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Tonia Todman

The Stables at Highbank

What are your five favourite food or wine spots?
My special treat is to disappear for an hour with a new magazine – usually British House and Garden – and visit a local favourite cafe where I'm technically off-limits and can luxuriously read and sip coffee. Wonderful! Now, where to? Little Swallow and Saint Beans in Piper Street, Kyneton for coffee and excellent food, Trentham Collective for coffee and lunch, The Albion in Kyneton for memorable always-good pub food and an old friend, Mercato in Daylesford for a reliably elegant dining experience. And I love Cliffy's at Daylesford for all manner of reasons!

What are your top five must do's in your backyard when visitors come?

  • Climb Hanging Rock and see if you can find Miranda
  • Visit Daylesford, experience the spa and have a massage
  • Zig-zag down Piper Street, Kyneton, for a unique and exciting retail experience
  • Visit several of our amazing vineyards, and try to coincide with the November Budburst Wine and Food Festival
  • Be aware of seasonal, regional produce whenever you have a dining experience and search out farm-gate opportunities and farmers markets

What is the best part of waking up in the region?
The noises – always birdsong, cows, sheep and horses calling to each other, the rooster cock-a-doodle-doo-ing, the distant trains (sometimes we're lucky and it's a steam train) and the intense 'noise' of serenity – you have to experience this to know how amazing this is!

When did you officially become a local?
I've been in Kyneton for 11 years, and I was in Daylesford as a weekender for six years – so I'd like to consider myself a local. However, I think being local is a generational thing for many long-time residents – that is, you must be born here!

What is your favourite time of year in the region and why?
I love both spring and autumn in this region. The natural beauty is almost impossible to describe in words – you really have to take in the colours, the smells, the shapes and the noises. These two seasons are always nourishingly good and never let you down.

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Tonia Todman

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Food & wine

Restaurants and cafes

Dine on food so fresh it comes straight from the paddock to your plate at restaurants in Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges.

Nature & wildlife

National parks and reserves

Witness wonders like nothing you've seen before in Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges from national parks with rugged river gorges to scenic vistas.

Things to do

Spa and wellbeing

Take the waters in Victoria's spa country of Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges and experience total relaxation and rejuvenation from a mineral bath.

Outdoor activities

Walking and hiking

Take a relaxing stroll or a more challenging hike past mineral springs and extinct volcanos in Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges.