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Lake Daylesford
Swimming Hole Heaven 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 entry steps to the old swimming pool in Lake Daylesford (Order this image)

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 past drownings. Looking at old postcards of the lake (see below), on a warm summer day there used to be dozens of people in the water.
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A walking track known as the "peace mile" (and in one historical document also referred to as "the lover's walk") goes all the way around the lake through areas of bushland on the western side.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.

Other 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
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 and check with the managing authority for any current change of conditions. The managing authority advises that this swimming spot has deep water, cold currents and submerged objects, and that diving is not permitted. The managing authority recommends adult supervision of swimming.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the approximate location of the old swimming pool and grandstand. If the map is not zoomed in locally, as can occur with some browsers, simply click or tap on "View Larger Map" below.
View Larger Map
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

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