Art aficionados from near and far make the pilgrimage to The Convent Gallery to take in the glory of this multifaceted chapel-cum-gallery. Perched atop the lush and enchanting Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens – which are worth a visit in their own right – The Convent is a feast for the senses with surprises tucked among its many nooks and crannies.
When Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges glittered with gold in the mid-1800s, the regal Victorian mansion that is The Convent changed trades from being a private residence to a nunnery and boarding school. Many decades later, award-winning artist Tina Banitska brought the majestic structure back to life to become one of Daylesford's most enigmatic attractions.
Combining history, art and spirituality under its steeple, The Convent accommodates a number of galleries and displays a wide collection of pieces from artists all over the world. From hand-moulded ceramics to delicately blown glassware and modern sculpture, the rotating eight-week exhibition program ensures you will be met with a unique display upon every consecutive visit.
Once you've had your fill of fine art, make your way to the Mediterranean-style Bad Habits Cafe to indulge in a little gluttony in the sunshine. Alternatively, enjoy cake and cocktails at the sophisticated Altar Bar and Lounge. The Convent is a popular spot for special events including weddings – with an exclusive penthouse and multi-room guest house on site, it's easy to imagine celebrating your special day in this divine slice of Daylesford.
If your appetite is more for the paranormal than antipasto, join a ghost tour and be thrilled with the secrets hidden behind the convent walls. Don't forget to pop by the gift shop on your way out and pick up a souvenir with soul, whether it's locally made beauty products, kitschy jewellery or the perfect piece to brighten your home.