It was an early rise for the seniors on Tuesday morning, as we needed to be at the park by 7.30am to meet the coach which was waiting warmed up and ready to leave. 

We all boarded and headed of down the open road towards our destination. 

After picking up members of the Donald Seniors at Donald. The first stop was a pit stop at Maryborough. 

Then onto The chocolate Mill. 

At Chocolate Mill all the chocolate is made on site and sold exclusively from there. There is a retail store in the front of the kitchen, with a viewing window to see the production as it happens. There is also have a cafe' where drinks & chocolate are served.

After morning tea at The Chocolate Mill, our next stop was The Convent Gallery. 

 The origins of this splendid building date back to the Gold Rush era of the 1860s when it was built as a private residence. During the 1880s it was purchased by the Catholic Church and converted into The Holy Cross Convent and Boarding School for Girls. Closing in 1973, the building and grounds fell into disrepair. In 1988 Tina Banitska bought the property with great plans. The nun’s infirmary and one of the nuns ‘cells’ or bedrooms have been left unrestored to give visitors an insight into how things once were.

After lunch at the Gallery, the next item was a tour of the town and afternoon tea at the bakery.

We boarded the coach at 3.30pm for our last port of call (Lavandula) the Lavender Farm.

 Lavandula is a very European experience

Out in the countryside ten minutes north of Daylesford, drive over the creek, walk up a poplar-lined driveway. You'll find around the cobbled courtyard a cluster of farmhouse buildings: the House, the Barn, and the Still room. Italian-speaking Swiss immigrants built in golden stone and ran a dairy farm for 4 generations from the 1860s.

Twenty years ago Carol White bought the property and was inspired to re-create the traditional mixed farm lifestyle of those earlier settlers. The stone farmhouse has been restored and lived in. Now you can admire its superb simple rural Italian architecture.

There is  the café where you lunch al fresco. There’s the garden, lavender fields, farmyard, the olive & chestnut groves, the vineyard and in the distance the ancient volcano that delivered the fertile soil. The garden was designed to enhance Lavandula’s Italian style and seasonally grows food for the cafe'.

We departed via the foot bridge and boarded the coach for home.

After dropping off the Donald Seniors at Donald we arrived home at 7.30pm a very tired but happy group looking forward to our next adventure.

 

Our Coach for the Day 

Entrance to Chocolate Mill

Chocolates 

Hot Chocolate Cafe' 

The next stop was The Convent Gallery where some interesting Art was on display and for sale. There was also a well stocked Gift Shop.

 

 

A lead-light Window in The chapel at The Convent 

The Lavender Farm was originally a Dairy Farm and this imposing building was the Milking Shed  

On the Open Road 

Sculpture at Chocolate Mill 

Pat and the Chocolates 

 Morning Tea 

Ellen with a local Resident 

 After lunch at the Convent Gallery we ate at the local Bakery 

Tables and Chairs at The Bakery 

The Entrance to Exhibit and the Lavender Farm Gift Shop  

Thank you to our Driver for the day 

Our first Pitstop at Maryborough 

Chocolates 

And more Chocolates 

 At The Chocolate Mill

This Art piece was interesting, consisting of small pieces of coloured paper pasted to a canvas 

Our last port of call was The Lavender Farm

 

The Coach crossing the Creek at the Farm 

We left using the Foot Bridge 

Scenery on the way home.