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50 amazing places for kids to explore in the Victorian Goldfields

Posted 18/05/2019 in Things to do

Black Hill Reserve, Ballarat VIC


There are so many amazing places for kids to explore throughout the Victorian Goldfields! Our own kids have had so much fun on their adventures through this beautiful region that it was hard to choose just fifty of our favourites for this list. If you're after a new outdoor adventure for your family, look no further - the following fifty locations are absolutely unmissable and are always a big hit with the kids.


1. Blackwood Mineral Springs Reserve, Blackwood VIC


Blackwood Mineral Springs Reserve is a gorgeous park, picnic and play area which runs alongside the beautiful Lerderderg River. Sample some mineral water, take a walk across the foot bridge to enjoy views down the creek, or head off on one of the longer walking tracks. Be sure to keep an eye out for the resident Kookaburras! Read more...


2. St Georges Lake, Creswick VIC

St Georges Lake, Creswick VIC

St Georges Lake is a local favourite for swimming, walking and photography. Once a mining dam known as "Govvy Dam", the lake has been developed into a picturesque haven for relaxation and recreation. Take a scenic walk around around the lake and enjoy beautiful views from the lookout along way. Read more...


3. Koala Park, Creswick VIC

Koala Park, Creswick VIC

Take a walk through Creswick's beautiful Koala Park, where a circuit track with multiple walk options takes you on a journey through a section of the Creswick Regional Park. Walk along forested hillsides looking down over the gullies, take the quaint foot bridges over Creswick Creek, and have a rest at the various bench seats provided along the way. Read more...


4. Hepburn Graves, Smeaton VIC

Hepburn Graves, Smeaton VIC

Hepburn Graves is the historical private cemetery of the Hepburn family of Smeaton Hill Run. Located near the original homestead, Smeaton House, the cemetery has been excised from the surrounding private land and is now managed by the National Trust of Australia. Hepburn Graves is accessed via a short, easy stroll through the surrounding farmland. Read more...

5. Lake Weeroona, Bendigo VIC

Lake Weeroona, Bendigo VIC

Lake Weeroona is a beautiful ornamental lake surrounded by parkland in Bendigo, Victoria. Sweeping lawns sprawl along the waters edge with plenty of shady space for rest and recreation. Multiple undercover barbecue and picnic areas are located along Napier Street, along with a fantastic fenced adventure playground, toilets and information signs. Read more...

6. Mount Beckworth Scenic Reserve, Mount Beckworth VIC

Mount Beckworth Scenic Reserve, Mount Beckworth VIC

Mount Beckworth Scenic Reserve offers free campgrounds and walking tracks, set in a beautifully rugged landscape just ten minutes from Clunes, Victoria. This striking granite outcrop is topped with a huge solitary pine tree known affectionately as the "Lollypop Tree", which is over 100 years old. Visitors to the reserve can hike up to the tree and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside. There are three excellent campgrounds within the Mount Beckworth Scenic Reserve, all well structured and free of charge - no bookings required. Read more...


7. Taradale Mineral Springs Reserve, Taradale VIC


The Taradale Mineral Springs Reserve is a fantastic public space which features a creatively designed wooden playground, a mineral spring tap, beautiful scenery along Back Creek, many walking tracks to choose from, and an undercover barbecue area complete with open fire place. Read more...


8. Malmsbury Botanic Gardens, Malmsbury VIC


Featuring a beautiful lake, walking tracks, informative signs, a fenced playground, and excellent picnic facilities, the Malmsbury Botanic Gardens is an outstanding attraction of the historical township. The Coliban River runs along the western side of the gardens, and the impressive Malmsbury Viaduct stands to the south. The viaduct was constructed in 1859 and is one of the largest 19th century engineering structures erected in Victoria. Bring the family for a barbecue lunch while the children play safely within the fenced playground area. Take a stroll around the lake among the native and exotic plants, pausing to read the many fascinating informative signs throughout the gardens. Read more...


