Old Daylesford News

Old Daylesford
and Hepburn Springs

Newspaper Articles

These old newspaper reports about Daylesford and Hepburn Springs are mainly from the ‘Argus’, the Age, The Ballarat Star.

The articles are about 80 to 100 years old, they show how important tourism and the mineral springs were many years ago.

Wednesday 14th October 1903 – The Ballarat Star


At Monday’s meeting of the Hepburn Mineral Spring Committee, Cr Reid said he wished the two municipalities in whom the Hepburn Spring is invested to take action to have a tram route from Vincent street north along the creek as far as Spring Creek to prevent the Crown land being parted with.

He proposed that the two councils should make application to the Government for a flying survey to be made, and the land should be exempted from occupation under miner’s right or a business license. Especially in summer time and spring as it is a popular place or resort, and it is believed a tram line would pay.

Saturday 14th September 1918 – The Ballarat Star

Hepburn Springs and Visitors

The popularity of the Hepburn’ mineral springs is indicated bv the amounts received from the baths last year, the total received being £166. and for the present year, with nearly four months to go, £140 lhas been received.

The springs committee are seriously considering the question of increasing the number of baths. The estimated cost is £725. At the present time the boarding houses are fairly well filled,and the number of visitors is much greater than usual at this period of the year, the delightful weather of the past week has proved most welcome to them.

Monday 25th April 1921

Concert at Hepburn Springs

A concert was held at Hepburn Springs on Friday evening. An excellent programme was rendered by visitors and local artists. A collection in aid of Daylesford Fire Brigade (for a new motor reel) realised over £3.


The anniversary of Anzac Day was celebrated here to-day by a sports gathering, held at Middleton Bark. A varied programme. including wood chop, cycling and loot-racing. The gathering was under the local branch of the returned Soldiers’ Association, assisted by the ladies’ committee, who conducted refreshment and other stalls on the ground, and materially aided the financial success.

During the afternoon the mayor (Cr W. A. Weir) presented a large number of British war medals to returned men. Prior to the sports procession paraded from the fire station. the procession was headed bv two mounted soldiers carrying the Union Jack and Australian flags, followed by decorated motorcars.

The most noticeable being those of Messrs H. M. S.- Cox, Proctor and Duggan), and other features. The Citizens’ Band played martial music.

Monday 21st July 1924


As a result of a public meeting at Hepburn Springs the early installation of electric lighting for Hepburn seems likely.

A sufficient number of promises in the matter of shares in a proposed company rendered this practically assured before the busy holiday season.

Saturday 22 November 1924 The Argus

Hepburn Springs will be lighted by electricity.

The following board of directors of the Hepburn Springs Electric Supply Company has been appointed: – Messrs. T. J. Herbert (chairman),E. Zelman (secretary), J. O’Grady, E. Smith,and W. Perini. Mr. Christie, of Messrs. Christie and Gardiner, Melbourne, has been appointed consulting engineer.

The scheme is being pushed on speedily, and within three months it is expected that Hepburn Springs will be lighted by electricity.

Councillor W. A. Weir, mayor of Daylesford,has been appointed to fill the vacancy on the committee of Daylesford Hospital.

Mr. H. W. Hague, engineer of the Dayles-ford Borough, is preparing a scheme to cope with the situation of Jubilee Lake.

The Blampied sports in aid of Daylesford and Creswick hospitals showed a profit of £92.

The chief commissioner of police (Mr. Nicholson) visited Daylesford for health reasons last week.

A hospital Sunday effort inaugurated by Daylesford United Churches resulted in £40 being collected for Daylesford Hospital.

A road race promoted by the Daylesford Cycling Club from Daylesford to Glenlyon,was won by J. Coutta, with W. Lynch second and with fastest time.

