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THE SENIOR TRAVELLER October, 2009 3
The Senior Traveller is a free liftout
with The Senior, published monthly
in NSW and the ACT, Queensland,
Victoria, Western Australia, South
Australia and Tasmania.
Editorial: Sue Preston, PO Box 212 Northcote, Victoria 3070 Phone 0421-543-622 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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IF YOU'RE planning an overseas trip
next year then you'll want to look
out for the next issue of Senior
Traveller which will focus on early-
There are savings to be made by
booking early and taking advantage of
the generous discounts on offer.
Next month we also return to Asia
to bring you more stories about some
of our closest neighbours.
Closer to home, we take you to the
former Quarantine Station in Manly.
Scrubbed clean of its old image of a
place of disease and despair, it is now
a versatile and affordable holiday des-
tination with unrivalled views of the
water and adjacent National Park.
There are plenty of stories -- sad but
true -- to tell within the walls of what
is now known as Q Station.
In December we will present our
pick of the best destinations for 2010.
Send us in your ideas as well, based on
your travels and the places you've
THE therapeutic effects of mineral
water have been documented for cen-
turies. Mineral water is reputed to be
effective in treating arthritis, muscular
complaints and circulatory disorders.
But more importantly, mineral spring
bathhouses were once popular places
where people gathered to luxuriate in the
communal shared rituals of traditional
bathing. Then they went out of vogue and
closed their doors.
Today the delightful age of 'taking the
waters' has been revived at the newly re-
opened Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa in
Victoria's spa capital of Daylesford/
This area has Australia's highest con-
centration of mineral waters. The first of
its 65 springs was discovered by Captain
John Hepburn in 1836.
Soon after, gold was discovered, and the
area became a magnet for workers and
migrants from all over the world. It was
during the search for gold that more
springs were uncovered.
When gold mining activities started to
affect the flow of several of the springs,
the local community successfully lobbied
the shire council to halt mining to protect
In 1865 the Mineral Springs Reserve was
created to protect and manage five springs.
Thirty years later the Hepburn
Bathhouse and Spa was constructed in the
Mineral Springs Reserve, drawing its
waters directly from the springs.
Originally offering just two baths, the
historic bathhouse recently underwent a
$13 million redevelopment and now offers
communal bathing in warmed mineral
waters as well as a full range of individual
spa and beauty treatments.
The original Edwardian bathhouse
now boasts a stunning contemporary
architectural design with more than 30
wet and dry treatment rooms.
The new part of the building sympa-
thetically brings the original bathhouse
into the 21st century while its huge glass
windows bring in the surrounding
Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve.
"There was little Asian influence at the
time of building," said public relations
consultant Betsy Pie.
"However I get many comments now,
when standing on the Relaxation Deck and
looking at the way the bathhouse is situat-
ed alongside the stream, that it is strongly
reminiscent of Japanese bathhouses."
One of the most delightful features is
the original spa couches which are now
submerged in the water in The Sanctuary.
The curative effects of mineral water,
salt water and steam combine in the
Sanctuary wing which also includes an
aroma steam room, salt therapy pool, min-
eral pools and monsoon shower.
Communal bathing prices have been
kept to affordable levels and locals can
take advantage of discounted prices.
Then there is a range of hydrotherapies
or spa treatments such as facials, massage,
body wraps and polishes. It is this combi-
nation of spa and mineral springs experi-
ences that make the Hepburn Bathhouse
and Spa unique in Australia.
Entry to the bathhouse starts at $15 for
two hours midweek. A current special
includes admission to the bathouse and
Devonshire tea in the Pavilion Cafe for $20
When the gold rush hit Central Victoria in the 1850s,
tens of thousands of people flocked there to make
their fortune. However the good people of Hepburn
Springs found something far more lasting under the
ground's surface -- high-yielding mineral springs.
SUE PRESTON reports.
TAKING THE WATERS -- The bathhouse was a popular
meeting spot for families.
Photo courtesy Friends of the Mineral Springs Reserve.
THE Hepburn Bathhouse and
Spa, Mineral Springs Reserve
Road, Hepburn Springs, Victoria,
open seven days a week. Phone
THE Friends of the Hepburn
Mineral Springs Reserve would
like to hear from anyone with
old photos or other memorabilia
of the bathouse. Write to PO Box
79, Hepburn Springs, Vic 3461.
ONLINE accommodation web-
site -- www.takeabreak.com.au --
offers a host of accommodation
options including the
Towerhouse property just a
short walk away.
Accommodating from two to six,
the three-bedroom contempo-
rary property is beautifully fur-
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