Upgrade works at popular Lake Daylesford are nearing completion, with many regular users already enjoying new facilities.
Works began mid last year and are expected to be completed in coming months.
The upgrades include new paths, a boardwalk, new signage, park furniture and jetty upgrades.
Hepburn Shire Council major project manager Richard Howell said the community asked for a “slow and steady” project rather than a construction “blitz” at the site during initial consultation.
“The projects have been completed in a way that visitors can enjoy the site while works are happening,” he said.
Mr Howell said extensive community consultation had been a constant part of the upgrades.
“There were so many people who contributed to the initial scoping of the process and we made the decision we would be at the lake monthly since April last year for people to hear what we are doing and for us to hear their concerns and talk about what is coming next,” he said.
New gravel paths and a boardwalk mean visitors can now walk the full length of the lake in all seasons.
“People are enjoying being able to get around the full length of the lake,” Mr Howell said.
Friends of Lake Daylesford member Mary-Faeth Chenery has been involved in community consultation. She said her call for a viewing point on Bridport Street was taken on by council and benches had since been installed at the site.
“I had elderly parents living with me. They can walk a couple of hundred metres, sit on the bench, have a rest, overlook the lake and then go home. They don’t need to go farther than that but they need a place where they can see the beauty,” she said.
“It’s so nice for us in a community like this to feel like you can come and be out in nature but you are still in a moderate-sized community that has resources you like.”
Mr Howell said projects benefiting locals using the lake were completed first.
“The community said they didn’t want us to start at the foreshore because although tourists go to the foreshore, locals use the whole reserve,” he said.
Macedon MP Mary-Anne Thomas said the works would encourage more people to visit the precinct.
“Lake Daylesford is a beautiful natural asset that we are proud to promote as one of regional Victoria’s great tourist destinations. We’re helping to improve the facilities at the lake so that visitors can continue to enjoy it for many years to come,” she said.
State government contributed $250,000 alongside a Hepburn Shire Council investment of $130,000.