9. Stanley Park Waterfall, Mount Macedon VIC

Stanley Park Waterfall, Mount Macedon VIC

This beautiful little waterfall is tucked away within the Stanley Park Bushland Reserve in Mount Macedon. Turitable Creek runs through the reserve and cascades down over a rocky ledge into a little gully filled with ferns and lush vegetation. You can look down over the waterfall into the gully below from a viewing platform at the top or you can take the stony steps down into the gully and head along the enclosed leafy walking track to the base of the falls. Read more...


10. Mount Korong, Glenalbyn VIC

Mount Korong, Glenalbyn VIC

Mount Korong is a beautiful granite outcrop located between Inglewood and Wedderburn. Countless gigantic boulders are heaped across the mountain and surrounding hills, creating unique shapes, caverns and spectacular scenery. A short climb up any hillside is rewarded with stunning views down over the rocky landscape, which is particularly attractive when the grass is green during winter/spring. Read more...


11. Dog Rocks, Harcourt North VIC

Dog Rocks, Harcourt North VIC

Dog Rocks, a stunning granite outcrop within the Mount Alexander Regional Park, offers spectacular hillside views over Harcourt and the countryside beyond. Countless enormous boulders stand out strikingly from the western slopes of Mount Alexander, just a short walk from the parking area. Spend some time exploring and appreciate the beautiful views from many different vantage points. Read more...


12. The Cascades, Metcalfe VIC

The Cascades, Metcalfe VIC

A series of cascades sweep over layers of bedrock as the water whirls down through rockpools, crevices and little caverns. Relax in a rockpool, take a dip in one of the larger swimming holes, or make your way across the stunning bedrock and boulders to wander along and appreciate the scenic beauty of the Coliban River. Children will absolutely love climbing over the rocks and through the pools of water, but be aware that there are unexpected deep holes within the water in some places - always carefully check the depth of swimming holes before allowing small children to paddle in them. This extraordinary hidden gem is tucked away in the quiet town of Metcalfe, Victoria, just 25 minutes from Castlemaine and 40 minutes from both Bendigo and Daylesford. Read more...


13. Charlie Fox's House, Maldon VIC


Charlie Fox's house is a gorgeous feature at the foot of Maldon's Rock of Ages. A large stone nestled among a cluster of green plants has been painted up to look like a quaint little home, with the words "Charlie Fox's House" painted on the far side. This is a wonderful spot for children to explore! Read more... 


14. Calembeen Park, Creswick VIC

Calembeen Park, Creswick VIC

With its gorgeous twin lakes, sweeping displays of waterlilies, abundant bird life and plenty of fish, Creswick's Calembeen Park is a beautiful haven for relaxation and recreation. My kids are always amazed at how many living things they can spot while taking the scenic walk around Calembeen Park. Read more... 


15. Ferntree Falls, Raglan VIC

Ferntree Falls, Raglan VIC

Ferntree Falls is a stunning seasonal waterfall nestled among the huge ferns and moss covered rocks within the spectacular Mount Buangor State Park. A short and easy 250 metre walk takes you to the falls where you can clamber over the rocks and among the gorgeous ferns right beneath the waterfall. By crossing a bridge over Middle Creek from beneath the falls, you can continue on the Waterfalls Nature Walk and access several other walks including the walk to nearby Cascade Falls. Read more...


16. Melville Caves, Brenanah VIC

Melville Caves, Brenanah VIC

The spectacular Melville Caves lie within the Kooyoora State Park in Brenanah, Victoria. The caves are named after notorious bushranger Captain Melville who supposedly used the caves as a hiding place in the mid 19th century. Children will love clambering through the caves, over the rocks and climbing trees, but make sure they are well supervised because there are dangerous cliffs surrounding the area. Read more...


17. Sailors Falls, Sailors Falls VIC

Sailors Falls, near Daylesford VIC

Sailors Falls Mineral Spring is located just outside Daylesford and features a stunning seasonal waterfall, mineral spring taps, two undercover picnic tables and excellent information signs/displays. Sailors Falls is spectacular with or without water flow due to the impressive rock face and beautiful ferns lining the creek. The falls are worth visiting all year round, but water is most reliably flowing in winter/spring. Read more...


