Daylesford, Hepburn Springs and the surrounding area have many recognised walking trails that vary from 'easy' to the 'experienced walker'. So there are tracks for all ages and abilities that are very interesting and adventurous. Most walks are in the bush or forests and are well sign posted and mapped.
The Daylesford area is surrounded by the Hepburn Regional Park which includes Mount Franklin Reserve, Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve, Sailors Falls and Central Springs Reserve. Each area is naturally unique and is well worth visiting for a picnic and to explore the walking trails. Below are many suggestions and ideas for walks that may interest you.
The Daylesford Visitors Centre has many printed maps of walking trails for the local area that will show you all the mineral springs and other 'must see' landmarks.
The 'Peace Mile' Walk is a lap around the edge Lake Daylesford which takes about thirty minutes to do plus any stops to enjoy the view and relax on a seat. As the name suggests it is a very peaceful place to be, along the way you will discover some history and mineral springs, birdlife, enjoy the views of the lake up close and faraway. Before, during or after your walk you can enjoy the view from the 'Boathouse Cafe' and browse the books at the 'BookBarn'.
Walking from Daylesford to Hepburn Springs you will be surprised how much more you see and notice along the way compared to driving. There are some very interesting historic buildings along the way and plenty of side streets to explore. The walk would take about fifty minutes plus any stops of exploring and a coffee. The return trip is up hill so you may like to organise someone to pick you up or get a taxi.
The Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens in Central Springs Road is about ten hectares and has a main circular track that can be driven on or walked around. There are also many internal paths to walk along, it is on a hill so there is plenty of walking up and down while you admire the special plants and gardens.
On top of the hill is a lookout tower which will give you a bit more exercise climbing all the steps to get a great view of Daylesford. The Wombat Hill House Cafe is in the original caretakers house if you need refreshments.
Jubilee Lake is in a natural bush setting that is waiting to be explored, there is circuit track that goes around the lake which is nearly a two kilometre walk. Follow the signs along the Wombat Creek to find the 'Jubilee Lake Mineral Springs'. There is also a walking trail from 'Victoria Park' to Jubilee Lake which is about 3 kilometres return.
The Tipperary Walking Track is about sixteen kilometres long and takes about 5 hours but can be done as several shorter walking trails. The starting point is at Lake Daylesford either at the main car park or go to Central Springs Reserve, the trail starts near the outlet of the lake.
The first section takes you to Twin Bridges where you cross the Midland Highway and walk to Tipperary Springs.The next section is from Tipperary Springs to Bryces Flat, then onto Breakneck Gorge and Liberty and Golden Springs. Then to Jackson's Lookout and finish at the Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve.
View and Print a map of the Tipperary Walking Track - This will open in PDF format on a new page www.parkweb.vic.gov.au
For more information
On the corner of the Midland Highway and Central Springs Road there is a park and monument for 'Three Lost Children', I have been past many times without really knowing exactly what it is about. I drove into the park and read the information board, it is a very sad 'true' story - an adventure walk that turned into tragedy.
Sadly the three children got lost after going on an 'adventure' walk and could not be found alive despite an extensive search in horrendous weather by many hundreds of towns people and trackers after many weeks.
This happened in 1867 and the children were very young, four, five and six year old, they tragically were found dead about 3 months later at Musk Vale, two in a tree trunk and the other nearby. There is a monument near where they were found, they were buried together at the Daylesford cemetery.
The township of Daylesford have made sure they will never be forgotten, a walk has been made in their honour, the walk is as close as possible as to where they walked. The walk starts at the 'Three Lost Children' Park as mentioned above. There is an information sign that tells the story in more detail. This YouTube video features the 'Daylesford Walking Club' recalling the story and shows some of the walking track.
Mount Franklin is an extinct volcano that is excellent for bushwalking, having a picnic and camping. The walk into the crater is about two kilometres and takes about 30 minutes one way. You can also drive in, camping is allowed in the sheltered crater. From the rim of the volcano there is an excellent view of the surrounding area.
The Goldfields Track is over two hundred kilometres of very scenic terrain suitable for hikers and mountain bike riders. The track was formed by the gold miners many years ago, it takes you through historic towns and past stunning scenery of forests, farmland, rocky outcrops, water ways with many rolling hills to add to the variety of terrain. The track takes you from Bendigo to Bunninyong, or you can do part of it as it is divided into three sections.
Wallaby Track - Mount Buninyong to Daylesford
Dry Diggings Track - Daylesford to Castlemaine
Leanganook Track - Castlemaine to Bendigo
For more information visit www.goldfieldstrack.com.au
Daylesford Victoria Caravan Park has cabins, powered and unpowered camping sites with the usual facilities including barbecues and a playground. The caravan park is next to 'Victoria Park' which is a recreation area with a football oval, cricket pitch and showgrounds. It is only a few minutes walk to Lake Daylesford and a short drive to the main street and many other attractions.
For more information visit www.daylesfordvictoriacaravanpark.com.au
The Jubilee Lake Holiday Park is set in amongst the bush with the lake surrounding part of the park. Guests can stay in cabins or on unpowered or powered camp sites. The lake is perfect for going fishing, boating and swimming, canoes and paddle boats are available to hire. There are walking trails, a playground and grassed play area, plenty of birdlife and wildlife to watch.
For more information visit www.jubileelake.com.au
At Mount Franklin Reserve camping is free, basic facilities are available with forty camp sites available. The road in is gravel but suitable for two wheel drive vehicles and caravans or motorhomes. Mount Franklin is a very picturesque place to visit and camp with plenty of things to do and see.
Hepburn Regional Park and Mount Franklin Reserve Visitor Guide - This will open in PDF format on a new page www.parkweb.vic.gov.au
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