My partner and I first discovered this walk a year ago and decided it would be a good one for us to lead one of the Gisborne Bushwalking Club organised walks. After a couple of subsequent of pre-walks, we finalised the route that fitted the broad club criteria – around 14 km and 5 hours including breaks. Of course, the one thing we could not plan for was the weather.
The arranged 09:30 meeting place was the car park at Tipperary Springs – plenty of parking and toilets (although, to say they are not the best is being kind to them). The car park is accessed from the A300 just after you pass through central Daylesford towards Ballarat. Look out for the sign post on the right for Tipperary Springs Road, and the sign to ‘Boomerang Ranch’.
The weather forecast for the day was for rain starting early afternoon. Contrary to this, we started in the rain with our waterproofs on and within an hour it faired up and the rest of the walk was pleasantly dry. Don’t always depend on the weather forecast!
Setting off at 09:45, thirteen club members headed down the west side of Sailors Creek towards the Twin Bridges. This easy track has some long gentle changes in level that took us above the creek with some wonderful views of the bends in the river. Before reaching the twin Bridges, we took a left hand turn down what looks like a vehicle track, which, from the evidence on the ground, is used as a part of a horse trail. This track drops down to an easy river crossing followed by a short steep climb up to the walking track on the east side. This track forms part of the Goldfields Track that extends 210 km from Bendigo to Ballarat. After an hour walking, with views just as spectacular as the other side, we arrived back at the car park for morning tea.
The next leg of the walk took us north, up the east side of Sailors Creek to Bryces Flat. The terrain was a bit more varied, with some short sections of steps to deal with steep slopes, but otherwise an easy track. One of the features on this section is the remains of the shed at the head of the disused Mistletoe Mine – the wire mesh capping allows a view down the shaft and gives an idea of the conditions the miners had to endure.
Arriving at Bryces Flat Picnic Ground an hour later, we stopped for lunch and then continued along the Goldfields Track to the Blowhole (which is also accessible by road). On the way from Tipperary Springs, we had noticed that there was not a great amount of water flowing in the creek – this was even more evident at the Blowhole as there was only a trickle dribbling out of the tunnel. As an illustration of what it is like with some water, this image was taken on one of our previous walks.
45 minutes later we arrived back at Bryces Flat and progressed back to Tipperary Springs on the west side of Sailors Creek. With less ups and downs, the track on this side of the creek is slightly easier than the east side. However, the terrain is rather different with multiple old mine workings and tailing piles. In view of this, it is probably not wise to wander too far off the track!
On the leg to Bryces Flat we stopped to look at a wallaby who was looking at us, but who then decided to move on to something more interesting and on the way back we spotted another (or was it the same one?) bounding through the undergrowth between us and the creek.
The great benefits of walking in a group are the varied conversations with the different members as the walk progresses, enjoying the surrounding scenery and maintaining, if not improving, fitness levels – this walk ticked all the boxes.
Back at Tipperary Springs car park, we were treated to afternoon tea around one of the picnic tables and some further conversation before heading home.
In summary this was an easy walk that offers shorter sections for those that feel 14 km too long. The timings were:
- Circuit towards the Twin Bridges– one hour
- Tipperary Springs to Bryces Flat – one hour
- Bryces Flat to the Blowhole return – one hour (including time to linger at the blowhole)
- Bryces Flat to Tipperary Springs – one hour
View more photographs of the walk at Tipperary Springs Gallery and please feel free to share your own experience of this walk or request further information, below.