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Spargo Creek Mineral Springs Reserve

Home > Melbourne > Day Trips | Escape the City | Picnic Spots | Unusual Things to do | Walks
by Lyndsey V (subscribe)
I'm an ecologist and writer based in Melbourne, Australia. Also visit me at www.instagram.com/victoriafloraandfauna/
Published May 18th 2022
Bring a picnic and an empty bottle (if you’re game)
The cooler autumn and winter months are the best times to explore the mineral springs of central Victoria. Rug up with a warm coat and hat, and bring along an empty bottle if you're game to taste the waters at one of the many mineral springs scattered between Ballan and Hepburn.

Spargo Creek, mineral springs, nature reserve, parks, picnic
The entrance to the mineral springs


One of my favourites is the Spargo Creek Mineral Springs Reserve, located on Wadawurrung Country. The small reserve is tucked away in the bush just off the main tourist route, so you can often have the whole place to yourself. It is accessible by car off Spargo Creek Road, just to the west of the Ballan-Daylesford Road. The entrance looks a bit like a private driveway, so it is easy to miss. Watch for the brown entrance sign as you are driving along.

Spargo Creek, mineral springs, nature reserve, fungi, bushland, walks
Drinking from the springs


Spargo Creek Mineral Springs Reserve is well worth a visit in autumn and winter because of the striking and sometimes bizarre fungi scattered in the undergrowth.

Spargo Creek, mineral springs, nature reserve, fungi, bushland, walks
Mushrooms in the reserve - definitely don't eat this one!


The mix of native and exotic trees in the reserve means that a huge diversity of fungi can often be found.

Spargo Creek, mineral springs, nature reserve, fungi, bushland, walks
Weird and wonderful fungi


Each time I visit, I spend ages exploring and photographing the different species.

Spargo Creek, mineral springs, nature reserve, fungi, bushland, walks
Interesting fungi seen in autumn


If the weather is dry, it's also a lovely spot for a picnic. There are various interpretative signs scattered around the reserve about the history and some of the wildlife that you might see. The reserve has long been a popular recreational spot for residents in the surrounding area.

Spargo Creek, mineral springs, nature reserve, fungi, bushland, walks
Interpretive signs in the reserve


It is only a short walk down to the actual spring where the mineral water continuously spills from a small tap. Here you can fill up for a drink – although the water is probably not to everyone's taste!

Spargo Creek, mineral springs, nature reserve, fungi, bushland, walks
The mineral spring


According to the information sign, the water is of the sodium bicarbonate type and is often referred to as soda water: 'the water is particularly gassy and has a sweet Seltzer taste'. Note that the water is untreated and although it is tested regularly, 'the quality and safety cannot be guaranteed'. However, it is not unusual to see visitors arriving with many empty bottles to fill!

Spargo Creek, mineral springs, nature reserve, fungi, bushland, walks
Information about the mineral springs


Back in the 1860s, a mineral water bottling plant was established nearby by a German settler, Christopher Gunsser.

Spargo Creek, mineral springs, nature reserve, parks, picnic, history
History of the reserve


If you have more time, there are plenty of other places to explore in the surrounding area. The nearby Werribee River Walk in the Wombat State Forest is just ten minutes' drive away. It is a lovely 4.5 km loop, which also visits another nearby mineral spring called Carrolls Spring.

To find more mineral springs, see this map.
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Why? Sample some mineral water and explore the nature reserve
When: Any time
Where: Spargo Creek
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Great article Lyndsey. Love the fungi photos. Locations like Spargo Creek should be written about to encourage visitors as they are often not on the tourist maps.
by Neil Follett (score: 3|4120) 39 days ago
Ooo....I am not sure I'll be game! 😰
by SocialHummingBird (score: 3|1453) 36 days ago
I was drawn to the story because of the mineral springs but the flora photos are just as captivating
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|4838) 38 days ago
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