Daily deadlines and hectic schedules fade away as you take off up the Calder Freeway from Melbourne Tullamarine Airport and arrive just an hour later in Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges, Victoria's wellbeing region.
Prepare for peaceful days of relaxation and rejuvenation in the twin spa towns of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs, with their myriad day spas and wellness retreats. The natural spring waters dotted around Daylesford and Hepburn Springs ensure the largest concentration of spa therapists per capita in Australia, and soaking in the restorative waters is a tradition dating back more than 100 years. Enjoy a soothing treatment at any of the quality operators, but keep your eye out for Daylesford Day Spa, Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa, Salus Spa at Lake House or Shizuka Ryokan.
Continue in your the quest for good health and harmony by following your spa with a meal at one of the many fine restaurants, where some of the best local produce in Victoria is showcased. The wide array of gourmet markets, farmyard provedores, orchards, rare breed meats and bakeries hint at the local, farm-fresh, seasonal food on offer at the award-winning restaurants.
The Convent Gallery features a Mediterranean restaurant, the eclectic Altar bar and lounge, an extensive collection of local art, and acres of gardens. Just down the hill, renowned Lake House restaurant with its views over Lake Daylesford delivers an unforgettable epicurean experience. A sumptuous high tea seems right in the region's verdant environs and you can enjoy petit fours, scones and delicate sandwiches at Grange Bellinzona in Hepburn Springs.
The region's pristine environment, fertile volcanic plains and clear mineral springs lay the perfect foundations for cool-climate wines of exceptional quality. Wineries dot the landscape, many of which are owner-operated and offer the opportunity for you to meet and chat with the wine makers. The wine is as good as the views, and local beer and cider are worth sampling too.
A real rural escape is truly possible in Glenlyon, despite its close proximity to bustling Daylesford. Sip on a coffee at the general store before touring the nearby wineries. Stay in accommodation that gives you the chance to get up close to the resident wildlife, including kangaroos, local birds and farm animals.
Interesting boutiques, specialty food outlets, galleries with work by local artists, and the renowned spas combine to give Daylesford a constant buzzing atmosphere. Linger amid the artwork at the Convent Gallery. Savour the finest regional produce at an award-winning restaurant. You can't go past Lake House for a truly iconic gastronomic experience, and there are plenty of other options for any occasion. Be sure to visit scenic Lake Daylesford and explore the area on foot or by hiring a rowboat. You won't need reminding to book in for a massage, treatment or dip in the local mineral pools at Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa, Daylesford Day Spa or Shizuka Ryokan.
Best known for its natural spring waters, Hepburn Springs is an idyllic spot to enjoy a lazy afternoon with high tea and bubbles. Sample the local drop at pumps throughout the Mineral Springs Reserve, or immerse yourself in one of the mineral spring water bathing options. Boutique stores, cafes, restaurants and accommodation options like Grange Bellinzona line the main street.
The size of the tiny hamlet of Musk belies the volume of its assets. Just minutes from Daylesford, Musk features Passing Clouds, an award-winning winery, and a historic house and gardens which also offers boutique accommodation.
In addition to being the site of Victoria's largest single drop waterfall – Trentham Falls – Trentham offers gastronomic cuisine, renowned Redbeard Bakery, quirky art galleries and interesting antique finds. The Falls themselves are awe-inspiring – at approximately one metre per second it takes a drop of water just over 30 seconds to complete the 32-metre descent.