Located within Victoria’s spa country, Kyneton is a place to rejuvenate, learn new skills and enjoy gourmet local produce. Just a 20 minute drive from the popular town of Daylesford and just over an hour from Melbourne, the gold rush village makes an ideal destination for a weekend getaway.
Home to a vast number of artists and creatives, there will soon be even more reason to visit this flourishing town, with the inaugural Kyneton Contemporary Art Triennial (KCAT2018) set to take place from 14-22 April 2018. Presented by arts collective, Kyneton Contemporary Inc, KCAT2018 will showcase a curated selection of engaging installations across multiple traditional and non-traditional sites.
Whether planning to visit for the Triennial or at another time of year, there is plenty to entertain in Kyneton. Some highlights include:
It is impossible to experience Kyneton without stepping foot on Piper Street, the town’s vibrant retail district. Home to an array of galleries, antique shops, and local designers and makers, not to mention a bevy of restaurants and cafes that are destinations in their own right, this is the epicentre of Kyneton. Lined with heritage buildings, the street itself is pretty-as-a-picture; the street-scape remains largely unchanged since the gold rush era. It is the location of many of the destinations listed below, and worth a stroll to soak up the town’s country charm.
Stockroom Art Gallery
A retail space-come-gallery, Stockroom presents some of Australia’s most talented contemporary artists and will act as the hub for KCAT2018. The thriving arts hub is housed in what was once a butter factory and hosts a monthly program of solo and curated exhibitions across its three gallery spaces and sculpture courtyard. Contemporary artists, makers and designers are also showcased within its retail space, where an array of jewellery, ceramics, homewares, furniture and fashion can be purchased. Public exhibition openings are held on the second Saturday of every month from 4.30pm and masterclasses are also on offer. 98 Piper Street, Kyneton, +61 3 5422 3215
Little Swallow Café
Little Swallow serves up generous portions for breakfast, brunch and lunch. The community based cafe uses ingredients sourced from its own farm where possible, enhancing the flavour of the dishes. Aiming to be a ‘simple, straightforward, rural cafe’ with little pretence, Little Swallow is dedicated to making its customers happy, and has thus become a favourite amongst locals and visitors alike – so much so, it is advisable to book ahead on weekends. The hunger-inducing menu includes breakfast classics, house-made potato gnocchi and sourdough toasties alongside Melba coffee, fresh juices and local beer and wine. 58A Piper Street, Kyneton, +61 3 5422 6702
Piper Street Food Company
Born of a love for charcuterie, Piper Street Food Company is renowned for its top quality food made for sharing. Its terrines, rillettes and parfaits are handmade using classic French recipes with locally sourced ingredients. Picnic baskets are available for those keen to enjoy a meal in one of the town’s parks or gardens – the Kyneton Botanical Gardens and Black Hill Reserve are popular choices. Piper Street Food Company also hosts cooking classes, which can be booked privately or according to the class schedule. 89A Piper Street, Kyneton, +61 3 5422 3553
Maiaveda Holistic Day Spa
Maiaveda’s Ayurvedic treatments are designed to rejuvenate the mind, body and soul. The menu includes a selection of tranquillity-inducing options such as Indian Head Massage, Classic Abhyanga Massage and Padabhyanga (Foot Rejuventation Ritual). Based on an ancient healing tradition, Ayurvedic therapies take into consideration the whole person to detoxify and balance, and each spa treatment is customised to the individual. Maiaveda Holistic Day Spa also offers private wellness retreats in partnership with accommodation provider, Flop House. 18 Piper Street, Kyneton, +61 3 5422 2730
Rundell and Rundell Chairmakers
Woodwork enthusiasts travel from across the country to take part in Rundell and Rundell’s chair making workshops – such is the reputation of founder and teacher, Glen Rundell. Using traditional methods and handheld tools only, Glen has mastered the art of handcrafting chairs, settees, barstools and rocking chairs. With the aim of keeping this art alive, he runs workshops each month during which participants create their work of art. Those with less time can head to The Chairmakers Wife, where a selection of Glen’s handcrafted chairs sit alongside artisan goods from other local and international makers. Commissions are also available and take several months to complete. 29 Piper Street, Kyneton, +61 412 440 895
This intimate French Bistro is the first venture of Michelin Star trained chef, Steven Rogers, who employs traditional methods to create authentic French cuisine. The space is relaxed, inviting and reminiscent of the French countryside, with dark timber panelling, old brass light fittings, an ornate mirror and vintage wine bottles all part of the decor. An extensive selection of cocktails and a comprehensive wine list completes the experience. The restaurant and bar is open Wednesday to Saturday for dinner and Thursday to Sunday for lunch reservations. 60 Piper Street, Kyneton, +61 3 5422 3884
Flop House offers a choice of eight luxury lodgings in and around Kyneton, and plans to add two more to its stable later this year. Each house is unique in its design and each emits an air of comfort and decadence. From a romantic shack for two on the edge of Piper Street, to River House – a boutique villa retreat with infinity pool, tennis court and private river frontage, Flop House has an accommodation option for all types of trips. Guests are provided with guides, bikes, locally made preserves and discounts for local workshops. Its reception on Piper Street doubles as a boutique selling European vintage furniture, blankets and locally-made hair and body products. 60/58 Piper Street, Kyneton, +61 438 160 671
Named in recognition of the importance of our food’s origins, this hatted restaurant is well deserving of its many accolades. Its ever-evolving menu celebrates local produce – some of which is sourced straight from the owners’ garden. An at-least-five-course degustation is a tempting, though not mandatory, option and the a la carte menu boasts an array of mouth-watering options, including several for vegetarians. Awarded two glasses in Australia’s Wine List of the Year Awards, Source Dining’s impressive wine list features an extensive selection of well known and boutique producers. 72 Piper Street, Kyneton, +61 3 5422 2039
The Garden Tap Nursery
A botanical escape in the middle of town, this boutique nursery stocks a range of plants, including several rare varieties. Locally crafted garden art is also stocked here, as are recycled and restored garden wares. Next door, Garden Tap House is an eclectically decorated, three bedroom holiday home set in an historic building. 96 Piper Street, Kyneton, +61 3 5422 6117