Blowhole to Shepherds Flat is a 13.8km, grade 3 Circuit hike located in Hepburn Regional Park Victoria. The hike should take approximately 5hrs to complete.
The Blowhole to Shepherds Flat hike commences at the Blowhole car parking area and follow the marked Great Dividing Trail which descends to Sailors Creek. Cross the creek taking care during or after heavy rain. After crossing the creek, climb to a junction of four tracks. Take the right-hand vehicle track heading north then north-east and from in a northerly direction. After 2.9 km pass through an old gate and walk off-track through moderately dense scrub passing a deserted stone house on the right 300 m after the gate. After a further 500 m join Wayman Road and turning right follow it to the junction with Hepburn-Newstead Road. Continue along on the grass verge in a north-westerly direction for 1.4 km. Leave the sealed road at the Willow Café and follow Shepherds Flat-Weroona Road for 700 m before taking a minor track heading south.
Continue in a southerly direction off-track along a spur for about 1 km before meeting a track. Turn left and follow the track south-east and then south for 1.6 km keeping a watchful eye for open mine shafts until joining Basalt Gully Road. Follow the gravel road for 600 m then make a left turn along Boots Gully track with its steady climb for 1.2 km in a southerly direction. Turn east-north-east along Blowhole Track for 200 m before turning east-south-east along a poorly defined track which after 200 m becomes more clearly defined. Continue a further 800 m to a track junction visited earlier in the hike. Turn right along the track heading south-east and follow the remains of a former water race, which meanders along a contour in a south-easterly direction. Turn in a north-north-easterly direction to the Blowhole viewing site and then return to the car park.
About the region
Hepburn Regional Park nestles around the famous mineral springs townships of Daylesford, Hepburn and Hepburn Springs. Rich with natural springs and relics from the gold mining era, the park abounds with opportunities for bushwalking, mountain bike and horse riding, picnicking and nature study. Mt Franklin is a small volcanic crater with basic camping set amid exotic trees.
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.
This hike involves off-trail 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 hike. The provided hike map is unsuitable for navigation purposes.
Steep tracks and steps may be slippery when wet. The stream crossing may be up to 10 m wide after rain. Some off-track is through thick scrub. Good walking shoes or boots are required and walking poles may be helpful.
Max elevation: 494 m
Min elevation: 342 m
Total climbing: 349 m
Total descent: -349 m
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