Two Lakes, Two Dams, One Spring

Daylesford, Jubilee, Specimen Hill & Wombat
(a.k.a. Lurking on the Lerderderg)

IMBA Blue Circuit

An IMBA Blue circuit taking in Jubilee Lake, Specimen Hill Dam and Lake Wombat with an optional start/finish out and back between Lake Daylesford and Jubilee Lake. Traverses part of the Great Dividing Trails’ Lerderderg Track not to mention tracks named from days of yore — Star, Post Office, Batson Still … Did I mention the site of Graves Telegraph Mill?

Numbers like this [3] refer to the points of interest on the GDTA’s Lerderderg map.

The Out and the Back

Lake Daylesford entry station [1] is the official start of the Lerderderg, Wallaby and Dry Diggings Tracks. It is a pleasant spot with parking at points around the lake and a cafe/restaurant on the shore. For a great coffee you’re spoilt for choice. My favourite is the nearby Breakfast and Beer cafe, opposite the primary school, just south of the top roundabout. Hopefully the recent change of hands hasn’t affected the quality but if so then cafe Koukla at the roundabout will deliver, having just won the regional Golden Plate best coffee and best barista awards.

The sign posts to Jubilee Lake are the old green ones and right now are quite indistinct. Past the BMX and skate board bowl, you turn south and start into gravel roads and dirt tracks. The Cornish Hill lookout [2] on the right is followed by other interesting features then onto the old Daylesford-Creswick railway bed and past some houses. The Lerderderg swings west onto single track or you could continue on the rail bed to drop down to the old bridge where you meet up again. The bridge takes you into Jubilee Lake environs [3], a very popular recreation and camping area.

Circuit from Jubilee Lake

So you could start at Jubilee Lake on the edge of Daylesford. Public parking, toilets, bbqs, camping, cabins, fishing, canoeing, camp kiosk and mineral spring. A lovely spot.

Specimen Hill
Specimen Hill cone

From Jubilee Lake follow the green GDT posts. R out of the Jubilee lake exit then only a few seconds later, L onto a dirt track and the start of the (forestry) grey posts. A significant cone hill is Specimen Hill [4] and shortly thereafter, above Specimen Hill Dam, the single track is hard to see. So if you end up at the dam, take the SE track from the S end of the dam and first right gets you back on the Lerderderg Tk.

Further on there are a couple of quite steep whoopee type dips – take care at the bottom of the second as the mud could endover you. Twists and turns get you to what used to be a clearing at the junction of a few tracks. This is the location of the historic Graves Telegraph Sawmill [5] site. Alas the information board, if you can find it,  is fairly much unreadable. After the wet season bogs, single track takes you onto Post Office Track, Batson Still Tk to exit onto Leonards Hill – Bullarto South highway [6]. You’ve climbed from 533m at Lake Daylesford (563m at Jubilee Lake) to 725m here.

Marsh disguised as grass
That sinking feeling

Decision Time

If you really, really liked the track so far, then turn round and retrace your pedal strokes. If you prefer new horizons or like the idea of gravel roads back or relish cruising down, down, down a gravel road, then continue the circuit back to Jubilee Lake.

L (east) on Bullarto South Rd. At the next road junction, the fast gravel road cruisers will L onto Specimen Hill Rd and many kms later will arrive back at Jubilee Lake, no sweat. But if you like a bit of variation in your outlook, R at this junction will continue you towards Bullarto South. At the next road junction, L onto Stewarts Ck Rd and a few kms later just past Cockatoo Rd on your L swing into Wombat Ck Dam carpark for a gander. May be some lucky fishermen  there.

Back to Cockatoo Ck Rd and from here, follow the GPX route on your GPS and/or the downloadable map. You should pop off dirt tracks at the Jubilee Lake mineral spring for a refresher before the last few 100m through a cool grassy avenue to the Jubilee Lake environs.

Daylesford bound riders either backtrack from there or head out to the road, follow it to a T, R again and you will come to your outward route or failing that, Breakfast & Beer.

Route Information, Maps, GPS files

If using a recent VicMap topo, it incorrectly shows Lerderderg Tk as passing W of Specimen Hill Dam.

The GDTA’s Lerderderg Tk map is more useful in conjunction with signs and it has info about various points along the way. It does have Specimen Hill Rd marked for the cruisers but will not be much further use to the full circuit rider. Buy a Lerderderg Track map at the Visitor Centre just south of the top roundabout. That map will enable you to later explore the other 60+k of this track. Or purchase online from GDTA.

Map and routes at GPSies.

GPSies - kennythemap