STORY – ELIZABETH GRAHAM
I can pinpoint the moment I fall in love with Hepburn Springs. It happens during the first 10 minutes it takes to walk to yoga class on the first morning of my stay. Firstly I am struck by the intrinsic prettiness of this sleepy village in country Victoria: a handful of streets perched along the top of a hill, its cottages and villas surrounded by dense bushland. To complete the idyllic scene, there is a good dusting of morning frost on show. Then as I crunch my way over to class, I realise that for a tiny village, it’s got an awful lot of things to keep me happy and nourished for a few days. I spy a funky cafe, a gallery and some shops, a grand hotel, a famous bathhouse where you can bathe in local spring water, signs for massage therapists, a national park and of course, a yoga class.
Famous since the late 19th century for its concentration of mineral springs, Hepburn Springs (and its sister-town Daylesford) could have stayed a quaint resort destination, a throw back to a time when “taking the waters” was a fool proof cure for whatever ailed you. Instead it has evolved into a community with wide spread talent. Galleries and restaurants thrive here as much as spas. The rich volcanic soil creates top quality produce, of which locals are rightly proud. On the wellbeing front, there are not one, but two yoga centers in the region, plus dozens of massage therapists. Accommodation options are infinite, with everything from miners cottages to modern villas.
Saltus, a collection of self-contained villas is the epitome of modern accommodation that’s emerging in Hepburn Springs. With floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking bushland, sleek gadgets, heated floors and a terrazzo bath big enough to swim in, owners Amanda and Paul have ticked all the boxes and then gone further with using top-class materials and stylish decor. If you are there in the warmer months you can enjoy the view of a majestic elm tree and it’s flock of red parrots.
The region is home to the country’s largest amount of mineral springs, underground deposits of bubbly water rich in iron, potassium, calcium, sulphur and dozes of other essential minerals. Around this potent water supply have sprung various spas and bathhouses over the years, the biggest and most famous being the Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa.
It all makes for a terrific location for a DIY retreat where you can have generous helpings of yoga with as little or as much luxury as you’d like.
During your stay at Saltus, enjoy private yoga classes just down the road at le yoga – www.leyoga.com.au -Contact Adrian.