A lazy weekend in Trentham – visittrentham.com.au sounds wonderful, and it truly was! Situated halfway between Woodend and Daylesford in Victoria, this small country town really punches above its weight in offering lots to look at as well as taste.
Just an hour out of busy Melbourne, Trentham is making a name for itself as the place for a weekend retreat. Surrounded by temperate rainforest it is the gateway to the Wombat State Forest and offers many opportunities to get up and close to native flora and fauna.
If you love gourmet delights, Trentham will be quite a treat. Our two favourite places to eat are du Fermier where you will feast on classic french farmhouse cooking by Cook extraordinaire Annie Smithers, and the Colliban Food Store which has a pantry brimming of delights which you can purchase to take home (including my favourite truffle butter).
Another stop if you are after some bread is the Redbeard Bakery. Open every day from 8.00 am to 5.00pm, it produces organic sourdough bread. If you’re around on the weekend, pop over on Sunday for the sourdough baking workshop. I’m told it is heaps of fun!
So what do kids do in Trentham? Besides eating food delights, Trentham boasts a number of curiosity stores including the incredible Two Fat Wombats that showcases the most exquisite, quirky and original fibreglass creations. On our visit, Miss N walked around the store in amazement. With every footstep she found a new intrigue. Baby birds hatching from nests, chimpanzees in prams, a yard of safari animals and the odd dinosaur. The shop is a menagerie of delights!
The Cosmopolitan has been a favourite of mine since I hosted my 21st birthday party here many years ago. It actually burned down a decade or so ago but has slowly been rebuilt. Whilst it doesn’t technically have any child friendly attractions, it does have a fantastic beer garden where you can let your kids loose.
Trentham Falls is Victoria’s highest single-drop waterfall. It’s a steep walk down and the rocks below are slippery. I swam in the pool beneath the falls as a teenager but I don’t necessarily recommend this. Even in the height of winter the water is chilly! The waterfall is amazing with water plummeting 32 metres over basalt columns into the pool below. It’s a great place to talk about ancient times with your children. Ask them to close their eyes as you tell them that the falls were formed over five million years ago from molten lava rapidly cooled as it flowed along the old Coliban River valley. If you’re really clever and know your geography, you will be able to spot extinct volcanoes in the area to point out to the kids too.
Of course you can also explore the Wombat State Forest, a part of the Great Dividing Range, which spans 75,000-hectares. Just up the road from Trentham is the Lerderderg River which has cut a 300 metre deep gorge through sandstone and slate. This presents lots of opportunities for bushwalking. My childhood is filled with lots of horse rides into this bush so I know that there a many, many amazing things for you to find from animals to old gold digs to abandoned huts. (Remember to tell people where you are going and have a GPS enabled tracking device if you plan to explore).
If your lost for something to do in Trentham, buy a loaf of cheap bread from the IGA and take a short stroll across to the lake. Here you can feed a range of native and introduced water birds. This will keep the kids busy. You may even like to contact the local Historical Society for ideas! Have fun!