Peppers Mineral Springs Retreat is the ideal accommodation base from which to enjoy all the popular Daylesford and Macedon Ranges regional events including the Swiss Italian Festa, Lavendula’s harvest picnic, the largest regional gay and lesbian festival ChillOut, local markets and open gardens. There is always something to keep you coming back for.
Previously known as Spring Creek, Hepburn Springs has had a strong Swiss-Italian influence which is reflected in its buildings and gardens. Grab a map from the nearby Daylesford Visitor Information Centre and head off on the Historic Village Walk which will take you to the Old Macaroni Factory and around the Victorian and Edwardian houses, hotels and cottages. Take some time out to explore the Hepburn Regional Park with its wide range of flora and fauna or if you’re feeling adventurous try the 16 kilometre Tipperary Track boasting plenty of natural sights.
Discover the Wombat Forest. Secluded beauty and specially mapped walks will ensure you’re experience is memorable. Secret Forest Walks will set you up with a hand held GPS unit so you can walk independently and confidently in even remote parts of the forest. www.secretforestwalks.com
The old macaroni factory at 54 Main Street is the place to rediscover the 1860’s Swiss Italian heritage of the region with fascinating historic tours.
A short walk and you’re in tranquil bush surrounds with singing birdlife. Taste-test the mineral water from The Argyle and Golden Spring pumps.
Famous for the plantation of lavender, olives, chestnuts and fruit, Lavandula offers regional produce and local charm. Its licensed café serves food from Ticino in Southern Switzerland and offers a sequence of seasonal special events featuring local produce, skills and talent.
Hepburn Lagoon Trail Rides offers a scenic alternative to discovering the region. How about a ride through the bush to the historic Swiss Mountain Hotel for lunch or ride to the Captain's Creek organic winery to enjoy fine wine and a meal overlooking the grape vines.
The Talbot Farmers Market, 3rd Sunday of the month, with 60 stalls, it’s a foodie haven on Scandinavian Crescent Talbot.
The Sunday Market every week from 8am to 3 pm at Daylesford Station. Raglan Street, Daylesford. At the Daylesford Farmers market (first Saturday of the month) you’ll find stalls of local crafts and fresh local produce – don’t leave without a jar of Des O’Tooles Liquid Gold honey.
Every Sunday, the Daylesford Spa Country Railway operates train rides through the scenic countryside and forest of the Central Highlands. Take in the history and explore the rail museum as well.
Boomerang Ranch offers scenic horse riding throughout Hepburn Regional Park. With 1 Hour rides for beginners to advanced riders there is something to suit everybody. Riding times start at 10.30am and 1.00pm. Bookings are essential.
If you would like to explore the Hepburn Regional Park on foot, there are a number of bushwalking tracks available in the area. Walking times start from 20 minutes and extend right up to 1 hour and 30 minutes (See reception for starting points).
If fishing is your chosen leisure activity, then Tuki Trout Farm is the place to go. It is eight kilometres north of Smeaton towards Ballarat and an easy 20 minute drive. They are open 7 days and their contact number is (03) 5345 6233.
For some cellar door therapy there is number of choices in the region. Choose from the secluded Ellender Estate winery at 260 Green Gully Road Glenlyon or Captains organic winery on Kangaroo Hills Rd, Blampied where you can sample individual handcrafted organic wines by the open fire, purchase in season farm fresh produce, locally made Goldfields Farmhoue Cheeses and other local organic tucker at the Captains Creek cellar door store, visit www.captainscreek.com
Chocoholics unite at The Chocolate Mill on Midland Highway, Mt Franklin and Sweet Decadence on Vincent Street in Daylesford. At Sweet Decadence indulge in handmade chocolates at their chocolate shop, visit www.sweetdecadence.com.au
Loaf around on comfy couches in front of a wood fire drooling over new and used books at Bent Books, your book haven at 49 Scandinavian Crescent Talbot.
The Hepburn General Store is a haven for mates, freckles, milk bottles, spearmint leaves and local chocolates and truffles at 102 Main Road Hepburn Springs or Widow Twankey’s Confectionary Emporium for chocolates and all things British like Frys cream bars, Thornton toffess and aniseed balls at Fraser Street Clunes.
Discover the history of the Crockett brand of cricket bats, now a household name amongst cricketers at Cricket Willow. You will find them at 355 Hepburn – Newstead Rd Shepherds Flat.
Located only a five minute drive from Peppers Mineral Springs Retreat is Lake Daylesford. This popular tourist area offers canoes, boats and various paddling boats for hire. Drive about 3 minutes further and you will come to Jubilee Lake another area perfect for relaxing waterside and setting the kids loose.
Mount Franklin is just 8 kilometre north of Daylesford on the Midland Highway with panoramic views along the walking track around the crater rim.
Harvest Cafe is your local organic grocery with a licensed cafe and selling, organic fair trade coffee, a vast range of teas, freshly squeezed orange juices, organic wines, beers and spirits, organic fresh fruit and vegetables including local items, a range of gluten free products, gluten free, vegan and traditional cakes and slices, a range of certified organic, biodynamic and gourmet food lines and health and skin care products. Visit www.harvestcafe.net.au
Visit Daylesford’s newest, contemporary art gallery. Set amongst the beautiful Australian bush surroundings of Daylesford’s spa country. Enjoy a complimentary glass of bubbles before exploring the stunning range of original artworks including paintings, sculptures, jewellery, ceramics, blown glass and timber. Featured paintings are by gallery owner and resident artist Michael Parker. Visit www.stonycreekgallery.com.au
For all things prosciutto, pancetta and capocollo on High Street Musk and the Fernleigh Farm for the extraordinary Wessex saddle back pork and organic vegetables on Trentham Road, Bullarto.
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