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Published March 1st 2015
Camping in a small volcano crater
Heading to Daylesford or Hepburn Sorings for the weekend and want somewhere unusual and cheap to stay? Try the Mt Franklin Reserve located approximately 9km north of Hepburn Springs off the Midland Highway.
Driving from Hepburn Springs, you first notice the reserve on your right by the stark green of the vegetation on the hill or volcano crater in comparison to the surrounding dry farmland. As you turn off the highway you drive up a steep sealed road through lush vegetation and a heavily treed area.
The campsite sits within a small volcano crater with lots of vegetation and shade along the edges and which is more open towards the centre. There are no numbered campsites and no provision for booking, so it is a first come first served basis.
The campsite offers basic camping facilities by way of pit toilets and rainwater for washing up purposes, so you will need to bring in your own drinking water.
There are picnic tables scattered through the reserve and some wood BBQs which consist of a small fire pit and metal plate (see photo). Fires are only permitted in existing fire pits and you will need to bring in firewood. You will also need to take your rubbish with you as you leave.
Head for a scenic, but steep 500m walk which takes approximately 20 minutes walk through to the lookout at the top of the crater. The walk takes you up a steep incline and along its rim until you reach the top.