Nurture the soul and reconnect with nature among the towering oaks, ghostly eucalypts and myriad rare plants in the public and private gardens dotted around Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges.

Discover the beautiful work of local green thumbs that continue the long tradition of botany and horticulture in the region, making use of the rich soils, distinct seasons and ample rain. Read a book in the shade of a leafy elm, take drink from a natural mineral spring, or get a glimpse of what life was like for Melbourne's nineteenth-century elite.

Botanical treasures

Take a tour of the region's impressive botanic gardens, which you'll find even in the smaller towns thanks to Baron Ferdinand Von Mueller, designer of Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens. Observe the examples in Malmsbury, Kyneton, Melton and Daylesford's Wombat Hill. See Gisborne's botanical garden's contemporary Maori theme, inspired by its New Zealand sister city.

Finding something to do with the kids has never been easier, with imaginative playgrounds and children's parks located across the region, including the Castlemaine Botanic Gardens and the Woodend Children's Park.

Secret gardens

Bask in the serenity of some of Victoria's most stunning private gardens that are regularly open to the public, including Duneira, Tieve Tara and Forest Glade in Mt Macedon and Blackwood Frogmore in Newbury. Looking for a living gift? Be sure to check out specialist nurseries like The Garden of St Erth in Blackwood and the Mount Macedon Horticultural Society's Rare Plant Fair in September.

Behind the walls of the impressive Mount Macedon mansions hide some of Victoria's finest gardens, many National Trust-listed. Time your visit for the occasional open days as part of the Open Garden Scheme in spring and autumn and delight in classic landscaping, as well as quaint cottage gardens.

Therapeutic waters

Trace the waters from the spas in Daylesford and Hepburn Springs to their sources in Sailors Falls, Mount Franklin, the Blowhole and the Hepburn Pool at Hepburn Regional Park. Fill your bottle with the famed mineral waters from the period pump at Kyneton Mineral Springs Reserve. Marvel at the lush ferns and the thunderous drop at Trentham Falls.


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