Set in the gently rolling foothills of the Great Dividing Range, picturesque Hepburn Springs is a place to pause, rejuvinate and revel in being pampered. The village is renowned for the mineral springs that burst forth from deep in the volcanic earth, rich in the therapeutic goodness of calcium, magnesium, sulfate, potassium and iron.
“Taking the waters” is an ancient rite –– a ritual treasured throughout history for its health-giving properties and for promoting a feeling of wellbeing.
Several day spas operate in Hepburn Springs, using the invigorating waters to soothe away the stress of a busy life and replace it with a relaxed, rejuvinated you. Treatments range from traditional bathing in warmed mineral pools at the 1895 Hepburn Bathouse and Spa to indulgent beauty therapies in a number of glamorous day spas.
Take a deep breath and enjoy the fresh country air and the beautiful rural surroundings. Hepburn Springs moves at a leisurely pace and continues the indulgent theme with excellent restaurants and cafes.
The village is steeped in history and has seven sites on the Victorian Heritage Register. It was established during the Gold Rush by Swiss-Italian migrants and their contribution to the area is celebrated in an annual spring fesival. One of the loveliest reminders of the early days is Australia’s first pasta factory established by the Lucini family. The Old Macaroni Factory, built in 1859, was also home to the Democratic Club. Ceilings are adorned with frescoes and the cafe serves excellent pasta, including an original family recipe more than 150 years old.
Listen to live music at the Hepburn Springs Palais or while away a couple of hours at the Savoia Hotel where, in 1864, residents petitioned the government to protect the mineral springs from mining. The waters were considered more important than gold.
The town is surrounded by Hepburn Regional Park, which contains significant relics of the gold mining era. Guided walks through the fern gullies and tall eucalyptus forest are available with geocoaching games for families.
Victoria’s Spa Country has become a playground of pleasure and indulgence. Within a few kilometres of Hepburn Springs are a wider selection of restaurants, some of the state’s finest wineries and even a chocolate mill. A local delicacy is bullboar –– a sausage made from beef, pork, garlic and spices.
Some of the area’s attractions are more unusual, such as the Lavendula, a lavender farm with golden stone buildings, olive groves and the beautiful products made from its deliciously fragrant flowers.