Hepburn Shire

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.

Clunes

The Djadja Wurrung people were the first inhabitants of Clunes and these people occupied most of central Victoria.  The discovery of gold in a Clunes creek in 1851 heralded the official beginning of the Goldrush in Victoria, and Clunes soon became the fifth largest town in the colony.

Clunes is home of the Booktown festival which is held in May of each year. In April 2012, Clunes gained international recognition as the 15th international booktown and the only booktown in the southern hemisphere.

Nestled in a picturesque valley, the town's robust history of gold has bequeathed a richness of colonial architecture set amid well planned streets. One could be forgiven for thinking that this glorious town has been cocooned in a time warp where these magnificent gold rush features and wide verandahs retain the illusion of yesteryear.   It is little wonder then that this streetscape and surrounds have been the location for many films, television and advertising productions including more recently the feature film Ned Kelly.

Clunes is also home to Wesley College, Melbourne, Year 9 students and each term, over 100 Wesley students take up residency in the 'Wesley Village', located in the town centre, and become part of the local community.  The Main Street, Town Hall/Court House have become tourist icons and as with other key locations in the Hepburn Shire, Clunes has also taken on new forms of tourism-based development with the expansion of guesthouse and bed and breakfast accommodation, fine dining, wineries and tourist attractions.

Community facilities include the Town Hall, Library, Kindergarten, Primary School, Senior Citizens Centre, Community House, Visitor Information Centre, Museums, Caravan Park, Fire Brigade, Health Service, Churches, Queens Park Botanic Gardens and Collins Place Town Square, the Bottle Museum and Neighbourhood House.

The Clunes Bottle Museum which has 6000 rare and unusual bottles dating back to the early goldrush era, also functions as the Visitor Information Centre. Sporting groups and facilities include a swimming pool, ovals, petanque piste, netball/basketball courts, tennis and badminton courts as well as a golf course.

Clunes is a member of the Sister City Association and has united with Coloma El Doredo Country in the United States, the site of the discovery of gold in California and regular exchanges take place.  The Clunes Tourist & Development Association(CTDA) is one of the very active associations in Clunes and other clubs and organisations are available for residents including youth.  Walking paths now lead along the banks of Creswick's Creek and a fine view of the town can be obtained from `the Rocks' on the Scenic Road.

Mount Beckworth State Park, 7 km south-west from Clunes is noted for its many birds and spring-time wildflowers and is an ideal spot for picnicking and bushwalks.

With Ballarat only 20 minutes away, Clunes is now attracting a "new rush" of people who wish to live within this rural community and easily commute.

For more information on Clunes, please visit the website Visit Clunes, or visit the local Clunes website Clunes.org.

Creswick

Prior to white settlement aboriginal inhabitants were largely the the Djadja Wurrung people. The first European settlers were the Creswick brothers who established a large sheep station in the area in 1842. Creswick, located on the Midland Highway 15 minutes drive north from Ballarat, is a historic gold mining township set amidst tall eucalyptus and pine forests.

Deep lead mining was the main form of mining after the early 1870s and notable mines were the Madame Berry and the New Australasia. History recalls that in 1882 the Creswick New Australasia gold mine was the scene of a disaster when 22 miners were drowned in a flooded shaft. It was a record loss of lives for an Australian mine. Many of the buildings of the gold era survive in the town and are much loved by locals and admired by visitors.

Forestry industry development took place after much of the old forests were destroyed by mining. John Le Gerche came to the area and became the Crown Lands Bailiff and set about replanting trees. His work led to Creswick becoming the site of the state’s first tree plantation in the 1880’s. In 1910 the School of Forestry, an adjunct of Melbourne University, was born. The Creswick Timber Training centre is the only comprehensive timber training centre in Australia. Le Gerche is widely regarded as the father of reforestation. Local industries also include grazing, agriculture and the Creswick Woollen Mills, which has been a focus of manufacturing in the area for over three generations. The world’s finest quartz is still mined and exported to countries who manufacture the finest lenses. Activities in the town are supported by an array of service clubs and organisations.

The town has a rich heritage, producing some of the most influential bureaucrats, politicians and business people of the 19th and 20th centuries, including Prime Minister John Curtin, Thomas Cooper, Sir Alexander Peacock Premier of Victoria, Sir Hayden Starke KCMG Justice of the High Court of Australia and the multi-talented Lindsay family. In 1864 Dr Robert Lindsay set up his practice in Creswick. His son Norman, author and painter, depicted aspects of Creswick in three of his novels - Saturdee, Red Heap and Halfway to Anywhere. Another son, Percy, painted numerous scenes of Creswick, of which over 20 are in the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery Collection. One Percy Lindsay painting depicts Chinatown in Creswick, a reminder of the Chinese gold miners. A lesser known Creswick identity was William G. Spence. M.H.R. Spence became a miner and founded The Creswick Miners Union, later to become the Amalgamated Miners Union. He was also asked by Creswick shearer David Temple, the founder of the Amalgamated Shearers Union of Australia, to be the president of that union. The joining of these two unions was the beginning of The Australian Workers Union, both men were active in the origins of the Australian Labor Party. Temple also is credited for the blueprint which became the Australian Council of Trade Unions.

Community facilities in Creswick include: a hospital, three primary schools, Aged Care Hostel, Health Centre, Library, Creswick Learning Centre, Visitor Information Centre, historic Town Hall and Museum, churches, Fire Brigade, extensive sporting facilities, a hotel resort, motel and caravan park. The Creswick Railway Station has recently been restored and now used by the community.

The Historic Museum is in the former town hall and municipal chambers building. It contains a fine collection of Lindsay’s sketches and paintings, historic photographs and items from Creswick’s gold mining past.

