Lake Daylesford, situated 112km northwest of Melbourne CBD at the township of Daylesford is a popular tourist attraction in the region. A network of walking trails exist around Lake Daylesford Reserve. The full lake circuit walk known as Peace Walk is around 2.8km and takes nearly 40minutes to complete at a leisurely pace. Daylesford and Hepburn Springs are famous for their natural mineral spring waters. Close to the lake is Central, Hard hill, Wagga and Sutton Mineral Springs. The area is also popular for bird watching.
During the Victorian Goldrush, mining activity was undertaken here. But not being a rich field, attention was soon shifted to nearby locations like Argus and Cornish Hill. Mining activity stripped the Wombat Creek valley of its vegetation and left a scarred landscape.
The idea of creating an artificial lake was mooted in the 1890’s. The intention was to turn Daylesford into a tourist destination. In May 1909, The Daylesford Progressive Association discussed at some length the desirability of forming a lake at the south end of the town. An artificial lake, extending over 37 acres, which will be bordered by parks, plantations, and camping sites were in plan since its infancy.
In 1927, the Minister for Lands, Henry Bailey visited Daylesford to discuss the establishment of a lake in the basin of the Jim Crow Creek, near the township and the Central Mineral Spring. The Cabinet has made available £1,000 on condition that a similar amount is provided by residents of the district. A dam wall was built across the creek to form the ornamental lake. Land owned or occupied by residents, holders of mining rights, Chinese market gardens and associated buildings were all cleared to form the lake reserve. Buildings, huts and Joss house were moved away. Much of the construction work was done by local men going through hardship due to the financial depression of those years.
Then Victorian Governor, Lord Somers on 15th April 1930, officially opened Lake Daylesford and the seven new mineral water springs at Daylesford. The main street of Daylesford was decorated for the Governor’s visit, and a public holiday was declared.
Location: Leggatt Street, Daylesford, Victoria, 3460
Facilities: Boat hire, Walking circuit, Picnic area, BBQ facility, Children’s playground, Toilets, Old Jetty, Swimming not allowed in the lake.
Lake Circuit walking maps: https://walkingmaps.com.au/walk/3134
What can you do here
Iconic Lake Daylesford has many opportunities for passive recreation. Take a walk around the lake past the historic swimming pool and diving platforms. There is a covered area with electric BBQ under the Chinese pavilion. This is also home to a casual café and the Boathouse restaurant. Boat hire also available.