Today the gold is exhausted, but visitors continue to flock to the region to enjoy Australia's largest concentration of naturally occurring mineral springs and arguably the greatest concentration of masseurs and natural therapists, scenic surroundings, a thriving arts and crafts community, boutique accommodation and award-winning food and wine.
For over 150 years, people have been drawn to the health-giving qualities of over 70 natural mineral springs that are located predominantly around the towns of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs but are also found in Ballan, Kyneton, Trentham, Blackwood, Mt Franklin and Eganstown.
Revive and indulge yourself with an array of health and beauty spa treatments such as a luxurious mineral spa bath, flotation tank, salt wrap, mud mask or full-body massage. Then relax at boutique accommodation, from heritage guesthouses and secluded bed and breakfasts to country homes and world renowned small luxury hotels.
Many of the region's towns and attractions are only an hour's drive from Melbourne, making the region a popular retreat for city dwellers. Artisans, craftspeople and migrant populations have brought skills and expertise to the area, on show in impressive galleries, museums and antique stores in towns such as Daylesford, Kyneton and Kilmore.
Around Mount Macedon the temperate climate and mineral-laden soils are well suited to viticulture. There are now more than 30 wineries inviting visitors to sample their product, including outstanding sparkling wines, pinot noirs and chardonnays. There's also an abundance of local produce, from tasty meats to wild mushrooms, crisp apples and succulent berries.
A number of festivals and events including the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival regional events, Hanging Rock Races and the Harvest Picnic further showcase the local harvests and offerings.
Natural attractions include Hanging Rock, the haunting backdrop to The Picnic at Hanging Rock book and film, Mount Macedon's heritage gardens and the towering memorial cross at its peak, the impressive Trentham Falls, the extinct volcano of Mt Franklin, the Lederderg State Park and the Trawool Valley near Seymour. You'll also find kilometres of well-marked trails so you can explore forests, parks and lakes in the region.
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