Daylesford - Where to go
From great food to hiking on bush tracks and indulging one’s body and soul at one of the many spas or art galleries, Daylesford offers a complete holiday experience. Here is a guide to some of the things you can do.
- Sample the mineral waters from the various springs along the track including at Tipperary Springs, Sailors Falls, Golden Springs, Argyle Springs, Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve and Central Springs. The water flows out of hand pumps and continuous-flow pipes. All you need is a cup or bottle to enjoy.
- Indulge in the relaxation massage therapies, beauty and spa treatments at the plenteous day spas in the area, or in the mineral water spas and water therapies at the wellness retreats.
- Enjoy a scenic walk down the Tipperary Walking Track, a 16 km track which links the mineral springs between Daylesford and Hepburn Springs. For guided walks/hikes through the region, visit www.bothfeet.com.au
- Fish for your lunch at Tuki Springs- the old homestead and trout farm. See www.tuki.com.au
- Enjoy a coffee at one of the many cafes such as Koukla, stop off for lunch at classic European restaurant Frangos & Frangos (both on Vincent Street) and finish with fine handmade, belgium chocolates at the Chocolate Mill.
- You wouldn’t want to miss dinner and lakeside views at award winning restaurant, the Lake House.
- Jump aboard a Polaris 330 Quad bike and take to Daylesford’s narrow bush tracks, all while soaking in the magnificent bush scenery. Contact Victorian Quad Bike Tours on (03) 5348 6707.
- Visit the beautiful lakes of Daylesford, Lake Jubilee and Lake Daylesford. It is a popular spot for picnics and fishing as well as rowing, aqua biking, canoeing and surf skiing.
- Enjoy a picnic at Wombat botanic gardens, offering a panoramic view over Daylesford from the top of Wombat Hill, an extinct volcano.
- Visit the Hepburn Golf Course for a round of golf and kangaroo spotting at sunset. Visit: www.hepburngolf.com.au
- Look for local produce and craft in quirky shops and galleries – the Stoney Creek Gallery and Convent Gallery are two top arts spaces.
Stoney Creek Gallery
Although still and peaceful, the art at Stony Creek Gallery screams life and emotion. From the monster-like arm made of copper wire, to the large wooden crucifix on a beaded chain, to the hand made ceramic letter tiles that together spell the word LOVE, each piece has a unique story to tell.
Situated in Daylesford, Stony Creek Gallery is a contemporary and colourful collection of sculptures, blown glass, paintings, vases, handmade local and European jewellery, amongst other pieces.
Upon entering, there is a welcoming ambience about the room. Whether it is from the soft glow cast from the tea lights, the vibrantly painted walls, or the orange-yellow wash through the giant blow glass vases, I am ambivalent, but synergistically, the pieces bring a positive energy to the art space.
The burnt orange-red timber floor is analogous to a canvas, layered by a hand painted story written by gallery owner and artist, Michael Parker himself.
The story depicts the amazing determination of a little boy living inside a box who notices the beauty through the cracks that can always be found by looking carefully.
“Although many obstacles may confront us in our journey through life, we all have the ability to see the best, in things and people, and to manifest everything we want, simply through thought,” says Parker, of his original story.
The tale almost mirrors the formation of Stony Creek Gallery itself. The site was originally a run down gymnasium that Parker and his partner, Linda Ward transformed only a year ago into the artistic masterpiece it is today.
An artist for 22 years, the gallery is a medium for Parker to display his own paintings and beautiful dichroic jewellery pieces.
Parker uses acrylics, enamel, pencil, and pastels in the one painting, as well as metal, driftwood, and shells, and many other materials he finds in his travels.
“I have been self-taught, not moulded to paint in a certain way so I am free to explore different mediums,” says Parker.
“My pieces, which are often inspired by nature, aim to evoke emotion, as well as being something that people love to look at.”
The gallery is currently displaying both international and local work.
Standouts include local artist, David Herbert’s Brass Monkey sculptural blow glass vase piece, Ann-Maree Gentile’s quirky Sirena Tuna Tummies, and Isa Watt’s rustic looking metal thrones and Elephant with world on its back table.
Stony Creek Gallery is located at 10 Stony Creek Rd, Daylesford.
The Convent Gallery
Australian Tourism Award Winner, the Convent Gallery in Daylesford unites art, history, architecture, spirituality and culture under one roof.
There are seven individual galleries which features fine art, sculpture, limited edition prints, ceramics, glass ware and textiles by over 100 local, national and international artists.
The three level gallery is also home to a Mediterranean restaurant, a restored chapel, a nuns’ museum, a penthouse apartment, the stylish altar bar and lounge, retail areas and two stunning function spaces, which are all set within six acres of wondrous gardens.
But it was not always likes this. Originally built in the Gold Rush of the 1860s as a private residence for the gold commissioner, it was later converted into a convent and boarding school.
Left in disrepair, the site was purchased by Greek-Australian artist Tina Banitska in 1989, who worked tirelessly to restore its grounds and building to highlight its original splendour.
No visit to the Convent Gallery is complete without a meander through the award winning gardens surrounding the building.
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