A plain and fancy dress ball in aid of theHepburn fire brigade was held in the Palais de Danse, Hepburn Springs, the takings amounting to £16

Monday 17 August 1924 – The Argus

Hepburn Golf Links

Options have been obtained over 122 acres of land at Hepburn Springs for an 18-hole golf links. A limited number of sites on the area will be re-served as a mountain home site, as well for the erection of a golf house, bowling green, and tennis court.

Monday 24 November 1924 The Argus

The Spring Park committee in view of the increased demand for mineral baths at Hepburn springs, has decided to open the baths from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on week days, and from 6 a.m. to 12 noon on Sundays.

Monday 30 March 1925 – The Argus

Harry Dwan, son of Mr. and Mrs. P. Dwan, Kidd’s Gully, sustained a broken arm through a motor tyre falling on it.

Mr. G. Allan, landscape gardener to the Victorian Railways, visited Daylesford and inspected various resorts. Has made recommendations for further beautification of Hepburn Springs, Jubilee Lake, and Hard Hills Springs.

Thursday 21 May 1925 The Argus

At a meeting it was decided to reform the Daylesford Golf Club and make slight alterations to the fees and greens on the links at Victoria Park.

Friday 5 June 1925

The Minister for Lands (Mr. Downward), the secretary for Lands (Mr. Peverill), and Messrs. Jewell and McDonald, M.L.A.’s, paid an official visit to Daylesford and Hepburn Springs. Members of the Hepburn Springs Park committee and the Glenlyon Shire Council pointed out the benefits that would accrue from the nationalisation of the springs.

The Minister stated that it was a matter for the consideration of the Railways Commissioners, and not the Lands department. It was arranged to have two blocks of Crown lands added to the springs reserve. In the afternoon the mayor (Councillor Weir) and Daylesford borough councillors, accompanied the visitors to the site of the proposed central lake, which is practically in the centre of Daylesford. A promise was made to do all possible in a practical way to have the lake constructed.

Monday 29 June 1925 The Argus

Potato digging is practically finished in the Coomoora district. Yields are fairly heavy.
Mr. P. Coghlan, of Bullarto, is leaving to take up residence at Cora Lynn, near Drouin. He was entertained by residents, and received several useful presents.

The final meeting of the Mudford relief appeal showed lint £102 had been collected in the Glenlyon shire for a soldier settler who had lost his season’s crop by fire.

Monday 31 August 1925

The fishing season for trout will open in Daylesford waters (with the exception of Hepburn reservoir on Tuesday. The streams have been well stocked by the Daylesford Anglers’ Club during the last few years.
More than 16,000 trout having been liberated, and good sport should result throughout the season.

Saturday 20 March 1926

Railway officials announced yesterday that the last of the series of cheap Saturday excursions to Daylesford, which have proved very popular with tourists, will be run on March 27. The train leaves Spencer street at 1.45 pm. and stops at Macedon, Woodend, and hence all stations to Daylesford. Which is reached at 5.10 p.m. Returning on Monday morning from Daylesford at 5.55 a.m. the train reaches Melbourne and 9.12 a.m. The cheap excursion fares to Daylesford are 16/11 first class and 11/1 second class. Tickets are available for return within one month.

The Age – Melbourne, Vic. Sat 22 Dec 1928


Guest houses in Daylesford, Hepburn Springs and Eganstown have made preparations for a busy Christmas season.

Several large houses were booked up two months ago, but during the last fortnight there was a rush for accommodation in the’ smaller houses and for furnished houses and furnished rooms. A good season is assured.

Several hundred visitors have already arrived, the number will be fully booked at 5000, which exceeds the normal population. 

The three primary attractions of Daylesford giving spa waters, the cool summer climate and the beautiful scenery. 

A new factor at the Central springs this season is the camping ground and a new swimming basin has been formed at Wombat Creek. 

Hepburn Springs maintains its popularity. A new kiosk has been erected in the reserve, with four additional baths, making a total of sixteen baths.

Sports will be held here on Boxing day and New Year’s day.  At Jubilee Lake boating and fishing can be enjoyed.

