We acknowledge that we are on traditional lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung. We offer our respect to the Elders of these traditional lands, and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples past and present.
The Shire of Hepburn is the ‘Spa Capital of Australia’. It is renowned for indulgence, relaxation and its spectacular heritage buildings, parks, reserves and native forests. Located in central Victoria and ideally situated within easy access to Melbourne, Ballarat and Bendigo it is a great place to visit, live and work.
Are you interested to learn more about what makes our Shire’s economy tick? We are giving the community access to an online resource we have purchased to understand our economy and to support our grant applications. The interactive website provides detailed insights into our region’s economy and the industries and people that drive it eg. the economic impacts of major projects, business investments, events and festivals.
And let your imagination run wild. This is where Victorian gold rush fever sparked in 1851, making Australia (for a short time) the richest country in the world. Evidence of those boomtown days remain in the picturesque streets and beautifully preserved architecture of this charming little town which is considered the best collection of 19th Century buildings in Australia. A leisurely 40-minute drive from Daylesford or 75 minutes from West Gate Bridge seems fleeting to travel back in time over 150 years.
But it’s not just history buffs that crave Clunes. Literature lovers flock here each May for the largest book event in regional Australia and year-round for its status as one of only 15 internationally recognised Booktowns in the world. Of course, you don’t get to be as pretty or as authentic as Clunes without also attracting attention from Hollywood.
Clunes has been a prime location for a number of local and international productions both on the big and small screens with many locals relishing the opportunity to play extra’s on international shows including HBO’s hit series, The Leftovers.
Whether you’re a daytripper or getting away for the weekend, Clunes and the surrounding region has plenty to offer. Gold prospecting, bushwalking, rock climbing and hiking options abound, especially at Mount Beckworth Scenic Reserve, where wildlife and wildflowers exist in equal abundance. Or if sampling the local wine and produce is more your scene, there’s much to please the palette of discerning gourmands at Clunes’ cafes, restaurants, and local markets.
For the ultimate romantic getaway, take the train from Melbourne and stay in one of the many beautifully appointed local B&B’s, boutique hotels, cottages and cabins.
Famous as the birthplace of some very famous Australian sons, Prime Minister John Curtin and artist Norman Lindsay, Creswick is as beautiful as it is historic. Meandering its elegantly curved main street lined with shady plane trees and grand buildings it’s easy to picture what life must have been like when this was a bustling gold boomtown during the 1850s. Thanks to the work of forestry pioneer John La Gerche, Creswick is also the birthplace of reforestation – and today, much of La Gerche’s work can be enjoyed in and around the town including majestic local street plantings and a lakeside walking trail highlighting his work.
Delve further into local art and history at the Creswick Museum, where Lindsay family works are always on display.
Unwind in one the many local cafes and restaurants showcasing regional produce. Or tee off at the international-class golf course designed by Robert Allenby and Tony Cashmore at the RACV Goldfields Resort.
Look up during a bush walk through Creswick Regional Park, you might be rewarded with the sight of koalas. And keep an eye out at nearby St George’s Lake for the elusive platypus.
Mention the word ‘Daylesford’ to people who’ve been there and you’re likely to notice a dreamy, faraway look in their eyes. That’s the remembrance of time spent in one of Victoria’s most romantic and relaxing towns, a place seemingly uniquely designed to heal what ails you. Whether it’s physical sustenance at one of Daylesford’s award-winning eateries, or spiritual nourishment in world-famous mineral springs and spa resorts, you’ll leave Daylesford planning your next return.
Natural attractions abound in Daylesford, from the stately gardens of Wombat Hill Botanical Park, to the superb serenity of Lake Daylesford, to the rugged terrain and trails of Hepburn Regional Park. If fossicking about in boutiques and galleries and Sunday markets is more your thing, Daylesford has plenty to occupy the most discerning of treasure hunters; while a slew of local festivals throughout the year showcase the region’s charm in all its many colours.
The best thing about Daylesford though? It beckons no matter the season. Daylesford’s wide shady boulevards in Spring and Summer turn brilliant shades of red and gold in Autumn, while Winter is the time for enjoying open fires, hearty local reds, and the cosiness of Daylesford village life.
Hepburn Springs: it’s a little bit of Locarno in the land Down Under. Not only was it founded by Swiss-Italian immigrants, but like that famous Swiss spa town, Hepburn sits smack in the middle of the highest concentration of mineral springs in the country. There’s no better place to rest, rejuvenate, and relax. Unwind in a local spa, ‘take the waters’, or give your weary muscles over to the hands of some of Australia’s best healers and massage therapists.
And when you’re fully refreshed, get out and see the rest of this historic town with its restored Victorian, Edwardian, and Art Deco architecture, charming cafes, and quirky galleries. Explore the springs and trails of Hepburn Regional Park, hike the Tipperary Track, and venture forth Mount Franklin Reserve, Hepburn Regional Park and the Old Hepburn Pool.
Or combine a round of golf with a wildlife safari at the 18 hole Hepburn Springs Golf Club, where you’ll more than likely play through a mob of mildly curious kangaroos.
Cool country. Spud country. For a tiny town, Trentham packs a punch. Not just what it is famous for – but for its lesser known gems too.
A quaint village retaining many historical buildings and a charming streetscape also boasts drop-dead pretty botanical gardens and shady tree-lined streets (not to mention the main street has even featured in several movies, but Trentham is too modest to boast of such things).
Situated half way between Woodend and Daylesford and located high on the Great Dividing Range, Trentham’s soil is fabulous for growing some of the country’s best spuds along with a veritable cornucopia of seasonal produce. From chestnuts and cherries, to heirloom fruits and olives, there isn’t much that won’t flourish in this rich volcanic dirt.
It is therefore unsurprising that whilst the picturesque main street is not large, it boasts some of Central Victoria’s most exciting foodie destinations. From award-winning French farmhouse restaurants, to bakeries turning out award-winning sourdough breads. You can wander the street and enjoy cuisine from casual to elegant, in front of open fires in winter or under a canopy of trees in a magnificent beer garden in the warmer months. Come in Winter and you might just be lucky enough to be here when the marvellous truffle season fleetingly appears and go scouting the truffière for these magical underground treasures.
To work up an appetite, or work off the previous days indulgences, a trip would not be complete without a visit to Trentham Falls, Victoria’s highest single-drop waterfall. Truly spectacular when in full flight, you can find yourself wandering paths through beautiful old trees, enjoying a picnic with the crescendo of water in your ears or simply enjoy the sounds of native wildlife. If you’re up for a more energetic adventure, the region boasts some of the best forest tracks that can be enjoyed on foot, on bike or even horseback. One of our favourites is the picturesque walk from Trentham that ends at the Radio Springs Hotel in nearby Lyonville. An icy cold lager or savoury local shiraz is just the thing to reward such exertion.
Trentham is a lovely country village filled with character, interesting stores, cute cottages, gorgeous gardens and superb accommodation. It is the perfect place to linger and unwind.