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Visit Victoria
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Weekend in Spa Country

Daylesford, Victoria

I've heard of those holiday things, week-ends with nothing to do, weeks indulging in energetic sports, fortnights indulging the mind and senses at cultural centres. You won't catch me falling for that nonsense, so when I decided to spend the weekend in Victoria's spa country I took all you readers along with me.

Surfing through the net I found a nice bed and breakfast, which turned out to be run by a very nice couple whose last guest I was.

I made off by foot from the B and B (which unlike U.S. B and B's are not activity-loaded places, but simply places to stay and have breakfast in the morning), and headed for the Hepburn Springs and the spa.

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The area is lovely, and there is a beautiful old building from the days when people "took the waters" for their health. Although I have drunk the water bottled and sold in shops, I found taking it from the pumps wasn't that pleasant.

As for the spa, it was some of the worst money ever spent. The light leaked in the sensory deprivation-style tank, so I just lay there in nasty water and stared at the strips of light. The other treatments were equally mediocre.

By contrast, the town, although definitely touristy is very pleasant. An old movie museum, lots of cafes with good food, including morning teas, the stape of Victorian tourist areas, a combination of new and found objects for sale.

This is lavender growing land, and I especially loved the lavender flavoured boiled sweets. YUM! Tours are available to the lavender farms, although I didn't go on any.

A word of caution to the mobile phone addicts, however, the reception is insanely patchy, so accept that fact that you'll be in and out of reach.

Despite being a tourist destination, this area is a lovely place to go to get away from the madding crowd.

On a second weekend, I went up with one of the families who write reviews for Festivale, the Kehers. We visited the springs, checked out the various shops and tested the food. We also checked out a barn selling old everything where I collected a box full of hard back Georgette Heyer titles before we sought out a local open-air market at the steam train station.

Hepburn Springs pump building, Victoria, Australia; 350x146

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Right: The old pump building at Hepburn Springs