Only 15 minutes from Ballarat and an easy drive from Melbourne, the township of Creswick balances a relaxed community lifestyle for both residents and visitors with plenty of accommodation, tourist attractions and local festivals.

For more information on Creswick, please visit the website Visit Creswick.

Links:

Creswick Online
Park Lake Reserve Information
Business & Tourism Creswick
Forest & Ecosystem Science

Daylesford & Hepburn Springs

The towns of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs reflect the character of their earliest heritage when Swiss-Italian miners and other immigrants settled in the area and people travelled from afar to “take the waters”.  The Djadja Wurrung people were the first inhabitants of the region and these people occupied most of central Victoria.

Just 90 minutes from Melbourne, the area boasts the highest concentration of mineral springs in the country together with an equally large array of therapists.  Holistic health services, provided in conjunction with the mineral springs and spas, continue the region’s long tradition as a place of healing and wellbeing.

The Hepburn Bathhouse is a state icon. The complex includes a relaxation pool, a salt pool, steam room, private baths and therapy rooms. The Bathhouse enhances the Shire’s status as the ‘spa capital’ for visitors locally and overseas.

There is also a host of private quality spa and natural therapy centres to choose from with over 50 different natural therapies available in the area.  Some of the high quality tourism attractions include the renowned, multi award winning Convent Gallery, Lake House Restaurant, Peppers Springs Retreat and Lavendula Lavender farm.

Locally grown produce, including a flourishing wine industry, have assured the areas reputation for offering the finest in elegant gourmet dining or the simplest of casual café noshing.

Daylesford’s weekly Sunday market at the Old Railway Station is also a must for visitors and locals. Stalls sell everything from fresh fruit, vegies and other local produce to clothing, plants, oils, soap, antiques and old wares.   On Sundays the Central Highlands Tourist Railway operates a Sunday vintage railway service through the Wombat Forest. The Farmers Market on the first Saturday of the month at Daylesford Primary School has over 40 stalls of home grown and local produce.

There are numerous sites to visit in Daylesford and its surrounds including mineral springs dotted throughout the region with six in the Hepburn Spring Mineral Reserve, the Deep Creek Mineral Spring near Eganstown 8kms from Daylesford, two located at Sailors Falls 8kms south of Daylesford and the Tipperary Spring 3kms from Daylesford and several more at Central Springs Reserve.

There are also the towns beautiful lakes - Jubilee Lake and Lake Daylesford and the magnificent Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens where planting commenced in 1861.  The Gardens offer spectacular views and fascinating plants including begonias and enormous historic trees with many registered as Significant Trees.

For those interested in the rich history of the town, there is the Historical Society Museum to visit.  The natural beauty of the area and its period character have drawn a widening artistic community, providing visitors and the community with performing and visual arts by artists of national and international repute.

While tourism appears to play a major role in the areas economy, there are many more traditional types of commercial enterprises.  Organic food production and horticulture are growing areas of the economy.

Community facilities include a secondary college, three primary schools, Fire Brigade, Hospital, Health Centre, Museum, Churches, Daylesford Regional Visitor Information Centre and the Daylesford Neighbourhood Centre which provides a range of services to the community including internet and PC access, visiting services, workshops and much more. For full details of courses and facilities please click here.

Residents and visitors are drawn to the area for its beauty, culture, diversity and geographical places of interest.

For more information on the Daylesford and Hepburn Springs area, please visit the Visit Daylesford website.

Trentham

The Djadja Wurrung people were the first inhabitants of Trentham and these people occupied most of central Victoria.  Surrounded on three sides by the tall timbers of the Wombat Forest, which once provided its wealth, Trentham is one of the hidden secrets of Victoria.

With much of the logging phased out, Trentham is now rightfully renowned for its rich red soil and potato farming. Trentham produces a range of organic vegetables, herbs and berries often featured in many of the district’s fine dining establishments.

Trentham is home to Victoria’s highest single drop waterfall. Formed from molten lava rapidly cooling as it flowed five million years ago along the Coliban River, the Trentham Falls plunge 32 metres over basalt columns. Best viewed after heavy rain, many gather at the picnic reserve to see this spectacular sight.

In recent times, Trentham has become home to a range of artists who pursue and share their works across many disciplines.
The rich history of the area has been preserved by the Trentham Historical Society which makes this information available to the public through meetings, publications and displays.

Markets are held monthly including:
- Trentham Community Market at the Neighbourhood Centre, 1st Saturday of the month
- Trentham Farmers Market at the Town Square, 3rd Saturday of the month
- Trentham Makers' Market at RedBeard Lane, 3rd Saturday of the month
- Trentham Station Market at the Railway Station, 4th Sunday of the month
- Trentham Station Car Boot Sale at the Railway Station, 5th Sunday of the month

The Trentham Visitor Information Centre is run from the Trentham Railway Station in Victoria Street on weekends and public holidays.   Kindergarten and primary schools are available in Trentham and a bus service operates to nearby Kyneton and Daylesford for secondary education.

Community facilities include the Mechanics Hall Institute, the Sportsground Reserve, the Neighbourhood House, a Play Group, Kindergarten, Primary School, Community Health Centre, Hostel and Nursing Home, Fire Brigade and Visitor Information Centre.

The Wombat State Forest lies to the south of the town, and offers many activities including camping, bushwalking, mountain-bike riding and horse riding. The rugged Lerderderg State Park runs North-South through the forest area, and there are many walking trails, including the heritage trail along the Lerderderg River (sections of the Great Dividing Trail) and the Domino Trail between Trentham and Lyonville.

Trentham boasts a very active community life with many recreational and volunteer organisations.  These range from service organisations such as the Volunteer CFA to recreational organisations such as the Football & Netball Club.  Trentham is a wonderful place to visit or live.

For more information visit - Visit Trentham.