18. Rise and Shine Nature Conservation Reserve, Strangways VIC


The Rise and Shine Nature Conservation Reserve is a beautiful patch of bushland with an educational self guided tour, located between Newstead and Daylesford. A walking track follows the path of an ancient river, and 21 numbered information points allow you to refer to your park notes (available in a container at the beginning of the walk) and learn about each feature. Discover native plants and animals, fascinating geological features, and the impact both animals and humans have had on the land. Read more...


19. Alexandra Gardens, Ararat VIC

Alexandra Gardens, Ararat VIC

Alexandra Gardens is a spectacular park in Ararat, Victoria with a lot to offer. An incredible multi level walk-in fernery slopes down toward the terraced lawns and ornamental lake. An 800m pram/wheelchair-friendly walking track makes its way around the lake across pretty bridges and through the Japanese themed islands. Close to the fernery lies a fantastic playground with lots of unique play equipment, toddler play space and shade sails. Read more...


20. Rock of Ages, Maldon VIC

Rock of Ages, Maldon VIC

Rock of Ages is a spectacular rocky outcrop atop Mount Mooral, overlooking Maldon, Victoria's first notable town. Enormous boulders (strikingly similar to those of Melville Caves) are staggered across the top of the mount and offer breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Children will have a great time climbing up and around the boulders, but be wary of steep drops and uneven ground - supervise small children at all times. Read more...


21. Welcome Stranger Monument and Picnic Area, Moliagul VIC


The Welcome Stranger monument and picnic area is a peaceful, fascinating and educational place to go for a barbecue or a picnic lunch. A large stone monument commemorates the discovery of the Welcome Stranger gold nugget (largest alluvial gold nugget discovered in the world so far), and there's a beautifully presented information sign with plenty of interesting details about the discovery and the lives of the lucky miners who found it right here in 1869. You can take the Welcome Stranger Discovery Walk, which is an 850 metre circuit track. The Discovery Walk travels around the surrounding bushland and takes you past many interesting examples of former alluvial and reef mining efforts. You will walk by the house sites of John Deason and Richard Oates (the two miners who discovered the Welcome Stranger gold nugget), puddlers, a Chinese grave and the site of a Chinese camp. Read more...


22. Loddon River Weir Walking Track, Baringhup VIC


This scenic walking track along the Loddon River takes about 20 minutes and leads to the base of the Cairn Curran Weir. When flowing, the water from the weir cascades dramatically down over layers of huge rocks - a very impressive sight! The walk itself is a narrow track winding through pretty shrubs and trees alongside the Loddon River. Along the way you will find a rope swing suspended from a tree overhanging the river and hear the lovely sound of unseen rushing water get louder and louder as you progress. Read more...


23. Avoca River Nature Trail, Avoca VIC


The Avoca River Nature Trail is a beautiful, scenic walk through gorgeous parkland along the banks of the Avoca River. The walk begins at the Lions Club Park. Educational signs alongside the track provide details about the river's history, vegetation, and resident fish. The walking track also takes you past the tranquil Avoca Chinese Garden and the Avoca Skate Park. The track is gravel and is pram friendly. Read more... 


24. Forest Creek Historic Gold Diggings, Castlemaine VIC


Bring a picnic lunch and take an easy stroll through the Forest Creek Historic Gold Diggings in Castlemaine for a fun and educational afternoon. An easy, pram friendly, 400 metre walking track travels in a circuit around the site past many points of interest and detailed information signs. An ancient river bed, mine shafts, the engine shed, water pipes and machinery are among the many fascinating features of this short walk. Read more...


25. Lake Burrumbeet Nature Walk, Burrumbeet VIC


The Lake Burrumbeet Nature Walk is a short, scenic track which travels alongside the shore of Lake Burrumbeet, providing plenty of opportunity to spot the abundant local wildlife. Make your way along the rocky slope through the rich lake-side ecosystem, and keep an eye out for the many varieties of water birds, including the gorgeous resident pelicans! Read more... 


