A great destination to explore within an easy 1.5hr drive from the Melbourne CBD is Mt Franklin, Hepburn Regional Park
About Mt Franklin, Hepburn Regional Park
The journey to Mt Franklin, Hepburn Regional Park from the Melbourne CBD is scenic. As you approach Mt Franklin the scenery is beautiful. So much farmland. Visiting this area in early March the countryside was extremely dry however the area still has so much beauty and a feel of serenity.
Mt Franklin, Hepburn Regional Park is a great spot to visit whether you are here for a day trip and going on the 45 minute Mt Franklin Circuit Walk and/or having a picnic with family/friends or like ourselves camping here for a couple of nights.
What makes this beautiful spot more interesting is the fact it’s an extinct small volcanic crater surrounded by conifers and deciduous trees. The mountain was created by a volcanic eruption about 470,000 years ago which some say could’ve been witnessed by the Aborigines…so hard to imagine what this place would’ve been like so many years ago!! The saying goes that the road that leads to the camping area was formed from the lava flowing from the volcano.
Not only is it known for being a volcano crater but also the surrounding areas were once part of the Victorian Gold Rush in 1852. In 1870 Gold was found!!
Day 1 Itinerary
- Travelled to Mt Franklin, Hepburn Regional Park
- Set up camp
- Relaxed and took in the serenity
- Spent the evening telling stories around the open camp fire
Day 2 Itinerary
- Visited the nearby town of Daylesford
- Explored Mt Franklin Circuit Walk
- Walked along the scenic road that leads from the camping ground
- Whittled the evening away around the open camp fire
- Soaked up the serenity and fresh air
Daylesford is a beautiful town in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range of Victoria. It’s a popular tourist destination that’s known for its natural mineral springs. In 1852 the town was established as a gold mining town. The town was originally called Wombat, however it was renamed Daylesford.
If you’re after a cafe be prepared to be spoilt for choice, if you’re into art there are plenty of places to explore. Daylesford is also well known for its spas and calls itself the Spa Centre of Australia. It’s a great place to come and relax.
- Daylesford is approximately 13min, 13km from Mt Franklin Reserve
- Daylesford is approximately 1hr 35min, 121km from the Melbourne CBD
About Mt Franklin Circuit Walk
The Mt Franklin Circuit Walk is accessible from the Mount Franklin Reserve. The walk is 1.7km and takes approximately 45 mins. It’s quite a steep walk in some areas. In some parts you can grab a peak of the beautiful countryside. The walk takes you through the gorgeous pine forest and loops back through the Mount Franklin Reserve.
Day 3 Itinerary
- Soaked up the serenity
- Packed up camp
- Visited The Daylesford Sunday Market/The Daylesford Spa Country Railway
- Walked around Lake Daylesford
- Tasted the water from the Hepburn Spring pumps
- Checked out Jubilee Lake on the way home
About Daylesford Sunday Market
The Daylesford Market is on every Sunday and draws crowds from near and far. You will find lots of local produce from Daylesford and surrounding areas, collectors items, arts and craft. There are also food trucks, clothes and plant stalls to name just a few of the other stalls. The market is held adjacent to the The Daylesford Spa Country Railway Station.
About The Daylesford Spa Country Railway
If you are visiting Daylesford on a Sunday you can take a heritage train ride. The journey will take you through the beautiful scenic countryside of the Central Highlands and on the return to Daylesford station you will pass towns that were established in the gold rush era, and see sites of ancient volcanos.
We opted on this occasion not to take the train ride however we did explore the 1882 Heritage listed railway station. It’s a lovely old station where you can see some of the old carriages that were once used. Again I find myself wondering what it would have been like to live in the era where this would have once been a very bustling train station
The Daylesford Spa Country Railway and The Daylesford Sunday Market Location
- 16-18 Raglan St, Daylesford, Victoria 3460
- The Daylesford Spa Country Railway is approximately 1hr 25min, 110km from the Melbourne CBD
- The Daylesford Spa Country Railway is approximately 11 min, 12 km from the Mt. Franklin Reserve
About Lake Daylesford
A visit to Daylesford wouldn’t be complete without taking a stroll around Lake Daylesford. The lake was constructed in 1929 and as you walk around the lake you will find information about the history of the area.
The lake is popular for locals and tourists, if you’re looking for a place to eat you can visit the well known Boathouse Restaurant or have a picnic at one of the many tranquil spots around the lake. Perhaps you prefer to take a dip in the lake or tour the lake by hiring a peddle boat. Maybe you prefer to stroll around the lake and taste the water from the nearby mineral pumps
Whatever option/s you choose, I am sure you will enjoy your time here.
Facilities at Mt Franklin, Hepburn Regional Park
- Free camping ground
- Drop toilets provided
- Some camping spots have fire pits
- Untreated water tanks, however on our visit the tanks were empty
- Dogs allowed on leash
Nearby Attractions to Mt Franklin, Hepburn Regional Park
- Hepburn Springs
- The Daylesford Spa Country Railway
- Daylesford Sunday Market
- Daylesford Lake
- 1.7km, 45 min Mt Franklin Circuit Walk
- Jubilee Lake
- Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens
- If you are into artwork there’s a variety of places to checkout
- Numerous cafes to grab a refreshment or two
Why Should You Stay Here?
- If you are looking for free camping?
- A place where you can have a camp fire, fire restrictions permitting
- Looking for free camping with toilets provided
- Searching for a spacious camping ground surrounded by trees
- Close proximity to the tourist destination of Daylesford
- An escape approximately 1hr 30 mins from the Melbourne CBD
- Pet friendly place
- A place where you can walk in nature
- Visit the nearby Hepburn Springs
- It’s suitable for tents, caravans or camper vans
Mt Franklin, Hepburn Regional Park Location
- Mount Franklin, Victoria 3461
- Mt Franklin, Hepburn Regional Park is approximately 14mins, 14km from Daylesford
- Mt Franklin, Hepburn Regional Park is approximately 1hr 30min, 121km from the Melbourne CBD
- Ensure you take plenty of water for drinking, cooking and extinguishing camp fires
- Avoid camping here on long weekends as the camp site draws the crowds
- Go early to secure your spot if its a long weekend or beautiful weatherTake your own toilet paper, its provided however it can run out
- If you have a metal fire pit take it along so you can enjoy the comforts of a camp fire. There are a couple of fire pits provided, however you would need to be early to secure one
- Enjoy the great outdoors
Have you explored this beautiful area? Do you have any tips or suggestions where we should explore next time we visit this area? We would love to hear about your experiences here.