It’s no secret that there’s something special about the water in the Daylesford region.

Its mineral properties have drawn us to the area throughout the years with the lure of relaxation and rejuvenation. Home to 80% of Australia’s natural springs; it is arguably the best place in the country to enjoy the benefits of natural mineral water.

The region’s first recorded mineral water site was in Hepburn, and the original spring can still be found in the reserve next to the Hepburn Bathhouse. Surrounded by tranquil bushland, Hepburn was naturally the perfect site to build a bathhouse. The original bathhouse was built in the late 1800s and has since been modernised and extended to form the complex as we know it today.

We have enjoyed mineral bathing in some incredible places around the world, so our expectations were high. With this in mind, we were keen to try the Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is Hepburn Bathhouse’s premium mineral bathing offering. Besides traditional bathing, it also offers an aroma steam room, salt and magnesium pool, walk in cool-down pool, outdoor creekside bathing and my favourite, a mineral hammam.

The ambience of the Sanctuary is immediately relaxing. This bathing experience is for those aged sixteen and above, so it’s just that little bit more chilled than the main bathhouse. Other than the creekside bathing area, the Sanctuary is housed within an enclosed earthy building. It’s perfect for those who like to stay warm as they pool hop.

My achy muscles were immediately drawn to the salt and magnesium pool. It doesn’t take long for me to rest my head against the side of the pool, close my eyes and let the muscle relaxing properties of magnesium do their work.

The layout of the Sanctuary is impressive. Each zone has its own feel, and their close proximity means it’s easy to move between experiences. The 90-minute bathing session is perfect for enjoying everything on offer; however, if you simply wish to settle yourself in a spa bed and not move, that is also an excellent option!
In addition to mineral bathing, I also tried a Vichy shower at the adjoining spa. Originating in France, a Vichy shower is water therapy that utilises mineral water delivered at varying pressures and temperatures to relax and invigorate the body. My treatment also included exfoliation and a head massage.

Like all of the spa treatments, the Vichy Bath was customised to my needs. My therapist offered me a choice of herbal exfoliation salts and checked in with me to ensure I understood the treatment and confirmed any requests or problem areas I had listed on my check-in sheet.

After 45 minutes of bliss, my treatment came to an end. The combination of water pressure and aromatic exfoliation combined with the mineral water benefits left me on a relaxed high. I wasn’t quite ready to re-enter the real world… luckily I didn’t have to.

I found my husband outside on the deck, relaxing on a sun lounge. Surrounded by bushland and with just the sound of the birds to greet you, it’s the perfect place to spend some time. I joined him and enjoyed the moment.

We spent half a day at the Hepburn Bathhouse; however, you can easily make a weekend of it, with onsite accommodation just a stroll away. Conversely, if you’re short on time, a mid-week dip is the perfect way to break the week up. No matter how you chose to enjoy the Hepburn Bathhouse, you’ll most certainly leave dreaming about when you can visit next.

About the author

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Laura Robinson
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Laura Robinson is a writer based by the coast in Melbourne’s west. She spent several years abroad travelling the world; although her heart lies firmly in Australia, where she enjoys exploring her own back yard as often as possible. Unique forms of transport, especially funicular railways are her favourite way of exploring a new place. When she’s not travelling, you can spot her at the park chasing after her two young sons, enjoying brunch in a local café or taking a beachside stroll.