26. Mount Moliagul Lookout, Moliagul VIC


The top of Mt Moliagul offers spectacular views of the surrounding bushland and fields. The lookout is a large clearing with a steep, grassy slope at one side which is littered with interesting rocks, logs and trees for kids to explore. Read more...

27. Black Hill Reserve, Ballarat VIC

Black Hill Reserve, Ballarat VIC

The Black Hill Reserve in Ballarat is an impressive patch of parkland just minutes from the CBD which offers amazing views over ballarat, remnants of open cut and shaft mining, incredible scenery, beautiful (but steep) walking tracks, picnic tables, and an excellent Mountain Bike Park. Walking tracks head off around the reserve in all directions. The bike tracks are marked with signs - walkers must avoid these tracks for safety. Wooden steps descend down through pine trees into the beautiful open cut gorge, a remnant of the site's mining days. All along the walking tracks you will find gorgeous scenery and some parts open up to offer fantastic views. Read more...


28. Bull Gully Battery Dam and Distillery, Daisy Hill VIC


The Bull Gully Battery Dam Historic Site is located just outside Maryborough in the Craigie State Forest. The area was used during the gold rush to crush and process quartz from mines in the area. After gold processing operations ceased, some of the equipment was adapted to be used for a eucalyptus distillery. Today it features a picnic area, walking tracks, gold processing and eucalyptus distillery relics, and beautifully illustrated information signs. Read more...    

29. Vaughan Springs, Vaughan VIC

Vaughan Springs, Vaughan VIC

This spectacular park features several free electric barbecues, picnic tables, a gazebo, a giant slide, mineral spring taps, swimming spots, a few great trees for climbing, scenic walks, a miniature railway line within a fenced area (great for little kids), toilets and plenty of educational signs. Children adore the giant hillside slide! There is a sturdy wooden stair case to reach the slide as well as tyres to climb up the hill beside it. Please note that the slide is made of metal and can be very hot in summer, so if visiting in the hotter months be sure to bring a small blanket to sit on while sliding. The creek is excellent for swimming and there's a concreted area with a paddle pool (subject to season/water levels). Read more...


30. Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens, Daylesford VIC


Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens, Daylesford VIC

The Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens in Daylesford is set atop an extinct volcano and offers beautiful scenery, a vast display of plants, and an enchanted atmosphere. The vehicle entrance off Central Springs Road takes you on an unmissable scenic drive around the gardens and to a car park alongside the tall lookout tower. The car park features the lookout tower at one end and visitors facilities all around. A walking track takes you from the car park through the spectacular fernery, where a pond/waterfall feature sits nestled among the lush foliage. Children will love the gorgeous animal sculptures dotted throughout the park! Read more...


31. Eureka Reef, Chewton VIC


Eureka Reef, Chewton VIC

Take a walk around the Eureka Reef Gold Mining Precinct and discover the fascinating ruins and features which remain from a century of gold mining operations! Once a busy mining village, today Eureka contains some of the oldest quartz mining relics in Victoria, as well as remnants of houses, batteries, alluvial mining, cyanide treatment, and more. Read more...


32. Viewing Rock Lookout, Heathcote VIC


Viewing Rock Lookout, Heathcote VIC

The Viewing Rock Lookout is a rocky outcrop atop a mountain ridge offering spectacular views over Heathcote and beyond. A large flat rock stands out at an angle, which is the perfect spot to climb up and look out over the countryside. This rock is also a great spot to sit for photos. There's a fairly steep drop beyond this rock, supervise children if they climb up to look out. Take a walk from here down to the historical Powder Magazine at the foot of the mountain, which can be reached by two different tracks. One is a more direct route down, the other takes you via Devils Cave. Both these tracks make up the (one hour return) Viewing Rock Circuit Walk. Read more...


