Whether it’s a girls’ getaway, down-time with work buddies, a blokes’ trip, or that family get together you’ve been dreaming about...

… the Daylesford and Macedon Ranges region is bursting with innovative ideas to reconnect and create new memories with your peeps.


Mystical Sanatorium Lake at Mt Macedon is the canvas for a new immersive experience created by performance artists Ria Soemardjo and Sandra Fiona Long in conjunction with local vocal artist, Charlotte Roberts. Designed as an audio-guided easy 2.5km walk around the lake, Murmuring Walk, connects people to the surroundings through a stunning poetry-in-motion style soundtrack. Organise your group, download the audio walk for free and remember to bring headphones for your mobile devices.


When Clay Watson left a life in Hollywood ten years ago, to start Daylesford Wine Tours, he couldn’t have imagined how popular his tours would become. “We have around a 38% return visitation rate,” he says. Happy to stay small, Clay’s tours are a true local’s experience, designed to visit a range of cellar doors (even ones not usually open to the public) where you’ll meet the winemakers. With more than 20 grape varieties and around 35 wineries in the region, having someone plan your big day out takes the stress out of driving; not to mention navigating. And if you think Clay looks vaguely familiar, avid movie fans will recognise him from The Matrix Reloaded.

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Daylesford Wine Tours


Mention the word treasure (especially in a gold mining area) and you have an instant audience. Treasure hunts using a small hand-held GPS device are the most popular (great for all ages) activity offered at Secret Forest Walks, which is run by local Brendan Murray. After a quick lesson in how to use the device, the hunt is on around picture-postcard Lake Daylesford to find hidden markers that will lead to uncovering the buried treasure. Brendan also rents out his GPS devices for a series of curated hikes in the Daylesford area and runs a range of team-building activities for corporations – the mineral water masterclass is one of many unique experiences.


There are plenty more places to gather a gang and have a blast learning something new. Long regarded as the best in the biz, the team at RedBeard run fabulous sourdough workshops at their bakery in Trentham, featuring an historic wood-fired oven. For craft lovers, The Old Auction House in Kyneton has weekend classes in arts such as silver jewellery, lead-lighting and basket weaving. And for something totally different, book in to one of Kate Edwards’ floral workshops and discover more about sustainable gardening at Winter Creek Flowers in Maldon.


If there’s one thing better than tasting gin at one of the award-winning distilleries scattered throughout the area, it’s making your own. Sign your group up for a gin blending masterclass at the atmospheric Animus Distillery in the heart of Kyneton’s buzzing Piper Street, and be blown away as Gin Chief, Luke Jacques helps you experiment with botanicals to craft a bottle to take home (complete with major bragging rights).


Hero Image: Sanatorium Lake. Photograph by Lucus Brunt @lucasaidphoto

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RedBeard Historic Bakery. Trentham. Copyright Richard Cornish

About the author

Jocelyn Pride
Jocelyn Pride

Jocelyn Pride is an award winning freelance writer / photographer who made a long awaited tree change to Castlemaine in early 2020. Her work has been published in a range of Australian and international travel magazines including; Signature Luxury Travel & Style, Vacations & Travel, Selector, Australian Traveller, International Traveller,  Sawasdee (Thai airways), Cruise Passenger and WellBeing. Jocelyn has a strong interest in writing stories about wildlife, nature, sustainability, history, food / wine and cultural experiences. She loves to keep fit and is handy on a horse.