There are many fabulous walks around Daylesford and Hepburn Springs. This is a moderately difficult Hepburn Springs loop walk with a coffee at the beginning or as a reward at the end. The walk is 11 km and takes about 3 hours. There are some slippery sections, steep rocky climbs and narrow, high track sections. The overall change in elevation through the walk is 274 metres. You will need sturdy boots with good traction and ankle support, and drinking water.
Start at Harry’s Café and Bakery 115 Main Road in Hepburn Springs.
Go down 10th Street to the Soldiers Memorial. Take the path on the right hand (Southern) side of the memorial down to the Hepburn Springs Reserve. Cross the bridge over the creek at the bottom of the decline and follow the paved path to car park at eastern end of the Hepburn Springs Reserve.
Follow the path to Jackson’s Lookout and Golden Spring. The path is well signposted and easy to follow. (Do not go to Argyle Spring). After about 20 minutes (1.5 km) you will come to the road (Forest Avenue). To the left (South) is a short path to Jackson’s Look out. To the right is the path to Golden Springs.
The climb up to the viewing platform at Jackson’s look out is worth it for the glorious views of Daylesford and the surrounding country.
From Jackson’s Lookout, cross the road and head on to Golden Spring. You should get there after about a further 30 minutes (1.5 km). The walk to this point is easy on well marked paths that follow the creek. Make sure you continue to follow the walking trail and not the road when you get to the pine plantation and the road goes left. Keep going straight through the pine trees.
Go down to Golden Spring on the paved path and then follow the track to Breakneck Gorge (about 40 minutes from Golden Spring, 2.2 km). The track past Golden Springs changes from easy to moderate difficulty as there are a number of short climbs up steps and rocky sections in the path.
There is good signage about the Spring and some wildlife around the area. It is a shame there is not more signage about the indigenous culture before the arrival of Europeans.
If you’ve had enough at this point there is the option of walking back to Harry’s Café from Golden Springs by taking Golden Spring Ave and then turning left on Mineral Springs Crescent and following the road up the hill to Harry’s.
For the more adventurous go on along the Dry Diggings Track following Spring Creek. After about 1.5 km (30 minutes) you will come to the Hepburn-Newstead Road.
Be careful. There is fast moving traffic. Turn left and cross the bridge over the Spring Creek to the South. Stay on the rough path off the road by the side of the barrier to the left (East) of the bridge. The path continues on the other side of the road once you get over the bridge.
You now head for the Blowhole following Sailor’s Creek. The views along Sailor’s Creek are fantastic but the path has some hard sections with steep, rocky climbs. You will also need to be careful on the cliff sections and high, steep slopes above Sailor’s Creek. It’s about an hour (3.5 km) to the Blowhole. The path down to the Blowhole is a side trip, but worth the effort, particularly if it has been raining.
The return to Harry’s is along the road from the Blow Hole for about 2 km (30 minutes). Walk back up the steep path and then follow Blow Hole Road and turn left (North) along Eighteenth St and follow it back up to Main Road. Turn right (South) on Main Road and follow it back into Hepburn Springs. After you go over the bridge at Doctors Gully (past the school) turn right on Tenth Street and follow it back up to Harry’s.
At that point you’ve probably earned a coffee or a juice.