Just over one hour's drive from Melbourne in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range can be found the highest concentration of mineral springs in Australia. 

Autumn is the perfect time of year to visit the areas around Daylesford and Hepburn Springs. 

On a recent visit I found a display garden and nursery with 1200 roses, discovered a 'secret garden' with garden art which will make you smile, explored a garden named after a burrowing animal with a special collection of conifers and a hidden reservoir, and wandered around an art gallery high on a hill in a setting which looks distinctively European.

The Convent Gallery set high on the hill overlooking Daylesford has a fascinating history and seven galleries to explore in 5 acres of manicured gardens.  When I spoke with the gardener he explained how the rows of standard Iceberg roses had been delicately pruned by the resident possum and not one twig was damaged.

The aptly named Secret Garden nursery in Howe St Daylesford will appeal to anyone fond of garden art which is a touch whimsical and quirky.

The Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens are a 19th century garden that has survived into the 21st century.  It has a lookout tower, a covered reservoir and a collection of over 30 trees on the significant trees register.

The Spring Park Nursery and Display Gardens is located in Eganstown, 8km from Daylesford on the Midland Highway.  Pictured above we have Soul Sister, Francis Meilland and For Your Eyes Only.

And if you go to a Mineral Springs area you must try the mineral water.  I have tried them all for you and my favourite is the effervescent natural soda water from the Wyuna Spring!

I hope you have enjoyed this armchair travel guide to a special place in country Victoria.