Prepare to be seduced when you visit Australia's most famous spa region. Just an hour from Melbourne in Victoria's central highlands, the Daylesford and Macedon Ranges region has a mood for wellness and relaxation to get all wrapped up in.
From the majestic beauty of the Macedon Ranges to the rejuvenating pleasures of the Daylesford area, this region is a special place of healing. It's the perfect destination for experiences that relax the mind, soothe the body and nurture the soul.
Explore the best of Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges on our three-day getaway road trip.
Head straight to Hepburn Springs, the heart of the "Wellness Region" and waste no time in plunging deep into the mineral springs at the historic Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa.
Relaxed after a total body treatment, take your blissed-out body into the pure, crisp air of the surrounding Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve and sample natural mineral water straight from the earth.
Make your way to Daylesford and add a further element of indulgence to the day. Sign up for a class at the Lake House cooking school and get top tips from some of the finest chefs in Australia. Top it off with a sit-down lunch, savouring your efforts.
Keep feasting the senses with an afternoon of shopping in Daylesford, marvelling at the eclectic offerings on Vincent Street.
Alternatively, wander through the Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens, or discover the work of local artists and artisans at the Convent Gallery.
Finish off a practically perfect first day with a sublime meal at the Lake House restaurant before you tuck in for the night at any one of the area's luxurious accommodation options.Art galleriesConvent Gallery DaylesfordHead to this grand Victorian manor and delve into the diverse arts program, grab a quiet brew in the cafe, or find something special in the gift shop.National parks & reservesHepburn Mineral Springs ReserveBring an empty water bottle and fill up on your favourite mineral waters, and enjoy the picnic and walking area with trails, barbecues and playground.Parks & gardensWombat Hill Botanic GardensPerch on the hill for uninterrupted views, take in the floral charms of Begonia House, or get a taste for Alla Wolf-Tasker's cuisine at Wombat Hill House.RestaurantsLake House RestaurantThe well-trod path to the Lake House is worth travelling for perennially innovative food in an inspiring space. Two hats in the Good Food Guide 2019.Spa & wellbeingHepburn Bathhouse & SpaSpend a day rejuvenating body and mind in the natural mineral waters of the original Hepburn Springs spa, welcoming locals and travellers since 1895.
Start with a tranquil breakfast at one of the many magnificent eateries in Daylesford. Try Cliffy's Emporium, Larder, The Boathouse, Cafe Koukla or Wombat Hill House Cafe.
Powered up for the day, it's time to discover the pretty township of Trentham, 30 minutes east of Daylesford. After being wowed by Trentham Falls, the longest single drop waterfall in Victoria, you'll have time to explore the boutiques.
Follow your wander with some refreshment. Order coffee and pastry at famous RedBeard Historic Bakery, a slap-up pub meal at the Cosmopolitan or French farmhouse cooking at Annie Smithers' Du Fermier. You can even take a sourdough bread-making class before ambling back towards Daylesford.
Driving through Musk (five minutes from Daylesford), drop into the family-owned Passing Clouds winery cellar door for a taste of their current release wines. If you skipped lunch in Trentham, relax over a "famiglia" style lunch in the dining room (book ahead).
Back in Daylesford it's time to become acquainted with Daylesford Cider Company's dizzying range of ciders and varieties of organic English heritage apples.
Daylesford and Hepburn Springs have an assortment of riches when it comes to dining options. Take a chance on a welcoming restaurant door or check out favourites Mercato, The Argus Dining Room, Sault, Frank and Connie's Kitchen or The Surly Goat.RestaurantsSault RestaurantIndulge in modern cuisine prepared with seasonal, local produce, along with top regional and international wines and superb views of lavender fields.RestaurantsDu FermierSavour French farmhouse-style cooking at Annie Smithers' Du Fermier, awarded a star in the Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide.Lakes & waterwaysTrentham FallsGet soaked by the spray from Victoria's highest single-drop waterfall, enjoy a picnic by the river or a scenic walking track in the surrounding forest.RestaurantsThe Argus Dining RoomGet set for gourmet grazing on stunning modern Australian cuisine with an emphasis on fresh, clean flavours and regional produce.CafesLarderTaste delicious house-made goodness and the region's excellent local produce in every dish on Larder's fabulous breakfast, lunch and share plate menus.CafesRedBeard Historic BakeryPop into this historic bakery to enjoy a tasty lunch, stock up on local organic bread, and get a glimpse of the baking techniques of yesteryear.
It's worth the 30-minute drive to start your day in the historic township of Kyneton, where you can soak up the unique charm of Piper Street.
For breakfast, let yourself be tempted by charcuterie, terrine, sausage, rillettes and pâtés at the Piper Street Food Co. Leave plenty of time to visit the small shops, boutiques and delightful vintage emporia on this street.
Kyneton is a hotspot for taste-worthy places to eat and drink, so you'll want to squeeze in lunch. Make time for Source Dining, where the seasonally changing menu seems almost magically crafted from local produce, or opt for tasty casual fare and top-notch coffee at not-for-profit cafe The Social Foundry.
Another leisurely 20-minute drive will reward you with an otherworldly visit to Hanging Rock. Learn about the ancient history of the rock as well as more contemporary tales at the Hanging Rock Discovery Centre before ascending to the summit.
Top off your whirlwind Daylesford and Macedon Ranges tour back in Kyneton with a cocktail made from handcrafted small-batch spirits at Animus Distillery Cocktail Lounge.RestaurantsSource DiningPull up a seat at Piper Street's Source Dining, a local eatery celebrating all that is fresh, seasonal and local, hatted by Good Food Guide 2019.CafesThe Social FoundryThe Social Foundry Cafe is a not-for-profit social enterprise that seeks to empower local communities to mentor, nurture, and impart life-skills to people...National parks & reservesHanging RockYour Picnic at Hanging Rock will be a gourmet affair served with drama and intrigue - and stunning flora and fauna.Walking & hikingHanging Rock TrailClimb the now extinct volcano that was made famous by the classic Australian novel and later movie Picnic at Hanging Rock for stunning views.DistilleriesAnimus Distillery Cocktail Lounge and Cellar DoorAward-winning, handcrafted small-batch spirits. Just one hour north of Melbourne, and in the centre of the gourmet food and wine region of Macedon Ranges, this...