|There are a range of walks in and around Daylesford with varying lengths.
The Tipperary Walking Track starts at the Lake Daylesford car park and finishes at the Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve. The total distance of the walk is 16 km one way. The track grade is flat and the condition is moderate.
The walk traces the route of the old water races cut by miners last century, the Tipperary Walking Track passes disused goldfields, mineral springs and stands of deciduous trees that blaze with colour in autumn. Look out for the Blowhole, a tunnel built to divert water and allow sluicing for gold in the dry creek bed.
The Daylesford Town Walk is a short historical walk around the talk. A brochure with details of the walk is available at the Daylesford Regional Visitor Information Centre.
The Three Lost Children Walk commemorates the tragic story from Daylesford’s gold era when three small boys wandered away from their homes in Daylesford in 1867. Despite a massive and lengthy search effort the boys were not found alive. The Three Lost Children walk follows the approximate route the boys walked. The walk will take you through bush landscapes that were once active goldfields, and now part of the Wombat State Forest and the Hepburn Regional Park. Along the walk you will see the remnants of gold mines, water races and tramways.
The route is 15km one way and has gentle hills.
The story - It was Sunday morning, 30 June 1867, when a group of young children from Connells Gully, near Table Hill, Daylesford, wandered in the direction of Wombat Creek past familiar shallow gold diggings to look for wild goats. Three children, William Graham, aged 6½, his brother Thomas, 4 years 3 months, and Alfred Burman, 5, responded to the call of adventure. They crossed Wombat Creek and headed towards Muskvale. When the boys failed to return home for lunch their fathers began to search, concentrating their efforts near the junctions of the Wombat, Stony and Sailors Creeks. That evening the police were notified, and the search went well into the night. During the afternoon the boys had spoken to a Muskvale storekeeper, Mr Mutch, but failed to follow his instructions on how to reach Daylesford. After a short distance they unaccountably headed east to Specimen Hill. Towards dusk the children then spoke to an older boy, John Quinn, near Specimen Hill gold mine. He told them they were lost, but they ignored his attempts to turn them back and vanished into thick bush to their impending doom.
Organised searches - At dawn on Monday 1 July, the search began in earnest. As news of the previous day’s sightings circulated, the search area widened. Community anxiety grew, and the next day more than 100 horsemen assembled near the Specimen Hill gold mine. By Wednesday 3 July, after a public meeting the previous night called by the Mayor, Cr Bleakley, sympathy for the distressed families was so heightened that almost 700 people turned out in cold, miserable weather to continue searching.
The sorrowful discovery - After eight successive public meetings and 25 days of searching it appeared that the tragedy of the Three Lost Children might never be solved. But on Friday 13 September a dog returned home to Wheelers Hill, some 10km from Daylesford, carrying in its mouth a small boot with a child’s foot in it. The following day a number of Wheelers Hill residents combed the area and found the bodies of the youngest
boys in the hollow of a tree. The remains and clothing of the older boy were nearby. There was a large funeral, and the three children were buried together in the Daylesford Cemetery. An impressive monument was erected there by public subscription – you can see it today in the cemetery on the Daylesford-Trentham Road. In 1889, Mr Graham, the father of two of the lost boys, established a scholarship to be presented each year to the
best boy and girl pupils at Daylesford State School. In this way the memory of the
Lost Children has been kept alive in the Daylesford District.
Lake Daylesford - Lake Daylesford is a man made lake originally formed through the gold diggings and then later used as a Chinese market garden with their own village, Joss House and store. Discussion began in the early 1880's about turning the diggings into a lake but construction commenced in 1927.
The walk around the lake will take approximately 45 minutes to complete and there are cafes, a children's playground, undercover BBQ with seating and paddleboats for hire at the weekends. Swimming is not recommended in the lake due to cold currents and potential hazards within the lake. You can also go down to the mineral water pumps about half way around for a drink.
Jubilee Lake - It is an approximately two kilometre walk around Jubilee Lake on an easy track. The lake is also popular for fishing, boating and has a mineral spring located on the south bank of the lake.