Zemiro makes tracks in the Goldfields

    Zemiro savours the natural spring water at Vaughan Springs under the guidance of permaculture expert David Holmgren.

    Great Australian Walks With Julia Zemiro is a new SBS series that will see the television presenter embark on 10 of Australia’s most epic day walks.

    In episode three, airing this Thursday at 7.30pm on SBS and SBS On Demand, Zemiro embarks on a 21km walk winding through the towns, rivers and villages of Castlemaine, Chewton and Vaughan Springs – discovering surprising stories along the way.

    Beginning her journey at Vaughan Springs, Zemiro samples mineral water that is 1000 years old, guided by the region’s very own permaculture specialist David Holmgren.

    “The reserve at Vaughan Springs is a really special place – part of an older world that is connected to the environment. We spent a lot of time going to Vaughan Springs when we were setting up the Fryers Forest Eco Village,” Holmgren said.

    “It’s a bizarre concept that people drink bottled water when the real thing is right there. Natural spring water has a light effervescence that feels good compared to the harsh carbonisation of bottled water.

    “Collecting mineral water is part of the non-monitory, connecting to nature aspects of permaculture. Living in Hepburn Springs we’ve been collectors of mineral water for a long time. Our son grew up filling his bottle with it and my partner lived in Italy for 11 years, so the mineral springs are very meaningful to her having lived in places where people enjoy collecting water,” he said.

    As Zemiro progresses further along the track, she meets up with local gold prospector Craig Skinner to dig for gold at the relics near Eureka Point, before visiting the Red Hill Hotel in Chewton where she visits the pub’s underground bunker.

    Her final stop is Castlemaine, where she meets with Castlemaine local, journalist and author of the Netflix series Wellmania, Brigid Delaney, and the pair discuss the correct pronunciation of CASTLEmaine.

    “We did half a day filming on a beautiful day, the blossoms were out and Julia was so warm it felt like meeting an old friend,” Delaney said.

    Delaney, who moved to the area in 2016, told the Express she loved walking on the Goldfields Track close to her house.

    “I was without a licence for a long time so I did a lot of walking and cycling and was the taxi drivers’ best customer for some time,” she said.

    “I love regional Victoria and I’m so glad they chose to include the Goldfields in the series.”

    As Zemiro makes her way around more of the country she will take viewers on a journey of the sun-kissed beaches of Byron Bay, Kiama, Bondi and Point Nepean, to the dazzling views atop Tasmania’s Mount Wellington and NSW’s Blue Mountains, along Melbourne’s iconic Yarra Trail and beyond.

    Each stunning journey features a variety of guests spanning trailblazing environmentalists, historians, local legends, First Australians and new Australians, who all reveal surprising and inspiring stories about Australia’s vibrant landscapes.

    Zemiro said the series explored coast, inland, country and urban walks, which encompassed the grandness of our landscape.
    “It’s truly a beautiful feeling to have experienced these walks after the pandemic,” she said.

    “From high above rainforest canopies down to the tiny insects on the ground that sustains life itself – I am so thrilled to share them with you. Remember: Everything is in walking distance if you make the time.”

    Great Australian Walks with Julia Zemiro premiered August 10 on SBS and SBS On Demand. Episodes continue weekly.

    In the second episode of Great Australian Walks, Julia Zemiro meets with Castlemaine local, journalist and author of Wellmania, Brigid Delaney.