50 towns in 50 days: There's something in the water at Hepburn Springs

THERE'S something in the water in Hepburn Springs and locals and tourists alike think its good enough to bottle.

Lifelong Hepburn resident Betty Johns said the small tourist town has a great heart, with locals looking out for each other and celebrating the town's heritage.

Visitors come for the famous Hepburn Bathhouse, to enjoy live music and meals at The Palais or Peppers and enjoy beauty in nature and preserved buildings.

"Years ago there was a horse drawn carriage which took people from the train to the guesthouses around town, because there were only about three cars in the district," Johns said.

"It is a good place to raise your family and work, although finding somewhere to work today can be difficult."

Hepburn businesses offer hospitality and spa treatments worthy of the drive from Melbourne or Ballarat, with the local mineral water world famous.

Sitting outside the busy Hepburn General Store, Johns said everyone in Hepburn knew their neighbours and took pride in welcoming visitors.

She said the town retained much of its historic character through local landmarks and industry but a lot had changed in her lifetime.

"Sometimes I wonder if its for the better," she said. "But that's life, isn't it?"

The basics

Municipality: Hepburn Shire

Population: 241

First settled: 1850s

Main Industries: Tourism, hospitality

Claim to fame: Home to the annual Hepburn Springs Swiss Italian Festa

Five fast facts

1. The Hepburn area is named after Captain John Hepburn, one of central Victoria’s earliest squatters

2.  Hepburn Springs was originally known as Spring Creek while Hepburn was known as Old Racecourse.

3. The Hepburn Post Office first opened on 1 January 1854

4. Since the 1920s, the Palais has been a popular venue for dancing and live music.

5.  Italian speaking Swiss immigrants came to the area from the northern Italian mountains

Five things to do

1. Visit one of the many day spa locations to enjoy health, beauty and relaxation treatments, including the Hepburn Bathhouse.  

2. Pick up fresh food, groceries and supplies for a picnic at the bustling General Store.

3. Enjoy walking among the memorials and scenery at the Hepburn Recreation Reserve or in the Hepburn Regional Park.

4. Check in at one of the contemporary accommodation options including Peppers Mineral Springs Resort

5. Pick up a copy of the free weekly Hepburn Advocate for local news and event previews

Lifelong Hepburn Springs resident Betty Johns. PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORD

Lifelong Hepburn Springs resident Betty Johns. PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORD


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