The mineral spring at the lake has undergone considerable improvement. The weather is fine and warm, but the nights are delightfully cool.

Friday 22 January 1932

Proposal to Allow Dancing.
Wednesday. – The most discussed topic in Daylesford is the question of Sunday observance. In the last three years Daylesford has followed a definite plan of attracting tourists, and associated with the desire to build up a tourist resort the question of giving tourists every liberty on a Sunday always arises.

Following upon the decision of the council to allow a fishing championship to take place on Lake Daylesford on a Sunday, Councillor H. S. Martyn has given notice of his intention to move at the next meeting of the council that all restrictions on dancing on Sunday at the Central Springs be revoked.

Wednesday 1 February 1933


If Daylesford and Hepburn Springs were in an older and more populous country those twin towns would be internationally famous as a spa and health resort. Some day that renown will come to them. That day will be when the fairy wand of capital is waved over them and the good sprite Publicity comes to their aid and makes them as famous as Bath, Cheltenham, Aix-les-Bains, and a dozen other places in the old world which being fashionable is well is health giving have long figured in legend, song and story.

The 60,000 visitors who now drink yearly of the mineral springs waters of Daylesford and Hepburn are but a handful compared with those who, the more alert towns people believe will come time in the future. The 30 or more springs in the district are being improved and made more attractive as fast as money will allow.

Much has already been done, but much remains to be done. The controlling authorities have ambitious plans, in view for the time when conditions become a little more favourable.

The springs of Daylesford and Hepburn form part of a curious chain of springs, which stretches from Clifton Springs, near Geelong to Vaughan Springs near Castlemaine. But the springs in the Daylesford district contain more mineral and more gas than any of the others, and they have been proved to contain considerable radio activity sufficient indeed to show positive results on a radiograph. In analysis these waters compare more than favourably with those of most celebrated spas in other countries.

They are clear, effervescent, and palatable, and the water from each of the springs differs slightly in flavour. The local authorities claim apparently with some justification – that in many sick persons have obtained relief from drinking the spring waters, but they have no scientific proof, because three is no direct medical interest and so nobody to give certificates.

Individual medical men have shown much in interest in the springs but so far none has done so directly. In an effort to establish that necessary link the borough council recently asked the British Medical Association to interest itself in the springs but the association replied that it was not within its province to do so.

Meanwhile the council is doing what it can to make the springs attractive to visitors, and is living in the hope that a doctor or syndicate of doctors will establish in the neighbourhood a hydropath property equipped and staffed for the treatment of the sick.

The 60,000 visitors who come each year from Melbourne, Ballarat, Bendigo and various towns in the Riverina and places much further afield, ensure that the springs are not neglected. To be in the mode in Daylesford it is necessary it seems to carry a lemonade bottle or two stoppered and dangling by a string tied round the bottle’s neck.

The bottle should be tinted red inside by successive deposits of iron from the mineral water. The deeper the shade of red the better the owners claim to be classed among the veteran spa-water drinkers.

The faith of the towns people in the efficacy of their springs is unquenchable. Most of them keep a bottled supply of the water on hand. If that faith could be generally transmitted into practical aid for the benefit of the town Daylesford would be twice is prosperous as it it-which is saying much and the councils achievement in increasing the flow of the springs near the town from 100 gallons to 4000 gallons an hour would be insufficient.

In addition to its numerous springs Daylesford possesses two picturesque lakes delightful and interesting gardens, attractive scenery, and streets in which the gutters are kept clean by streams of ever running water from an inexhaustible supply.

The Wombat Hill gardens are situated on the summit and upper slopes of a hill that rises 300ft above the town (the town is 2040 ft above sea level), and are thickly planted with exotic trees of great variety.

There are brilliant flower beds and from the lawns and shady avenues magnificent views are obtained in all directions. In a different way Jubilee Lake is equally picturesque. it contains 23 acres of water, surrounded by wooded hills and willow shaded banks. It is ideal for boating, picnicking and fishing.

