Best time to visit
All year round

How to spend one 1-day in Blackwood and Ballan.

In 1855, the goldmining village of Blackwood had 13,000 prospectors on the hunt for instant wealth. Today, those golden days are gone but this historic village remains, situated amidst the tall timbers and lush greenery of the Wombat State Forest. Discover a whole new world of riches by paying this quaint town a visit.

The town’s wealth of bushwalking and mountain biking tracks make it an appealing spot for outdoors enthusiasts while its rich soil and cool climate create the perfect environment for breathtaking gardens, with Blackwood’s open gardens and nurseries proving popular with day trippers.

Heading further south from Blackwood, you arrive at the picturesque town of Ballan, also popular for outdoor adventures, with scenic walks, swimming spots, parks and gardens in abundance.

Martin Street Coffee Roasters

On arrival in Blackwood, wander the tiny main street before stopping for your coffee fix at Martin Street Coffee Roasters, where they air roast their aromatic coffee beans in small batches onsite. Discover how they sustainably roast their beans, before picking up a bag of beans to take home with you.


Garden of St Erth

The Garden of St Erth is a short drive from Blackwood’s main street. Spend some time in quiet contemplation as you explore the beautifully manicured gardens. Managed by The Diggers Club and housed within a historic home, the site is also home to an extensive nursery and café, the latter of which features freshly harvested vegetables, herbs and fruit.


Blackwood Ridge

Hop back in the car and make your way to Blackwood Ridge. The drive up the dirt road is well worth it for this restaurant, which is nestled amongst lush gardens. Choose from the menu which features a wide range of produce grown onsite and which reflects seasonal availability.


Lerderderg State Park

It’s time to get off road. Lerderderg State Park can be accessed via either Blackwood or Bacchus Marsh. The Lerderderg River has carved a deep and picturesque gorge through this rugged park – making it an ideal location for a relaxed picnic or a hike (with some great family friendly options too). In the warmer months, MacKenzies Flat is a fantastic spot to cool off and have a swim.


Colbrook Reservior

Alternatively, check out the beautiful lake at Colbrook Reservior within the Wombat State Forest. It’s off the beaten track but well worth the hike. Colbrook Reservoir is an amazing place for bushwalking, swimming, fishing, bush camping, and photography. An impressive dam wall is set on the southwestern side of the reservoir and features a stunning seasonal waterfall. Access is off the Ballan Daylesford Road by dirt track and best by four-wheel drive.


Great Western Hotel

Satiate your appetite after an afternoon spent exploring the great outdoors at the welcoming Great Western Hotel in Ballan. Tuck into some elevated pub fare as you enjoy the eclectic 70’s vibe.



For a nature filled stay, surrounded by a stunning garden, head back to the Garden of St Erth, which is also home to Garden Bed Glamping. Here you will find six luxuriously appointed bell tents, ideal for a secluded and romantic getaway. Alternatively, nearby Trentham has plenty of options to choose from, including the spellbinding Acre of Roses, located within a micro flower farm. Dayget and Daylesford Country Retreats also offer various options in the area, ranging from cute cottages to architect designed digs.


About the author

KREATE MadeleineBlake
Madeleine Blake

Madeleine is the PR manager at Daylesford Macedon Tourism and the editor of Daylesford Macedon Life magazine. A Woodend local, she loves getting out and about meeting with tourism operators and helping to spread the word about the many amazing things to do in the region. On the weekends, Madeleine can be found exploring the region with her three young kids in tow.

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