Known as Victoria’s spa country, Daylesford is known for it’s relaxing spas, mineral springs, delicious food and beautiful countryside. It’s the perfect place for a quick getaway from Melbourne, especially during Autumn when the countryside comes alive with stunning colour as the trees start to change for the season.
Whether you have an afternoon to spare or a whole weekend, there’s no shortage of things to do and places to explore around Daylesford. Here’s our guide to the best ways to spend a weekend in Daylesford.
What to do in Daylesford
Daylesford is actually home to the largest concentration of mineral springs in Australia, and because of this many of the attractions around Daylesford take advantage of the natural goodness in the area.
There are lots of places to relax and indulge in spa treatments around Daylesford and the neighbouring town of Hepburn Springs, but one of the best and most popular is the Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa. There are all kinds of experiences on offer here, including mineral bathing, massages, water therapy, private mineral baths and steam therapies that are sure to have you feeling rejuvenated in no time.
Some of the other mineral spas in the area include Acqua Viva Day Spa, Salus Spa at the Lake House and The Mineral Spa.
Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa || Mineral Springs Reserve Road, Hepburn Springs || Ph: (03) 5321 6000
Whether you’re looking for a picnic spot, a good walking track or somewhere to take a dip in the water, Lake Daylesford has you covered. This lake provides a beautifully relaxing spot in the country where you can relax, unwind and slow down a little bit. Have lunch on the water at the Boathouse Restaurant or actually jump onto the water and spend some time paddle boating in the sunshine.
Head up to Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens for views over the town of Daylesford from the Pioneers Lookout Tower. Only 5 minutes out of the town centre, this spot offers a different view over the town and is a great place to visit at sunset.
Shopping in Daylesford
Daylesford is known for it’s unbelievable vintage and antique shopping destinations. It’s a hot spot for insane sequin dresses, unique antique furniture, and all kinds of jewellery and home decor that are unlike anything else. You could easily come here and spend a whole weekend shopping up a storm.
Some of our favourite places to sop around Daylesford include –
Our favourite stop is Brick Lane Bazaar that offers a huge collection of pretty much everything you could imagine. This shop is just so interesting, you need to go in and have a browse! From vintage clothing to 50s memorabilia, book and records and even an epic lolly shop, this really is one of the coolest throwback stores you will visit.
Brick Lane Bazaar || 34 Vincent Street, Daylesford || Open from 10am to 5pm daily
The infamous Mill Markets is the perfect place to visit if you’re looking to do some vintage shopping, with all kinds of retro gems to be found here. You can find one of a kind pieces from vintage clothing to antique furniture, as well as unique jewellery, art, home decor and heaps more. It’s affectionately nicknamed Aladdin’s Cave due to all the treasures to be found here.
Mill Markets || 105 Central Springs Road, Daylesford || Open from 10am to 6pm daily
The Daylesford Sunday Market is an iconic attraction for anyone visiting Daylesford for the first time. The market is held a the historic Daylesford Spa Country Railway Station and is home to more than 100 stalls selling everything you could think of from plants to local produce and crafts. As an extra bonus there’s also a steam train running between the market and Bullarto throughout the day, as well as buskers and a petting zoo!
Sunday Markets || 18 Raglan Street, Daylesford || Open from 8am to 1:30pm each Sunday
If you’re looking for the ultimate bookstore, look no further that The Paradise Bookshop. With 14 rooms full of new and second-hand books it’s almost impossible to walk out empty handed. There’s also a huge range of games, records and CDs, comics, toys and even fossils to explore at the store. You could easily spend a whole afternoon browsing here.
The Paradise Bookshop || 46 Vincent Street, Daylesford || Open from 10:30am to 5pm daily
Where to eat in Daylesford
From quirky cafes to high end luxury restaurants, you can find all kinds of cuisine and dining experiences around the streets of Daylesford. There’s definitely something for every occasion and if you’re celebrating something special, this is the place to be.
If you’re looking for something a little bit fancy head to Sault Restaurant on the outskirts of Daylesford. This beautiful spot is overlooking a field of lavender, and has stunning views over to Wombat State Forest. It’s a little bit pricey, but definitely offers a meal you will not forget. Try the tasting plates with a glass of local wine for the best afternoon.
Sault is open for dinner from 6pm from Thursday to Sunday, as well as lunch from 11am on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Sault Restaurant || 2349 Ballan Daylesford Road, Daylesford || Ph: (03) 5348 6555
An iconic eating spot in Daylesford is Cliffy’s. It’s easily missed if you’re not looking out for it, as it’s just off the main street, up towards the Botanic Gardens. It’s definitely the cutest cafe in town, with rustic barnyard vibes and a distinct smell off coffee wafting out to the street. Hit up their deli before you leave to stock up on local bread, pies, cakes and all sorts of other produce.
Cliffy’s is open from 8am to 3pm Monday to Friday and 8:30am to 3pm on the weekends.
Cliffy’s || 30 Raglan Street, Daylesford || Ph: (03) 5348 3279
For a scenic bite to eat head to the Boathouse Restaurant on Lake Daylesford. This cute little restaurant sits out on top of the water, where you can soak up the sunshine and watch the boats slowly paddle past. This beautiful little spot offers a very relaxing afternoon and a completely laid back dining experience.
The Boathouse is open for lunch from 11:30am to 2:30pm from Wednesday to Sunday and for dinner from 5:30pm to 8:30pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Walk in only available at lunch time, but you can make a reservation if you’re going for dinner.
The Boathouse || 2 Leggatt Street, Daylesford || Ph: (03) 5348 2199
If you’re looking for a winery in the region, head to Passing Clouds for an afternoon amongst the grapes, with beautiful views out to the mountains. It’s only about 5 minutes out from Daylesford’s town centre and offers a delicious taste of the local wines. Hit up their cellar door to taste a few of their different options before you settle on a bottle for the afternoon.
Passing Clouds Cellar Door is open from 10am to 5pm daily, but their dining room is only open from Friday to Monday, from 12pm onwards.
Passing Clouds Winery || 30 Roddas Lane, Musk || Ph: (03) 5348 5550
Where to stay in Dayesford
No matter what your budget, there is somewhere for everyone to stay in Daylesford, from the super luxurious resorts to budget hostels. Start your accommodation search with some of these –
Other places to visit around Daylesford
There’s lots more to explore in this region than just the town of Daylesford itself. Get out in nature at some of these spots and explore more of country Victoria.
Take a short walk through the native bushland to visit Trentham Falls, a stunning waterfall dropping 32 metres. Visiting during the winter months offers the most impressive views of the falls, as this is when the flow of water is strongest.
Just outside of Woodend you can find Hanging Rock. Standing at 105 metres tall and formed nearly 6 million years ago, Hanging Rock is actually a small volcano and is quite a strange but unique site to see. There’s heaps of indigenous history around Hanging Rock, with spring time offering the best conditions for a visit.
Macedon Ranges is another hot spot to explore, with views all the way out to Melbourne from the famous Memorial Cross and lookout. Hike up to the Camels Hump, which is the highest point in the rages, where you can even see Hanging Rock in the distance. Or picnic in some of the gardens around the ranges, including Forest Glade, Tieve Tara and Duneira Estate.
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