Trip recap time!
A spa town located about an hour out of Melbourne, at the foothills of the great dividing range.
Where we stayed:
We stayed at Akaroa cottage, walking distance from the centre of town, and only a 6 minute drive to the town of Hepburn Springs.
Akaroa is a two bedroom, self contained cottage, with its main feature being a glorious little fireplace in the lounge room, which we got cranking on both nights of our stay.
Both bedrooms had a wall radiator, and electric blankets, so there was no danger of feeling the chilly winter weather outside.
Where we ate:
Our first pit-stop on the way to our accom on Saturday was at the Holgate Brewery.
My partner had a stuffed chicken breast, accompanied by a tasting paddle of 8 of the beers brewed right there!
I had the ploughman’s board and our friends had some roast vegetables
Dinner on the first night was at the cottage.
We went to the local supermarket and gathered a variety of bits and pieces, and using the kitchen at the cottage, we made our own feast.
Breakfast Sunday morning was at Larder, my favourite cafe in Daylesford.
The staff are so friendly, and it’s just a great atmosphere.
You know it’s my kind of place when the waiter comes to take your drinks order and asks “Is it a coffee or a Prosecco kind of morning?”
I lamely went for a ho-cho, but I totes should have downed a morning Prosecco!
Due to the various activities of the day ( that’s coming up), we didn’t strictly sit down for lunch anywhere on Sunday, however we did go for lavender scones with jam and cream at the lavender farm Lavandula, in the afternoon.
We were extremely lucky that although cold, it was clear skies with the sun shining, so we got to sit outside and soak in the surroundings.
Dinner that night was at Liena’s Kitchen where we had dumplings galore.
Breakfast Monday morning was again at Larder.
Hey when you’re onto a good thing…
What we did:
After we checked in on the Saturday, and sorted ourselves out, we opted to go for a stroll in the fading afternoon light.
I remembered from previous visits that the Daylesford Convent had some pretty gardens, so suggested we take a look.
A quick drive brought us to the bottom of the convent gardens. Hoiking ourselves up the stone stairs, we arrived at a high point that gave us a view of the entire town just as the sun was setting.
We then let ourselves through a gate which coincidentally opened into the Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens.
After another hilly ascent we found a tower, which we subsequently rushed to to the top of.
I hate heights, so in hindsight it was pretty stupid to scale the tower.
But at the time I was fuelled by adventure and excitement, and if I had been so inclined I surely would have said “YOLO”.
After reaching the top, I took a quick glance around and whilst I appreciated the sights before me, I also was frozen to the spot and couldn’t bring myself to let go of the railing.
So much for my adventurous spirit!
Sunday’s activities involved a trip to the Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa (just us gals, the boys went and played golf).
Upon entry we were greeted with a towel, a big fluffy robe and a pair of slippers.
We had booked access to ” The Sanctuary” which gave us use of the general bathing pool, but also usage of several other pools and a steam room beyond a big door.
The main one of note was the new outdoor spa, which also had an ice cold plunge pool next to it.
The theory being after sitting in the hot spa for a while, you then plunge yourself into the cold pool to reinvigorate your circulation and metabolism.
I attempted said plunging, but only managed to get as far as my hips before everything seized up and I scampered back to the warm depths of the spa and suffered through a bout of pins and needles for a couple of minutes.
Caitlin who was with me, was FAR braver and took to the relaxing and plunging with gusto.
After a zen couple of hours at the bathhouse, we ventured back into town, looked at all the shops and found ourselves at The Readers.
I encouraged Caitlin to get a reading done, and she booked a session for that afternoon.
I had had one a few years prior, and while very tempted I felt I probably didn’t need another reading so soon.
I did however, buy myself a small Amethyst crystal without any real reason.
The shelf did have a little blurb about what the Amethyst was good for, but in my relaxed haze I just reached for it and bought it.
Turns out Amethyst’s have a “gentle sedative energy” which may explain my unexpected 45 minute nap in an arm chair later that day!
The boys by then had finished their round of golf, so we took ourselves to Lavandula and had an explore ( as well as the scones).
The lavender itself was not in bloom, but the light and the trees, as well as small wood fires, and farm animals running around, made for a very peaceful afternoon.
After Lavandula, my partner and I took ourselves down to the lake near the Boathouse cafe for a walk.
Fun Fact: I saw my first Water Rat…I didn’t realise they would have a habitat at a busy, freezing cold lake.
But there he was, chasing ducks and doing swirly loops in the water.
I had previously only heard of them being police officers that travel in boats*.
( * Reference to the Australian TV series Water Rats- good one Jess.)
And just like that the weekend was over.
A few hours were spent in front of the fireplace after our dumpling dinner, then off to bed.
We left the next morning relatively relaxed, and a touch depressed (on my behalf), not wanting to be going home.
There is so much to see and do, it’s hard to cram it all in.
On my next trip, I’ll make sure I see 100% more wineries and perhaps splurge on a spa treatment or two, I might even have my Tarot cards read.