A ’48 Hours In’ piece on the Daylesford-Hepburn Springs region of Victoria
48 Hours In . . .
You’re in a strange town with only a weekend at your disposal. What do you do? AT’s speed guide to Australia’s top spots has all the answers.
These days it’s not just spas and hot springs that draw the crowds to central Victoria. Thousands now swarm to the gorgeous Daylesford and Hepburn Springs regions for award-winning restaurants, trendy cafés, contemporary art galleries and a laidback lifestyle.
Daylesford Spa Villas // Just a short stroll to the town centre, these six stylish villas promise a perfect getaway for the weekend. Each includes open plan design with modern furnishings, two-person spa, double-sided fireplace and outdoor decking. www.dayget.com.au
Duke’s Cottage // Only 1km south of town, this was once an old miner’s cottage and is a haven for dog lovers. Sleeps up to four people and includes a spa, dog bed and a fully fenced yard. www.dayget.com.au
The Lake House // Pure indulgence. Sleep in luxurious balcony suites overlooking Lake Daylesford (above), stroll through manicured gardens and rejuvenate at the Salus Spa before dining at the award-winning restaurant. www.lakehouse.com.au
Sweet Decadence // A must for chocolate lovers or anyone with a sweet tooth, Sweet Decadence offers a casual café atmosphere to enjoy chocolates, scones, biscuits and cakes, all made on the premises. Light brekkies and lunch also available. www.macedonandspa.com
Red Star Cafe // Relax and unwind without breaking the budget. Choose a book from the huge bookcase, plonk yourself down on a comfy red leather couch and sip the best coffee in town. www.theredstar.com.au
Mercato @ Daylesford // Locals and tourists alike flock to Mercatos, for good reason: top-notch food, local produce, elegant décor and friendly staff. Hard to beat. www.mercartorestaurant.com.au
Natural Springs // Meander through forests and open fields in the Hepburn Springs-Daylesford area and sample the refreshing taste of natural mineral water. The water is supplied through old-fashioned hand pumps or free flowing pipes, so pack empty bottles and stock up.
A chance to indulge // Spoil yourself rotten and book a spa package at the Springs Retreat in Hepburn Springs. Decadence Package includes relaxation massage, day wrap, foot balancing treatment and an hour in The Retreat, where you can take a dip in the hot spas and plunge pool, relax in the sauna/steam rooms and drink herbal tea in the indoor or outdoor lounge area. www.thesprings.com.au
An afternoon of art // The Convent Gallery in Daylesford houses three levels of artwork by local, national and international artists. With such a diverse range of art on display, there’s something to please everyone. www.conventgallery.com.au