For many people, there is nothing more glorious than looking across a field of flowering lavender.
But if you think Carol White, the owner of Lavandula Farm, is lucky to have a backyard of the sweet-smelling plant, don't worry she is pleased to share it with visitors.
Her property has four 1850s buildings made from local stone the homestead, an old post office, dairy and a barn. There is also a charming cobbled courtyard shaded by grapevines, plus a bubbling creek and rows of Lombardy poplars. To cap it all off, it is on the sunny side of the hill and a 30m suspension bridge across Jim Crow's Creek gives visitors access to the property. And did we mention the wonderful fields of lavender?
The Swiss Government sent thousands of Italian-speaking Swiss to work in the Victorian goldfields during the rush and they subsequently settled the district once land became available. Carol was a regular weekend visitor to Daylesford and when the old farmhouse went on the market she just had to create a little bit of Europe on the site. She was influenced by the farmhouses of Provence in France and she purchased the property from the family of the original owners. It had been unoccupied for 30 years and so needed a considerable amount of work.
After a steep learning curve, including losing a crop to hungry rabbits, Carol now produces sufficient lavender to make lotions and potions, plus oils and perfumes, creams and even a flea wash for family pets.
The aromatic herb is even used in the property's restaurant, La Trattoria, which serves Ticinese cuisine. Pink lavender lemonade, lavender scones, lavender sausages and lavender, rosemary and lemon roast lamb are some dishes which could be on the menu … but if that sounds a bit much, don't worry, there is a lot to choose from without it.
It's hard to leave Daylesford without a gift or personal indulgence tucked in your bag. There are lavender balms on sale which promise to treat a wide range of aches and itches, plus a selection of other interesting products.
Daylesford enjoys real season changes and you might see fluffy yellow ducklings, daffodils, yellow, red and orange leaves or frosty, foggy mists. Whatever time of year, it is always beautiful.
Fruits and other produce are taken from trees and used in a variety of fashions tomatoes are gently simmered into thick sauces, herbs become pesto, olives are salted or pickled, chestnuts are roasted or dried and paddock and forest mushrooms are key ingredients in many meals.
And if you want a special treat, why not call in to nearby Omada Day Spa for some pampering. They use many Lavandula products in their massages, facials and aromatherapy treatments.
They have a hydrojet spa for one or two people and its mineral salts help to relax, tone and detoxify while you enjoy the aromatherapy oils in the candlelit room. The clever hands of Omada's staff will leave you thoroughly relaxed and generally uplifted.
A one-and-a-quarter hour drive north-west of Melbourne
Lavandula entry is $3 for adults. Children under 13 are free.
Omada Day Spa treatments start at $30.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.
Lavandula Lavender Farm
350 Mail Road, Shepherd's Flat 3461
Ph: (03) 5476 4393
Fax: (03) 5476 firstname.lastname@example.org
Omada Day Spa
106a Main Road, Hepburn Springs 3461
Ph: (03) 5348 4499www.omada-dayspa.com.au
To book a flight, visit "A HREF="http://www.qantas.com.au">www.qantas.com.au or call 13 13 13.