Jubilee Lake is much older than Lake Daylesford which lies on the edge of the town and which was formed only about three years ago by damming the creek above Central, Sutton and Wagga springs. it will soon be as picturesque as its sister lake, and already it his won widespread fames as a fishing resort.

On the occasion of a fishing competition recently nearly 2000 rods were crowded round its banks until the anglers had barely room to move, yet every angler caught at least one fish and most of them a number. This lake is much used by the townspeople for swimming and boating and a springboard for diving has been erected at the end near the dam. Soon its banks like those of the Jubilee Lake will be lined with willows. Already its natural beauty is considerable.

Monday 17th April 1933 – The Argus


Daylesford-Hepburn Carnival.

DAYLESFORD, Sunday. — In brilliant sunshine the Daylesford-Hepburn annual charity carnival had begun yesterday. Thousands of people witnessed the opening procession. Although there were few entries in the section which assembled at Dayles-ford, greater numbers took part from the Hepburn end, and by the time the destination was reached there was an excellent display of fancy costume and decorated vehicles. 

Most of the attractions were in the Hepburn Springs Park, where a band of workers sold all kinds of articles. Brass bands played selections throughout the afternoon. The old English maypole was revived, and in one corner of the park children in appropriate costume gave a very attractive display. The crowds that gathered roud indicated that it had not lost its appeal. 

More than 100 motor-cars, including a number of passenger buses, offered free service to the carnival committee to convey the people from Daylesford to Hepburn Springs to take part in the festivities. 

Daylesford and Hepburn Springs have been gaily decorated for the occasion with coloured lights and streamers. As early as Friday afternoon difficulty was experienced in obtaining accommodation, and by Saturday almost every house was boked to full capacity. The takings yesterday, exclusive of stalls and those efforts which will be carried on during the currency of the carnival, amounted to £174. This is considered by the committee to be a very satisfactory beginning.

Last night the carnival was continued in the park, which was illuminated for the occasion. To-day band recitals were given at the Central Springs (Daylesford), Jubilee Lake, and Hepburn Springs.

The mayor (Councillor M. E. Courtney) made an appeal on behalf of the carnival and collections for the funds were made. 

At night sacred concerts were held. To-morrow His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor (Sir William Irvine) will officially open the carnival at a sports meeting to be held at Victoria Park. A civic welcome will be given to Sir William and Lady Irvine upon their arrival in the morning.

The carnival, which has been organised since the beginning of the year, with Councillor H. F. Smith as secretary, will be continued until Wednesday evening.

Monday 2nd April 1934 – The Argus

Carnival at Hepburn Springs

DAYLESFORD, Sunday. — More than 10,000 persons are in Daylesford and Hepburn Springs for the Easter holidays. The attractions include a charity carnival which was officially opened at Hepburn Springs yesterday afternoon by the mayor (Councillor M. E. Courtney), supported by Councillor Gleeson.

The festivities were continued at night, when the reserve was specially lighted and decorated. Takings amounted to £135. Today the Maryborough Highland Pipe Band and the Daylesford Borough Band gave recitals. A sacred concert was held at Hepburn Springs tonight. The carnival will be continued tomorrow.

Wednesday 2nd October 1935

Promotional article in the Age newspaper


NESTLING on a northern spur of the Dividing Range, Daylesford and Hepburn Springs together make oneof the most pleasant holiday resorts in the Commonwealth.

The district has been justly named the Spa Centre of Australia, for within a radius of seven miles are found 80 per cent, of the known mineral waters  of this country.

Picturesque scenery abounds, with charming bush glades, waterfalls and running streams. it is computed that over 100,000 visit the district every year. Many come repeatedly, and derive great; benefit from the mineral waters and pure mountain air, 2000 feet above the sea level.

Whether one wishes only to rest and recuperate in an atmosphere of peace and quiet, amidst glorious scenery; or to engage in active sports and outings.

