have on people and since then he has endeavoured to make the world a better place, one adventure at a time. 25+ international expeditions and countless school camps later, Adrian's focus is on exploring the adventurous opportunities in the Grampians and how best to share them with the world.

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Melani Daruis

Director of Finance


Melani is a qualified ANZ Chartered Accountant with over 20 years of business experience in various industries including hospitality & tourism, major infrastructure and professional services. She has an immense love of the great outdoors and has hiked all over the world, including Greece, Nepal, Morocco, Japan, South-East Asia and New Zealand. Melani has holidayed annually in Halls Gap for many years and is passionate about helping to connect people to the amazing Grampians region so they can discover its beauty and universal appeal. In her spare time, Melani loves cooking for her family & friends and reading travel books

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Braeden Hyland

Chief Guide - Operations Manager


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Mitch Smith

Retail Operations Manager


Mitch brings over 20 years of retail experience to the team, the last 7 in the outdoor industry. As a self-confessed gear nerd he is passionate to the point of obsession about outdoor gear and has been recently told by his partner that he doesn’t need another hiking pack (he totally does!) An experienced traveller and hiker when Mitch is not at Absolute Outdoors he can be found walking up mountains and has recently completed the Australian Alpine Walking Trail. If you have any enquiries about gear feel free to flick Mitch an email, he loves solving problems and would love to hear from you.

Get in touch! We're here to help.

Come and visit us in the Grampians any time! Or get in touch however you like via the contact us page.