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.
Above: The entry steps to the old swimming pool in Lake Daylesford
(Order this image, photo gifts or prints)
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.
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A walking track known as the "peace mile" (and in one historical document also referred to as "the lover's walk")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:
Leggatt St, Daylesford, 110 km (approx. 1 hr 20 minute drive) north west of the Melbourne CBD
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.
Mild to cold
Shade available out of the water
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
There is no camping at Lake Daylesford. If budget is not a concern, for accommodation that fronts the lake near the old
swimming pool, take a look at
if you are planning to stay overnight in the area you can try other
accommodation in Daylesford
, of which
there are many options within walking distance of the lake.
Hepburn Shire Council
Mineral springs and spas, Sailors Falls
Before you head out, make sure to read the
swimming safety information.
The marker indicates the approximate location of the old swimming pool and grandstand.
Here is an experience of swimming at Lake Daylesford:
"It was great to bring our families here for a swim! The swim across the lake to the pontoon on the other side was around 70-75 metres
and all our kids loved it."
- Darren M. from Melbourne, Australia, 28/12/2018
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. All fields are required if you would like your comments published on this website.
© Brad Neal 2018. All rights reserved.