Daylesford and Hepburn Springs meet every mood and taste. The radio-active mineral waters, flowing from many springs, are free to all comers and their curative properties are ranked higher than those of the famous waters of Bath.

This Spa Centre is readily accessible by rail or smooth roads. As the medicinal properties of the mineral waters become more widely known, the greater will be the numbers of visitors making pilgrimages to these springs for the benefit of their health. 

Hepburn Pool Thursday 26 December 1935

Hepburn Springs Carnival – Hepburn Pool
DAYLESFORD Wednesday – At he first annual carnival of the Hepburn Springs Amateur Swimming Club to day R Doak of Geelong West won the country breaststroke championship of Victoria from a strong field.
The race was of 100 yards and Doaks time was 1.20.

The meeting was conducted by officials of the home club and member of the Victorian Amateur Swimming Association A divine exhibition was given by R Masters and B Mitchell of the Melbourne Olympic Club who swam the length of the pool under water. There was a large crowd in spite of the showery weather. The Northcote City Band played.

Results – COUNTRY BOYS HANDICAP 60 yards – L Milesi (Hepburn) N Bond (Geelong)

Friday 11 December 1936 – Shepparton Advertiser

Spa waters that are radio-active and rank among the world’s best that are free for drinking purposes that are available at nominal rates.

For health-giving baths, a climate that is stimulating all-the-year, delightful tours discovering the lake, mountain and valley beauties of the surroundting country.

Swimming, fishing, boating, tennis, golf, bowls, croquet —and all the evening social recreations of dancing, music, bridge, and billiards, at splendidly appointed hotels and guest-houses.

Those, in brief, are the outstanding attractions which proclaim the distinctiveness and Australia-wide popularity of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs as pleasure resorts. It is not surprising, therefore, that over 100,000 holiday makers each year select this unique district in their quest for a holiday that assures variety and relaxation.

Scenically, Daylesford and Hepburn Springs have a diversity of attractive features that reward holiday makers with exhilarating walking and motoring tours.

Prominent among these are the Wombat Gardens, which crown the summit of Wombat Hill and afford widespread panoramas. Jubilee Lake, an enchanting tree fringed placid sheet of water.  Mt.Franklin, an age-old extinct volcano possessing remarkably interesting geological features and Breakneck Gorge noted for its cascading waterfalls.

Monday 6 June 1938 The Argus

Sunday – The remarkable variety of the natural advantages of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs and the health giving properties of the mineral waters were emphasised by representative speakers at a dinner here last night. A concerted campaign to attract tourists was planned.

Thursday 13 October 1938


Cool nights, invigorating air,and day temperatures that rarely exceed 90 degrees make the Daylesford-Hepburn district a delightful summer resort.

More than 100,000 people seeking the mountain beauty of a high spur of the Great Dividing Range, visit the district every year. Numerous beautiful spots are within walking distance, and others provide a pleasant “round trip” by horse or motor-car.

The township of Daylesford is attractively laid out on the slopes of Wombat Hill. From this centre bush roads meander over undulating landscapes to such places as the central springs and to Hepburn, which is only two miles away.

On the summit of Wombat Hill the botanic gardens, where spring flowers are now in bloom, are well planted with a comprehensive collection of beautiful trees. Pine, English ash, blackwood, and all kinds of native trees provide shade on the lawns.

A look-out tower, which will be opened officially by the Governor (Lord Huntingfield) on November 19, has been constructed at the top of the hill, which has been laid out as a car park. Lord Huntingfield will also open the Agricultural Show at Middleton Park. Winding through the gardens there is a quiet horse and car track.

Abundant Water
One of the reasons for the freshness of the district is its abundant water supply, which keeps the foliage green. A shortage of water for human consumption never occurs. The Bullarto reservoir is considered to give one of the best country town supplies in Victoria.

One of the loveliest trips from Daylesford is to the Central Mineral Springs, about three-quarters of a mile from the township, and along a circular track to Tipperary. This is a “round trip” of about three miles. Either in the daytime, when the wealth of wattle trees and wildflowers lends colour to the track, or on a cool, moonlit night, this is an attractive walk.

