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The Blowhole Gold Diversion Tunnel

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Blowhole Road, Hepburn VIC 3461

Explore other locations around this area using our interactive map

Features

Known as The Blowhole, this diversion tunnel was built by miners in the 19th century to divert water from a section of Sailors Creek. This diversion cut off a loop where the remaining dry creek bed was then extensively worked for gold. 

The gold diversion tunnel has created a pretty little man-made waterfall with a shallow swimming hole beneath it. When the creek is flowing during winter/spring, water rushes through the tunnel and falls into a small pool below before continuing down the scenic Sailors Creek. 

From the gravel parking area, a fenced walking track heads down to the edge of the gorge, then stairs bring you down past the lookout to the waterhole at the bottom. The lookout platform overlooks the tunnel and offers a great view down over the waterfall, waterhole and creek beyond. 

While there are no facilities such as picnic tables, seats, etc, there is a pretty stone wall alongside the waterhole which provides plenty of space to sit down.

Swimming is allowed here, but be aware that the water is shallow and there may be submerged objects. Do not dive. 

The best time to visit for water flow is winter/spring, this spot will typically dry up in summer. During dryer parts of the year, you will be able to get a good look at the diversion tunnel - do not attempt to enter the tunnel while water is flowing.

Dogs are permitted here (on lead), and gold prospecting is permitted both in the bush and in Sailors Creek (see also: Gold Prospecting in the Victorian Goldfields).

After being closed for several years due to flood damage, in 2020 The Blowhole has been restored for public use - great news!

Walk options available from The Blowhole carpark
  • The Blowhole (100m)
  • Spur Loop Walk (700m, 10 min return)
  • Diggings Loop Walk (2.4km, 40 min return)
  • Breakneck Gorge (3.1km, 60 min)
  • Bryce's Flat (1.7km, 30 min)
  • Goldfields Track
An information sign (provided by Parks Victoria) at the beginning of the walk displays the following text:

The Blowhole

Most active in winter and spring The Blowhole Gold Diversion Tunnel is a spectacular feature created by the diversion of Sailors Creek and was probably built in the early 1860s when Jim Crow Creek as being extensively worked by European and Chinese miners. The short tunnel was used to divert the waters of the creek effectively cutting off a long section of the original creek alignment. The dry creek bed was extensively worked and demonstrates the miners determination to find and work the gold.

The Blowhole Gold Diversion Tunnel is listed on the Victorian Heritage register as it is historically and scientifically important as a characteristic and well preserved example of an early form of gold mining and as a key ingredient in understanding gold mining technology. 

The Blowhole has three walk options
  • The Blowhole - 300m, 10 minutes return
  • Spur Loop Walk - 700m, 10 minute circuit
  • Diggings Loop Walk - 2.4km, 40 minute circuit
Mineral springs

Natural mineral springs abound in the Daylesford and Hepburn area. Adjoining the park are the Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve and Lake Daylesford/Central Springs.

Goldfields Track - 210 km. www.goldfieldstrack.com.au

The Goldfields Track is the longest shared walk/cycle track in Victoria linking Ballarat (Buninyong) to Bendigo. Visit the website for further detailed information. 

Many of the short walks throughout Hepburn Regional Park form part of the Goldfields Track and can be walked as circuit walks of different lengths. Most of the walking tracks between Lake Daylesford and Bryces Flat occur on both sides of Sailors Creek and follow historic water-race channels. 

Walking - short and longer walks

Walking with dogs on leads is permitted in the park. Most of the tracks are Grade 2: narrow gentle gradients but with uneven surfaces, some steps, staircases and creek crossings.

Refer to the map for other park walking options.
  1. Lake Daylesford to Twin Bridges - 1.3km, 20 minutes. The Hepburn Shire manage Lake Daylesford.
  2. Twin Bridges to Tipperary Springs - 2.3k, 40 minutes.
  3. Tipperary Springs to Bryces Flat - 3.3km, 1 hour.
  4. Bryces Flat to The Blowhole - 1.7 km, 30 min.
  5. The Blowhole to Breakneck Gorge - 3.1km, 1 hour
  6. Breakneck Gorge to Golden Spring - 2.2km, 40 minutes one way.
  7. Golden Spring to Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve - via Jackson's Lookout, 2.8km, 50 minutes one way. 
  8. Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve to Argyle Spring - 1.4km, 25 minutes one way (not Goldfields Track)
  9. Sailors Falls Mineral Springs Loop alk - 1.5km, 40 minutes circuit.
  10. Mount Franklin (Lalgambook) Summit Loop 1.7km, 45 minutes.
Camping at Mt Franklin (Lalgambook)

You can camp for short stays at Mount Franklin, which is suitable for tents, caravans and motor homes on a first in first served basis. More camping is available at caravan parks in surrounding towns including Daylesford. Call into the Visitor Centre. 

Looking after the park and staying safe
  • All the plants, animals, historic artefacts and geological features in the park are protected
  • Fossicking and prospecting is permitted with a Miner's Right
  • Bins are not provided. Please take your rubbish with you
  • Fires in fireplaces provided only
  • Vehicles and motorbikes may be used only on formed signed roads. Al vehicles must be registered and drivers licensed
  • Dogs must be on a leash and clean up after your dog
  • Keep to designated tracks as there are mine shafts and tunnels in the park
  • Firearms are not permitted
ALSO OF INTEREST

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DID YOU KNOW...

  • Bushwalking is an excellent way to get outdoors and exploring nature.
  • There are heaps of fantastic swimming spots throughout the Victorian Goldfields, including the Loddon River, Cairn Curran Reservoir, Laanecoorie, Turpins Falls, and many more!
  • Gold prospecting is the recreational act of searching for natural gold deposits in the ground using tools such as gold detectors, gold pans and gold sluices. The Goldfields region of Victoria is a popular destination for gold prospectors, with many of the world's largest alluvial gold nuggets found in the area!
 

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