Owns 'FoodLit'. Highly qualified, established food & lifestyle writer, former restaurateur, founder professional writing business, Articul8. Long, diverse writing history, passion for food culture, the land & inspired food language.www.foodlit.com.au
Published December 28th 2009
When was the last time you headed to the healing waters of Hepburn Springs? While some of you might have bathed in them, did you know you can pump the bubbly stuff directly from the ground and drink it at the Hepburn Springs Mineral Reserve? It's a gorgeous location that also makes an idyllic picnic spot.
The reserve, 30 glorious hectares of land that includes the newly refurbished Hepburn Spa Mineral Springs Bathhouse, contains numerous mineral waters springs that have been used for bathing and drinking since around the mid-1800's. In fact the many Swiss-Italians and other immigrants originally settled in the region to "take the waters".
Well, if you're willing to flex your muscles, you can pump your own mineral water from six hand-operated pumps and "take the waters" too.
You'll find them in various locations between 30 metres and two kilometres from the car park. Each has different properties, mineral compositions (lime, magnesium, sulphur, soda, etc), and flavours.
A word of warning: if you've only ever tasted the bottled stuff, especially the flavoured variety that's full of sugar, let's just say that what you're going to pump from the ground is an acquired taste. It's very different. Some love it, others hate it, but the experience is a whole lot of fun.
I acquired the taste early, as I was part of an Italian family that headed to the hills regularly, complete with cases of empty bottles to fill and take home (which people still do today), and enjoyed huge, boisterous family picnics washed down with cool, fresh mineral water. Needless to say, I love the stuff!
The area has many things to explore, so you're best to allow the better part of a day. The reserve forms part of the larger Hepburn Regional Park and offers an endless array of walking tracks, picnic and barbecue areas, playgrounds, and plenty of flora and fauna to spot and enjoy.
Speaking of enjoying, you might as well make the most of it and soak up a spa, a massage, or some seriously sublime pampering.
You can find plenty more spa offerings all over Australia at this day spa, massage and spa resort guide, DaySpaGuide.com.au.