Explore, relax, indulge and refresh

The Daylesford and Macedon Ranges region is renowned for its world-class spas and outstanding dining options, but coupled with spectacular natural wonders, creative opportunities, and bespoke accommodation, there’s little doubt that this region is Victoria’s wellness capital.

EXPLORE

There’s no greater classroom than nature, and the traditional lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung, Taungurung and Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people have an abundance of natural attractions for you to discover; from walking and cycling tracks, secluded lakes, iconic sites and beautiful gardens. At the atmospheric Hanging Rock Reserve, see how many native animals you can spot as you wind your way to the summit, and at Mount Macedon Regional Park, pay tribute to servicemen and women atone of the state’s most significant war memorials.

If your legs were made for walking (or mountain biking), consider tackling some of the 210km Goldfields Track, which stretches from Bendigo to Ballarat. A shorter, but no less spectacular ramble is the Domino Trail, a 12km moderately challenging track between Trentham and Lyonville.

Waterfalls and lakes abound in this region, and just a few minutes from Daylesford is Sailors Falls, a spectacular column of water that tumbles into a fern-lined gully below, and a hidden gem of Mount Macedon is Sanatorium Lake, a peaceful spot surrounded by tall eucalypts.

RELAX

Can you hear that? That’s the sound of walking through a tranquil forest, crisp leaves crunching underfoot. The Daylesford and Macedon Ranges has pristine forests, immaculate gardens and seemingly endless hiking trails for you to discover, unwind in and slow down.

The Ranges are also home to Australia’s largest of concentration of mineral springs, so soak away any tension in a warm, private thermal pool at Hepburn Bathhouse or The Mineral Spa, where you can book a bathing session in the restorative waters.

The power of touch is incredibly relaxing and revitalising, and a traditional Japanese massage at Hepburn’s Shizuka Ryokan helps release any muscle tightness or fatigue. You could also explore ancient healing rituals at Kyneton’s Maiaveda Holistic Health & Day Spa where traditional Ayurvedic therapies bring peace and rejuvenation through massage, chakra energy healing and aromatherapy.

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Lake Daylesford. Photo by Stefani Driscoll

INDULGE

From farm to fork, paddock to plate and vine to wine – the rich soils and pure rainwater of this region create the ideal environment for exceptional dining experiences. Getting a decadent taste of the area begins by exploring the numerous award-winning restaurants, farmers’ markets and bountiful farm gates. After all, nothing says ‘indulgent wellbeing’ quite like exquisite produce and superb dishes crafted from quality, local ingredients.

For sustainable dining, don’t go past Sault– a picturesque restaurant surrounded by vibrant fields of flowers where the dishes are as pretty as they are delicious; or book in at Lake House, which, like a fine wine, only gets better with time. Savour complex wines and marvel at the intricacies of the French-inspired dishes at Bistro Terroir, an establishment that instantly transports you to Paris.

If indulgence looks like a glass in your hand, head to the newly opened Mount Monument, a single vineyard in Romsey producing outstanding handcrafted pinot noir, chardonnay and riesling.

Getting a decadent taste of the area begins by exploring the numerous award-winning restaurants, farmers’ markets and bountiful farm gates. With farmers’ markets on most weekends through out the region, you’ll also get to meet the local people who grow the remarkable produce. Check out the weekly Daylesford Sunday Market or depending when you visit, be sure to stop by other popular options. See page 2 for the full list of markets happening over winter.

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Bistro Terroir. Photo by Chris Turner

MAKE

Creatives and artisans are the beating heart of the Daylesford Macedon region, so why not explore artists’ studios and museums dotted throughout the area and have a go at creating your own masterpiece?

Minaal Lawn is making a name for herself as a talented ceramicist who blends her Indian heritage with her Australian upbringing in her colourful nostalgic works which are available in the Stockroom in Kyneton. Or call in (via appointment) to see the works of Greg Mallyon – a painter and printmaker whose abstract topographical images have been exhibited throughout the world.

If you’d prefer to make your own, enrol in a workshop at The Old Auction House in Kyneton. Choose from artist led courses in glass arts, fine arts, paper crafts, polymer clay, print making or jewellery making.

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REFRESH

The ultimate way to refresh and have some quality ‘me time’ is with a good night’s sleep. Luckily, this region is blessed with accommodation offerings to suit everyone’s needs, from charming cottages and architect-designed getaways to luxuriously appointed retreats.

First up, ticking the “I-wish-I-lived-here” box is Sky High Mount Franklin, with dramatic panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. For a stay closer to the ground, check into the adults-only Fellcroft Farmstay in Cobaw with eclectic furnishings and expansive decks that capture views of Mt Macedon, Hanging Rock and Camels Hump. And just minutes from Daylesford is the charming self-contained Musk Farm Studio set amongst the heritage listed garden. Its roaring open fire is perfect for wintery evenings.

No matter what wellness means to you, the Daylesford and Macedon Ranges region has something for everyone and it’s just possible that this region has everything you’re looking for.

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The Mineral Spa. Photo by Journey by Light

Hero Image: Hanging Rock. Photo by Journey by Light

About the author

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Lindy Alexander
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I'm an award-winning freelance food, travel and lifestyle writer and content creator living in the vibrant goldfields town of Castlemaine in central Victoria, Australia.