Think good food, rich history and the great outdoors – that’s what’s on offer in the charming townships scattered across the Hepburn region.
From wandering the eucalyptus plantations surrounding Creswick and capturing photos of the feast of historic buildings in Clunes, to sipping roadside cold brews in Dean and fishing for your lunch in Smeaton, there’s a smorgasbord of discovery awaiting you in some of the Victoria’s most untapped locations.
Just north of Ballarat, you’ll find yourself falling in love with every corner of your road trip through the historic goldfields.
Discover Australia’s largest collection of rare, out-of-print and collectible books at the annual Clunes Booktown or experience a slice of textile history at the Creswick Woollen Mills.
Practice your golf swing at Creswick’s RACV Goldfields Resort, set off on the one-hour loop along the La Gerche Forest Walk or keep an eye out for koalas along the 30-minute journey through Creswick’s Koala Park.
There are also great swimming holes in Creswick, including St George’s Lake and Calembeen Park.
While you’re in Creswick, don’t forget to check out the 100-year-old Anderson’s Mill and visit the Creswick Market, which runs on the third Saturday of the month. Pick up fresh produce, artisan goods and locally-handcrafted gifts.
Meanwhile in Newlyn, you’ll discover a 30-year-old hedge maze at Maze House, which is open on weekends and school holidays, or horse ride through bushland with Hepburn Lagoon Trail Rides.
Pull up a pew at one of Victoria’s oldest pubs, Blampied’s Swiss Mountain Hotel, or stop by Bankhouse Brewery located on the side of the main thoroughfare through Dean. This microbrewery and cellar door – which has been converted from an old bank house – might just be Australia’s smallest brewery.
Taste organic drops in the Captains Creek Organic Wines’ 100-year-old workers hub which has been lovingly transformed over time into a cellar door for travelling wine lovers.
Four generations of the May family have been working this farm for more than a century, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself talking with Doug or Carolyn about their journey of transition into an organic farm and winery.
There’s something satisfying about knowing exactly where your next meal has come from, but what makes the experience even more special is knowing you’ve had a hand in its creation.
Join Black Cat Truffles on a hunt to unearth the aromatic delicacy that is black Perigord truffles.
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