The Sebel Creswick Forest Resort is a fantastic place for a mini break beyond Melbourne, located just out of Ballarat and near gorgeous Daylesford. With a great choice of mountain biking trails, spa culture, golfing, pubs, restaurants and cafes on its doorstep, the destination is definitely one to lock in for an autumn or winter escape. Of course if you need more incentive to book a stay, then you’re in luck, with the property recently finishing a $145,000 refresh of its 18 apartments.
Step back in time
Located in the heart of Victoria’s gold rush country, Creswick, and its neighboring villages of Clunes, Daylesford and Hepburn Springs, The Sebel Creswick is the launch pad for a whole range of amazing sightseeing, wellbeing and heritage tour options. While some might argue that the town’s most famous export is author Norman Lindsay – who wrote the iconic children’s book, The Magic Pudding – others would say that historically, gold is its enduring legacy.
While Lindsay’s artistic memory is kept alive with museums, parks and many buildings named after him in Creswick, the intoxicating gold rush era of the 1850 is never far from mind, with elegant, grand heritage architecture on display in most main streets. A beautiful reminder of the intense prosperity the gold rush represented for the region.
The Buried Rivers of Gold Heritage Trail is a self-guided driving tour worth doing, for a personal journey to uncover the amazing history of gold fever across land and local rivers. Booklets and maps are available for $2 at the Creswick Museum or the Creswick Visitor Information Centre and provide an insight into Creswick’s past and surrounds.
Spas and wellness
Before wellness holidays were ever a ‘thing’, Victoria was en trend and home to the hot spring holiday phenomenon for more than 150 years. Offering Australia’s largest concentration of natural mineral springs, the twin spa towns of Daylesford and the Hepburn Springs are restorative, natural healing and wellness qualities that need to be experienced to be believed! Since 1895, that is exactly what travellers have done, and although swimming in the mineral rich Hepburn Pool is now advised against, you can still soak in the rejuvenating warm waters at a range of nearby professional spas, not least of all the historic Hepburn Bathhouse or delightful destination day spas at The Lakehouse or the Mineral Spa, to name a few.
If spa therapies, steam rooms, pools and aromatherapy aren’t your game, then head to the 30 acre Hepburn Springs Mineral Reserve where an abundance of beautiful gardens and walks wait. The reserve is the perfect place for a picnic, and to fill up your empty water bottle with your choice of mineral waters from Australia’s first mineral reserve, created in 1865. Each spring tastes a little different as the composition of minerals varies – not exactly wine tasting, but a lot healthier for you most would say!
Did someone say wine?
Of course, if you have wine on your mind, Creswick is within easy driving distance to Ballarat, Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges’ many wineries for those who want to trade spring water for a taste of the red, white and sparkling!
The region has a premium wine reputation, with many boutique wineries benefiting from the region’s low temperatures and yields. Popular varietals include pinot noir, pinot gris, chardonnay and sparkling wines. The 2018 Trip Advisor Excellence awarded Daylesford Wine Tours is a great way to explore local vineyards, without the need for a designated diver.
For traditional cider lovers, check out the Daylesford Cider Company to sample English-style, estate-grown apple brews at their best. Worth a visit in winter, with mulled cider by the fire a perfect way to warm up.
Golden golfing and a great yarn
For some, no holiday is complete without a round of golf. Fortunately, The Sebel Creswick Forest Resort is moments from the Creswick Golf Club. Designed by legendary course architect, Tony Cashmere, the 150 acre, international class course is set against a native bushland setting. Each nine holes has two five-par holes and two three-par holes, and is an impressive 6300 metre, championship length from the back tees.
After talking up your golf game, another type of yarn awaits at the Creswick Woollen Mills, a new tourism experience with a difference. “A Very Fine Yarn” showcases the journey of fibre sourced direct from its source – alpacas! Be sure to arrive at Creswick Woollen Mills early in the day to make the most of your production-site visit, check out the beautiful products on offer or to simply stroll the picturesque grounds and see the mills’ resident alpacas up close.
To plan your next holiday escape visit www.accorvacationclub.com.au