Daylesford is my absolute favourite country town. Located 115 kilometres North West of Melbourne, it has everything I look for in a weekend escape destination. Fresh air quality food, a town nicely situated on a hill overlooking a lake, walking tracks, a sophisticated, yet relaxed atmosphere and proliferation of mineral spas for when you feel like a good soak. Freshly back from my umpteenth trip, I give you a list of the best Daylesford has to offer.
Food & drinks: The Farmers Arms, Bistro Terroir, Pancho, Beppe, Larder & L1, Cliffy’s Emporium, Wombat Hill Cafe, Boathouse, Daylesford Chargrilled Chicken, Daylesford Health & Organics, Himalaya Bakery & Cafe and Sweet Decadence at Locantro.
Best spas: Mineral Spa at Peppers or the Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa.
Walks: Take a stroll around the lake, along a section of the Goldfields Track or up the steep hill to the Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens. There is so much nature to see all around Daylesford from the magnificent deciduous trees to the beautiful rosellas and black cockatoos. One option is book a Secret Forest Walk, a GPS tour of the surrounding forest that includes a number of hidden art installations.
Shopping: Manteau Noir, Harry & Me, Paradise Bookshop, Sister George Productions, Brick Lane Bazaar, Artedeco, Creswick Natural Fibres and eCasa.
Live music: The Radio Springs Hotel in nearby Lyonville with live music Thursday to Sunday.
Sunday markets and vintage train ride.
While in Daylesford, we also like to make the trip to the nearby towns of Hepburn Springs, Trentham, Kyneton and Ballarat.
Accommodation: DayGet, a local accommodation booking service, manage most of the better accommodation options in Daylesford. Recommendations include Walnut House, Stag & Millie’s, Lake Daylesford Apartments and Montacute Pavilions.
You can read about the history of the Daylesford area here.