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This tiny town 100 kilometres (62 miles) northwest of Melbourne was born from gold, with prospectors flocking in droves to this part of the state to seek their fortunes. Many struck it rich along the sheer ridge of the Great Dividing Range, not just in gleaming nuggets but also in discovering the region’s bubbling, mineral-rich natural springs, characteristic of Trentham’s neighbouring towns like Daylesford and Hepburn Springs. Also neighbouring is wildlife-rich Wombat State Forest, home to thundering waterfalls accessible via epic hiking and cycling trails.
When you’re not working up a sweat in bathhouses or in the great outdoors, Trentham itself offers a taste of yesteryear, its handsome historic buildings now home to boutiques and cafes, the leafy streetscape so pretty it has been the backdrop for a number of films. The rich, volcanic soil here nurtures postcard-perfect gardens as well as orchards of cherries, chestnuts, and olives — bring your stamina and your appetite, because outdoor adventures and culinary indulgences go hand in hand in Trentham.
Numerous domestic and international airlines service Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (MEL), the closest gateway to Trentham, with buses, taxis, and rideshare options ferrying you to Melbourne’s city centre. From here, trains and buses journey northwest to your destination: a bus route leads to Trentham via Kyneton, and a train-bus combo connects via Woodend.
When you arrive, Trentham is small enough to explore on foot in a few minutes. But if you are planning to venture further afield, it’s ideal to have your own vehicle, as public transportation around the region is limited, and many attractions are difficult to reach. Rent cars at the airport or in Melbourne’s centre and then drive the scenic hour northwest to Trentham, taking in some of the most bucolic rolling countryside in the state.
Given its proximity to Melbourne, Trentham is popular year-round, with each season offering a lingering appeal. Visit in winter to sip wines fireside and indulge in the region’s truffles, harvested this time of year. Cooler months are also peak season for outdoor adventures, including cycling and hiking.
But the true claim to fame for Trentham and the surrounding countryside is its glorious seasonal flora — a rarity in Australia — which sees the petite village and surrounding countryside blossom boldly in spring, and then transform into fiery colours throughout autumn.
This part of Victoria is mineral spring country, which means that minutes after leaving Trentham you can be immersed in healing thermal waters in the nearby towns of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs. Book into bathhouses where you can soak away what ails you, or sign up for indulgent spa treatments including massages and facials — wellness centres abound.
Trentham Falls in the Coliban River Scenic Reserve breaks records in Victoria as one of the longest single-drop waterfalls of its kind. Water tumbles 32 metres from the clifftop over basalt columns to the forest floor, then cuts through a gorge laced with native flora. Head to the lookout for views over this immense wilderness area.
Just south of Trentham, this vast wilderness area unites earth-cleaving gorges with fast-flowing rivers — and plenty of hiking trails in between. Serious trekkers can anticipate dramatic views from clifftop lookouts, while families can bring barbecue supplies to cook up beside the river before a gentle stroll to Grahams Dam.