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Lake Daylesford, VIC
Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria


 
Lake Daylesford is a popular family picnic spot and has calm and clear water to swim in. You can swim the length of the lake, a distance of around a kilometre, lifting your head only occasionally to watch for oncoming paddle-o's. For adults, the best place to swim is at the site of the old swimming pool, which is located in front of the changing rooms near the lake's spillway. Swimming at Lake Daylesford Above: The grandstand in front of the old swimming pool

The old swimming pool is no longer there, but the concrete terrace remains. This provides easy entry into the water without getting your feet muddy. The water is cold in parts, and there are warning signs around the lake to that effect due to recent past drownings, but it's a long way off the coldest I've ever swum in.
Looking at old postcards of the lake (see below), on a warm summer day there used to be dozens of people in the water and none of them were wearing wetsuits. There was also a wooden diving tower. When you visit the lake, take note of the terraced stone steps built into the hill on the opposite side from the changing rooms. This is where people would sit and watch the high-divers on the platform right in front of them. The old swimming pool at Lake Daylesford Above: The old swimming pool, taken sometime between 1920 and 1954. Source: State Library of Victoria

A walking track known as the "peace mile" (and in one historical document also referred to as "the lover's walk") goes all the way around the lake through areas of bushland on the western side. To the southern end of the lake there is an added bonus - mineral springs. Bring a few empty soft drink bottles and maybe a dash of lemon and you can pump your own mineral water, direct from under the ground. Natural mineral water has a real tang unlike anything you will find in the supermarket. For the record, I found the mineral water here to have a sulfuric odour to it and I much prefer the mineral spring at nearby Sailor's Falls. If you are interested in the history of the region, there are also numerous historical walks from the area south of the lake.

Below is a video that I took of swimming in the lake in November, when the water was still a bit chilly. The lake has lots of facilities and is close to the Daylesford town centre. The kiosk/café has assorted coffees and ice-creams. Bring your own bbq for a few snags on the lakeside lawn. For kids there is small sandy beach and a playground.

Essential Information Before You Go:
Location: Leggatt St, Daylesford, 110 km (approx. 1 hr 20 minute drive) north west of the Melbourne CBD
Latitude:-37.349517 Longitude:144.136081
Getting there: From Melbourne head up either the Western Fwy and turn off at Ballan or head up the Calder Fwy and turn off at Macedon and follow the signs to Daylesford. South-west of the town centre, the lake is accessible from Central Springs Road and Bleakley St.
Entrance fee: None
Water temperature: Mild to cold
Water clarity: Clear
Sun shade: Shade available out of the water
Opening times: Always open
Facilities, conditions under foot in the water, maximum water depth, minimum swimming proficiency required, and prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog: Order the full guide
Wheelchair access: Yes
Accommodation Options: There is no camping at Lake Daylesford. If you are planning to stay overnight in the area you can try accommodation in Daylesford.
Managing authority: Hepburn Shire Council
Nearby attractions: Mineral springs and spas, Sailors Falls.
Before you head out, make sure to read the swimming safety information.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the approximate location of the old swimming pool and grandstand.
Change of Conditions:
I am not currently aware of any change of conditions reported at this site by the managing authority, or by swimmers on this website. If you are visiting this swimming spot and have any further updates on any change of conditions, let me know via the comment form below.
Comments:
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