33. Pink Cliffs Geological Reserve, Heathcote VIC


Pink Cliffs Geological Reserve, Heathcote VIC

The Pink Cliffs Geological Reserve is a remarkable area on the edge of Heathcote. Once a hydraulic sluicing site, mining activity in the late 19th century washed away the top layer of earth and revealed the dramatic, colourful cliffs on display today. The walking track takes you on an educational circuit walk, showcasing the stunning geological features of the Pink Cliffs Geological Reserve as well as providing information signs and lookout points along the way. The walk is well signed and directs visitors to both a lower lookout and upper lookout over the stunning pink cliffs, which are located at the back of the reserve. Read more...


34. Pioneer Park, Ballarat VIC


Pioneer Park, Ballarat VIC

Take a walk through the re-created landscape of Ballarat at Pioneer Park, where many of the region's lakes, mountains and plains have been incorporated into the park's design. Gravel walking tracks travel around the grassy park, passing by the miniature versions of well-known local landmarks such as Lake Burrumbeet, Mount Bolton, Saddleback Hill and more. The tree-lined avenues and ornamental lakes add to the attractive setting of this scenic park. Read more...


35. Malone Park, Marong VIC


Malone Park, Marong VIC

Malone Park is a beautiful public space in the heart of Marong which features extensive sports facilities, a children's playground, a modern picnic area, a scenic creek, a historic railway bridge, and plenty of grassy areas for recreation and relaxation. Bullock Creek is a stunning feature of the park, lined with lush ornamental trees and providing plenty of quiet spots to sit and relax. During winter and spring, the banks of the creek are covered with a sea of pretty clovers. Read more...


36. Mount Bealiba, Bealiba VIC


Mount Bealiba, Bealiba VIC

Mount Bealiba is a scenic lookout which offers stunning views over the surrounding mountains, forests and fields. The summit is adorned with impressive boulders, fallen logs and gnarled trees, giving the place a wild and untamed atmosphere. This is a fantastic place for children to explore, with so many rocks and logs to clamber over. There is even a little cave beneath a cluster of boulders on the far side. Read more...



37. Castlemaine Botanical Gardens, Castlemaine VIC


Castlemaine Botanical Gardens, Castemaine VIC

The Castlemaine Botanical Gardens have been a gorgeous local favourite for over 150 years! With features such as the picturesque Lake Joanna, a scenic creek, lush grassy lawns shaded by enormous oak trees, excellent picnic facilities, and one of the most outstanding children's playgrounds in the Victorian Goldfields, these gardens absolutely deserve to make the top of your to-do list! Read more...


38. Railway Dam and Junction Walk, Chewton VIC


Railway Dam, Chewton VIC

Railway Dam is a quiet spot on the edge of the Fryers Range State Forest, between Chewton and Elphinstone. Bring a picnic blanket and have lunch by the dam before heading off on the Junction Walk an educational track which begins in a clearing over the other side of Railway Dam Road. Evidence of the area's history remains throughout the forest, including stone fireplaces, bridge footings, mullock from the tunnel, a stone sump on the bottom of the dam and cobbled stone roads which were made by the 200 German stone masons who worked in this area. Interpretive information boards are located along the walk. Read more...


39. Mount Alexander Silk Worm Farm Ruins, Harcourt North VIC


Mount Alexander Silk Worm Farm Ruins, Harcourt North VIC

Nestled among exotic ornamental trees and surrounded by beautiful views, the ruins of a 19th century silk worm farm lie along the rocky south-eastern slopes of Mount Alexander. The gorgeous stone ruins are all that remain of the silk worm farm established here in 1872 by Mrs Bladen Neill and the Victorian Ladies Sericultural Company. The silk worm farm is located a very short walk from the parking area. The surrounding scenery is spectacular, especially during the cooler months, and you'll see brief glimpses of the views you can get from the various other unmissable lookout points across Mount Alexander. Read more...

40. Shepherd's Flat Lookout, Harcourt North VIC


Shepherd's Flat Lookout, Harcourt North VIC

Shepherd's Flat Lookout offers spectacular hillside views over Harcourt and the countryside beyond from high within the Mount Alexander Regional Park. Shepherd's Flat is an easy 330 metre walk from the roadside parking area! Read more...


