Animus Distillery

Animus Distillery, Kyneton.

To be truthful, we have not been there yet. But a reliable friend has – and that’s good enough! Guessing that this tasting bar and cocktail lounge is a great contributor to the ever-growing and popular gin scene in Australia – and a good reason to hit upon Kyneton and surrounds for a day trip.

Update: Fortune saw me drop in to the Animus Distillery in Kynton earlier this winter (2019) and what a fabulous stop it was at the end of a day trip that featured Daylesford and environs. The bar is fabulous and we indulged in a charcuterie platter and some of their splendid cocktails. (The driver took it easy, though, but transported a bottle of their ‘classic’ gin back home to Melbourne for enjoyment over a longer time frame.)



Castlemaine, Victorian Goldfields.

Castlemaine was a central point in the Victorian gold rush and maintains much of the building history from that time. Situated about 120 kilometres from Melbourne it contains a host of interesting stopping points for a one-town destination. And the drives in and out through all directions provide beautiful scenery for leisurely country driving.

Photo: Michelle Jarni


Du Fermier

Du Fermier, Trentham.

Annie Smithers: Cook, author and farmer.

Quote from website: Annie creates a seasonal menu each weekend. Sometimes the dishes are plated, sometimes shared, always they revolve around what is being harvested from the garden or taken from the store cupboard. The food is based on classic French farmhouse dishes that are to be enjoyed with friends and family.

This is a lovely place to stop for lunch while headed north from Melbourne. Actually, it is a complete reason to head north from Melbourne!

Photo: Robert Blackburn


Mt. Macedon Hotel

Mt. Macedon Hotel – beer on tap
Mt. Macedon Hotel

This is classic country pub territory. Just an hour from Melbourne, it is a popular stop for people passing through (or over) or simply making it their destination for a day trip from the city. It is old school and simple, and for us represents a great focal point for exploration of the small town of Mt. Macedon and its famous lookout.


Lake House, Daylesford

Daylesford definitely qualifies as a d’Luxe one-stop-destination from Melbourne. The drive there is beautiful. The lake is beautiful. And the old Victorian town is beautiful. Also, if you have the chance to dine at the Lake House, run by Alla Wolf-Tasker, that too is beautiful.