As the track winds away from the Central Springs it gradually becomes higher and higher, until the creek that runs below it looks like a gleaming ribbon. This is a perfectly safe walk at night, when delicate shadows in the moonlight create an enchanting atmosphere. The track passes through Fairy Dell, a lovely little gully of maiden-hair fern.

Sailor’s Creek Falls and Mineral Springs are only four miles from Daylesford. Rugged landscapes and musk trees make the visit well worth while.

Flowers and Heath
Typical Australian bush scenes and enchanting glades are not all the district has to offer those who love the countryside. Wildflowers and heath are plentiful. At present there is an excellent display of pale, star-shaped waxflowers, which are in full bloom not far from the Daylesford township.

Other beauty spots are the Trentham Falls, where water rushes 100ft. down the rocks (14 miles from Daylesford); Loddon Falls (eight miles), Mount Franklin vol- cano crater (seven miles), and lithia (soda) spring (four miles).

Cars can be hired to take visitors to any part of the district. In the main street of Daylesford a tourist bureau has been established.

Thursday 27 October 1938

Colourful carnivals on New Year’s Eve and many outdoor sports are attractions that Daylesford offers to young and young-minded people.

In fine weather as many as 10,000 persons crowd the main street to welcome the new year. It is expected that 10 brass bands will visit the township to take part in contests this year. There will be a fancy dress procession, in which 2,000 members of the Workers’ Sports Federation camp will take part. Prizes will be offered for the best costumes. Streets will be illuminated and decorated.

Anglers find trout in the Jubilee Lake and in Lake Daylesford, where boating is popular. There is fishing in, the Kangaroo, Wallaby, and Jim Crow Creeks. At least 500,000 trout have been liberated in Lake Daylesford, which is near the township. Good catches have been obtained already this season. Trout are obtainable in the Bullarto reservoir, six miles from Daylesford. There are plenty of perch.

At Hepburn there is a good golf course of l8 holes. Daylesford has a nine-holes course at Victoria Park. Public and private tennis courts, bowls, and croquet are available for visitors. Swimming is perfectly safe at Lake Daylesford, Jubilee Lake, and Hepburn springs. Daylesford has a concrete pool reserved for children.

Campers Welcome
Campers are welcome at Daylesford, where there are ample facilities for them. Sewered camping grounds, with water laid on and firewood provided, may be used for a nominal fee. Hepburn has a camping-ground 200 yards from the baths and springs, where similar facilities are provided.

The camping grounds are suitable for caravans. At the Daylesford central springs camping-grounds there is a kiosk.
Many visitors to the district prefer riding to walking, and excellent horse tracks make this a good method of travelling to the various beauty spots. Those who desire it can take part in tours organised by a riding club. A large fleet of cars is available to take visitors on round trips.

Young men who tire of all the usual sports such as riding, fishing, shooting, and games, have still another avenue of recreation. There are always a great deal of hope and a few shillings to be obtained by fossicking and prospecting. Old miners in the district claim that there is still gold to be found. Some mines are producing at present. Amateurs can be heartened by the knowledge that the Welcome Stranger nugget was found only a few miles from the township.

There is a night life at Daylesford for those who want it. Pictures and dances are held regularly. There is a dance at the Palais at Hepburn.

Thursday 16th April 1942 – Advocate

Cr. and Mrs. F. Vanzetta, of Daylesford, celebrated their golden wedding at their home at Hepburn, on Thursday, April 2, amongst their children and grandchildren. They were married at St, Peter’s Church, Daylesford, on April 2, 1882, the ceremony being performed by the parish priest, Rev. Fr. McGough.

Cr. Vanzetta went to Hepburn 54 years ago from his native land, Biasca, Switzerland. Mrs. Vanzetta was born at Hepburn. Congratulatory telegrams and letters were received from all parts of the State by the popular old couple.

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