41. Glenlyon Recreation Reserve, Glenlyon VIC


Glenlyon Recreation Reserve, Glenlyon VIC

The Glenlyon Recreation Reserve is a gorgeous park along the Loddon River, shaded by leafy oak trees. Featuring a playground with safety fence and shade sails, wood fire barbecues, picnic tables and grassy lawns, this a fantastic spot to bring the family for a picnic lunch. Head off on a walk along the interesting Biolink Track and explore the adjacent Glenlyon Mineral Springs Reserve! Read more... 


42. Glenlyon Community Dam, Glenlyon VIC


Glenlyon Community Dam, Glenlyon VIC

This scenic little dam in Glenlyon is a great place for swimming, walking, fishing, birdwatching and photography. Visitors can take the short walk around the waters edge and keep an eye out for resident water birds among the reeds, or lay a picnic blanket on the grass for a peaceful lake-side lunch. Read more...


43. Lake Esmond, Ballarat VIC


Lake Esmond, Ballarat VIC

Lake Esmond is one of Ballarat's best spots for fishing, swimming, walking and picnics. Once a quarry for the Eureka Tile Works, Lake Esmond has been developed into a beautiful haven for recreation and relaxation, with excellent visitor facilities set alongside the scenic lake. A playground and picnic area provides an undercover table, free electric barbecue, and lots of interesting play equipment including a large double-lane flying fox. A drinking fountain, rubbish bins and toilets are also located in this area. Read more...


44. Rocky Crossing, Goornong VIC


Rocky Crossing, Goornong VIC

Rocky Crossing is a picturesque spot on the Campaspe River, where the water rushes through a shallow, rocky section creating swirling rapids and a few seasonal rockpools. Rocky Crossing is shallow during summer and great for children to splash around among the rocks. Read more...


45. Crusoe Reservoir, Bendigo VIC


Crusoe Reservoir, Bendigo VIC

Crusoe Reservoir is a local favourite for swimming, fishing, kayaking, bushwalking and photography. Surrounded by bushland views and scenic walking tracks, this is a beautiful spot for recreation and relaxation. Read more...


46. No 7 Reservoir and Park, Bendigo VIC


No. 7 Reservoir, Bendigo VIC

No. 7 Park is a fantastic historical and recreational space in Bendigo, featuring a scenic reservoir and excellent picnic facilities. Walking tracks meander around the park taking you on a journey past various natural and historical features of the area, while a series of signposts display images and information along the way. Read more...

47. Buninyong Botanic Gardens, Buninyong VIC


Buninyong Botanic Gardens, Buninyong VIC

This gorgeous botanic garden sprawls across both sides of Cornish Street in the charming little town of Buninyong, fifteen minutes from Ballarat. Featuring a scenic lake, shaded ornamental pond, excellent picnic facilities, a children's playground and several walking tracks, the Buninyong Botanic Garden is a wonderful place for relaxation and recreation. Read more...


48. Werribee River Picnic Area, Blakeville VIC


Werribee River Picnic Area, Blakeville VIC

This shady river-side picnic area is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon, where you can have a picnic lunch beneath the trees before heading off on the scenic Werribee River Walk. Read more...

49. Beaufort Lake, Beafort VIC


Beafort Lake, Beafort VIC

Beaufort Lake is a fantastic reservoir for swimming, boating, walking and picnics. Bring a barbecue lunch and take a scenic walk around Beaufort Lake, enjoying the informative Koori Art Trail along the way. Read more...


50. Miners Rest Community Park, Miners Rest VIC


Miners Rest Community Park, Miners Rest VIC

The Miners Rest Community Park is a gorgeous recreation area which features a beautifully designed playground, a scenic creek-side walk, an undercover barbecue area, a small patch of BMX jumps, ball court, scenic walking tracks, and an information sign for the fascinating Miners Rest Heritage Trail. Read more...


What's your favourite place to explore with the family in the Victorian Goldfields? Let us know in the comments below!



 

 

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Steve
04/06/2020
Thank you for this information, I appreciate your effort, please keep us update. https://www.letsgokids.com.au/
Paula
03/07/2021
This is great. Wish I could walk and still had kids at home. Well done!