Fun fact: 80 per cent of the country’s mineral springs are in the Daylesford region, which makes it perfect for spa treatments and easing tired muscles with long, hot soaks. The Hepburn Springs Bathhouse has been a centre for wellness and social bathing since 1895, so you can be pretty sure they've got it down pat by now.
There are two different areas for soaking, the general bathhouse and the Sanctuary. The main bathhouse has two different heated, chlorinated pools (the water comes from the mineral springs, but it is chlroinated for hygiene reasons). The Sanctuary is a larger space and includes a magnesium salt bath (under a gorgeous skylight; you'll feel weightless as your muscle aches melt away); a spa couch bath (you can lie on one of several underwater beds and let the bubbles work their magic); a rainfall shower in three different temperatures; two saunas, one of which includes an aromatherapy element; and an outdoor spa on the deck, which overlooks the beautiful Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve. There is also a cold plunge pool on the deck, so you can zip between the hot and cold water for maximum skin-tingling effect.
Feeling like even more pampering? You can book numerous spa treatments at the bathhouse, including a private bath in pure, unchlorinated mineral water. You can turn your bathing experience into a skin-enriching experience with a mud bath or a royal milk bath, or let the mineral salts in the water work their magic on tired muscles.
There are also other water-based spa treatments, like an exfoliating vichy. Jets of warm water run over your body as you lie on a spa table, and the therapist massages mineral salts into your body to relax muscles and soften skin. You can choose different blends of salts and oils depending on whether you want to relax or invigorate. The best bit comes at the end, with a toe-tingling scalp massage. Our advice: wear a swim cossie bottom to this one, as you are definitely going to get wet.
Prefer to stay dry? You can also treat yourself to a remedial or relaxation massage, or a variety of facials. The bathhouse also offers volcanic hot stone massage, for the ultimate in comfortable relaxation. Facials are also available, as are various steam therapies. It's a one-stop shop for ultimate relaxation.
You aren't going to feel like driving anywhere after that much relaxing, but luckily Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa also offers accommodation options, so you can make an indulgent weekend of it. The Hepburn Springs Escape villas are elegant and modern, with remote-controlled fireplaces (yes really!), flat-screen TVs and ultimate comfort. The dominating feature of each villa is the colossal spa bath in the middle of the room, with mineral salts available for extra-special bathing. The villas look out over the bathhouse and surrounding bushland, making them feel like a world away from the cares of real life.
* Cassidy Knowlton stayed as a guest of Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa