Timing is everything with swimming at The Blowhole as the seasonal window for swimming is quite short. When Sailors Creek is running high and
The Blowhole is blowing fierce, the swirling water at the tunnel outlet is too turbulent for swimming. When Sailors Creek is bone dry, as
it usually is in summer and autumn, the pool for swimming can quickly become stagnant, contract and even dry up completely. The best swimming
conditions are when water is flowing through the tunnel as a gentle, but steady flow, typically a few days to a couple of weeks after reasonable rainfall.
The pool itself is around 10 metres across in each direction, with a shallow entry point from the viewing area on the bank opposite the tunnel
outlet. Diving is prohibited, as the pool can be quite shallow in parts. You can also swim or relax in the creek upstream of the tunnel, which
has several large boulders to lean against, although on my last visit the walking track to access the creek here was closed.
According to information boards on site, the 20 metre tunnel was constructed in the 1870s to allow miners to fossick
for gold in the dry horshoe bend that was cut off by the tunnel. Given that the creek can be naturally dry for several months of the year,
the benefit of the tunnel would have been marginal, and was constructed at a time when other areas had already been picked over.
If you are interested in gold mining activities in the area and want to stretch your legs, The Blowhole is located along the 160 km Goldfields Track
that runs all the way from Creswick to Ballarat.
This swimming hole did not make it into my top 50 in Victoria. The main reason being the short window for good swimming. If you are visiting,
bring your swimming gear, but don't count on being able to swim every time you visit. If this is the case, just
enjoy this site for the short walk and the mining history. Several swimming holes in central Victoria did
make it into the top 50, so if you are looking for a more reliable swimming hole near Hepburn Springs, grab a copy of the guide to
Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria.
Essential Information Before You Go:
Hepburn Regional Park, Blowhole Rd, Hepburn Springs, 120 km (approx. 1 hr 30 min drive)
north west of the Melbourne CBD.
From Melbourne head out along the Western Fwy. Exit north from the Western Fwy (M8) at Ballan along the Ballan-Daylesford Rd (C141), passing through
both Daylesford and Hepburn Springs. From the Hepburn Springs town centre, head north and then east along Main Road. Turn
left at Eighteenth Street, and then right after 1.4 km into Blowhole Road. Blowhole Road is a 1.4 km dirt road that leads to
the Blowhole carpark. The road was suitable for 2WD vehicles at the time of my visit. From the car park it is a
100 m walk to the viewing platform.
Car parking, viewing platforms, walking trails
Rock, stones and gravel
Maximum water depth:
Minimum swimming proficiency required:
Prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog:
No horseriding, no bicycles, no trail bikes, no diving,
fires only permitted in the fire places provided, no access to cliff edges. Dogs permitted but must be on a lead.
Shade available out of the water
Always open except for park closures for safety reasons during extreme weather.
Disabled parking space, but numerous steps down to the viewing platforms.
There is no camping at The Blowhole, with the only designated camping area in the Hepburn Regional
Park at the Mt Franklin Reserve, which is only accessible by road from The Blowhole. If you are planning to stay overnight in the area you can try
accomodation in nearby Hepburn Springs.
The rest of Hepburn Regional Park including Sailors Falls.
Before you head out, make sure to read the
swimming safety information.
The managing authority advises for this
site to not venture off designated walking trails due to the numerous concealed and fragile mine shafts and diggings in the area.
The marker indicates the location of the car park at The Blowhole.
Change of Conditions:
According to the managing authority, "the visitor area at the Blow Hole is closed due to damage caused by
heavy rainfall to the area", mainly because of the rockfalls at the tunnel inlet and outlet. This advice
commenced on 1 December 2016 and is current as of 7 December 2017. I will keep an eye on updates for
when the area re-opens. Parks Victoria are working on temporary access to the outlet.
If you see that it has been re-opened before I do, please send me a message via the comment form below.
If you would like to leave a comment about this swimming hole, please fill in the comment box below. I'm particularly interested in your
experiences after visiting, and any changes in swimming conditions.
© Brad Neal 2017. All rights reserved.