A big shout out to all members of Deidaaratti who responded so warmly to Deidaa’s recent post – Things to do in Melbourne. ‘Things to do in Melbourne’ deserves a sequel i.e., ‘Things to do around Melbourne’.
There are many unsung nuggets around Melbourne that are perfect for weekend getaways.
A little over an hour’s drive from Melbourne, nestled in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, is the spa town of Daylesford. With over 65 mineral springs in the region , Daylesford is the ideal place to get away from the hustle bustle of city life. There is something for everyone.
Things to do around Melbourne Convent Gallery
With my deep interest in art, crafts and textiles, my first stop in Daylesford had to be the Convent Gallery. This gallery is a treasure trove of international and Australian art and artefacts. The artworks are on display by rotation. Most are for sale, with the prices and the artist’s statements clearly displayed. An erstwhile convent, as the name suggests, this gallery has a carefully preserved chapel with some of Australia’s oldest stained glass windows. The vivid colours and geometric patterns of stained glass windows have often influenced Deidaa’s digital printed kaftans, especially the ones with beading around the neckline. At the convent gallery, a roof top infirmary and a nun’s cell have been left urestored to provide a rare glimpse into the lives of those who lived in the gold rush era. The Bad Habits Mediterranean restaurant at the gallery offers breathtaking views of Daylesford township. The gallery shop has an eclectic mix of jewelry, scarves, knitwear, candles and soaps on sale.
Things to do around Melbourne Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa
For those seeking spiritual upliftment and relaxation, Daylesford and Hepburn Springs have several day spas, healing retreats and yoga ashrams. Make sure you pack a few flowing digital printed kaftans as the right attire for your karmic salvation. Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa has been opertaing since 1895. Surrounded by greenery, this bathhouse draws water from Hepburn mineral springs. It offers private bath, spa, relaxation pools, steam and salt therapies. Pack your spa essentials in one of Deidaa’s roomy beach bags and head towards the bathhouse for a couple of hours of absolute bliss. Alternately, you may book an accommodation with a private spa. We stayed at the Mahala apartments. Conveniently located, these apartments are decorated with crewel embroidered cushions and hand embroidered block printed throws. The in-room spa, with a view of the lily pool and falling maple leaves, is an added bonus
Things to do around Melbourne Lavandula Farm
Tucked away in the hills, is the Lavandula Swiss Italian farm. This European style lavender farm is a feast for the senses, with rolling hills covered in lavender, herb and veggie gardens. The historic barn hosts a quaint shop that sells lotions, potions and pot pourris for you and your furry friends. The La Trattoria cafe sells lavender scones, lavender tea and even lavender champagne! Celebrate the colour purple this winter with a few lavender sprigs pinned on Deidaa’s lilac wool scarf interspersed with chantilly lace.
Things to do around Melbourne Boathouse Restaurant
Daylesford Lake is a haven for birdwatchers (of the feathered variety). You may have close encounters with a variety of ducks, geese, peacocks and coots. Do not get too close. They can become quite aggressive, especially if you feed them. You may do paddle boating or grab a bite at the iconic Boathouse Restaturant which was burnt down but has since been rebuilt and is open for business. Another hidden gem is the Book Barn, the second hand book shop that specialises in selling rare and unusual books. If you want a bird’s eye view of Daylesford, you may go up the spiralling staircase of the tower at the nearby Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens. The gardens boast of walkways and a good selection of firs, pines and begonias.
Got some tips on things to do around Melbourne? Post comments and suggestions on deidaablog or at http://www.facebook.com/deidaafashiononline, #regram @deidaafashiononline, tag #deidaafashionline. Each post, comment or regram is rewarded with a #coupon code for 10% discount across all products at deidaashop. For photographs of Daylesford and surrounding areas follow Deidaa at http://www.facebook.com/deidaafashiononline or on instagram @deidaafashiononline.