Getting There: Car
Nearest Town: Daylesford
Walk Area: Central Victoria - Hepburn Regional Park
Distance from Melbourne GPO: 119 km
Mobile Phone Coverage: Yes but coverage varies by provider
Walk Details Collated: May 2015
This walk involves off-track walking and should therefore only be attempted by parties experienced in the use of map and compass and equipped with a topographic map covering the walk. The provided walk map is unsuitable for navigation purposes.
The walk starts by taking the 100 steps down to the Blowhole "beach" to view the northern end of the diversion tunnel cut through the ridge by miners in the 1850s. Take the 13 steps up the west side of the creek bank and turn right (north) on the signposted Diggings Walk. After 55 m the track swings to the left and climbs south-west up the spur above the cutoff segment of Sailors Creek for 450 m through alluvial mining rock heaps, to an earth embankment just short of a pine post marked with two arrows. Turn right onto the embankment, which was formerly a water race, and follow it for 1 km to meet a four way vehicle track junction on a saddle at GR 439671.
Cross the track coming in from the left and continue north-west to follow the water race for 200 m to the first big bend then head north off-track down the spur for 200 m to the floor of the gully and a rough vehicle track. Turn left and cross a creek bed then veer left at an indistinct fork at GR 438674. (The right fork continues to a large dam on private property.) Pick up a faint track heading south-west, which becomes an indistinct former vehicle track, for 500 m as it heads uphill alongside a gully to meet Yam Gully Road at GR 433673, where there is an old charcoal-burning site. Continue uphill on the track, which is now Blowhole Track, for 200 m, taking a right fork near the ridge to then turn right (north) onto a well-defined vehicle track.
Follow the track for almost 1.3 km along the ridge over a summit then down to Basalt Road, at GR 429681. Turn left down Basalt Road for about 400 m then turn right onto Henderson Spring Track which starts heading north-west and swings south to Boots Gully. From the end of the vehicle track follow a small water race another 100 m to the spring. It is named after Gordon Henderson who stoned up the spring in 1925. He was captured at the fall of Singapore and died as a POW on the Burma railway. Cross Boots Gully at the spring and climb steeply straight up the hill to a vehicle track. Follow this track uphill to the left (south-east) then right (south) to Basalt Road.
At Basalt Road turn right heading south-west, then south-east, for 1 km to the junction with Old Werona Road at GR 425669. Turn right and walk south-west for 500 m to its junction with two diverging tracks at GR 421667. Take the left track and head south-east for 1.1 km to the Charlesford Track and Basalt Road intersection. Turn right onto Basalt Road and walk south for about 100 m and turn left onto Pfeiffers Track at GR 428657, which is marked by a whimsical gas cylinder letterbox.
Follow Pfeiffers Track for about 2.5 km, descending gradually to the Bald Hill Creek crossing then gradually ascending to meet Bald Hill Road at GR 440644. Turn right (south) on Bald Hill Road then after 500 m turn left (east) on a vehicle track and follow this track for 1.3 km to Tipperary Springs. Follow the walking track north on the west side of Sailors Creek for 3.3 km to Bryces Flat (GR 448659) and then about 1.5 km on the Great Dividing Trail to the Blowhole and the start of the walk.
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From Melbourne head west via the M1, M80 and the Western Freeway/Highway (M8) and take the C141 exit, turning north to Daylesford. From Daylesford continue north on Main Road for about 4 km, turn left onto Hepburn-Newstead Road and continue for 1.3 km to Eighteenth Street. Turn left and follow this road for 800 m and turn right into Blowhole Road. Continue for a further 600 m to the Blowhole parking area.
Total uphill: 510 m
Gradient: short steep hills <20%
Path: vehicle tracks, foot tracks and off-track