Known as the spa centre of Victoria, Daylesford is perched among the verdant forests, rolling hills and serene lakes of Australia’s Central Highlands. Travellers come for the 72 natural springs and health retreats, but also embrace the region’s galleries, country pubs, markets and wineries.
Things to do in Daylesford
The mineral-rich springs in the Daylesford area are easily accessible, including the 1895 Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa in Hepburn Springs, only three kilometres away. Sample the water from a pump at Wombat Flat Mineral Spring on King Street, the closest natural spring to the city.
Tour the manicured grounds of Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens and have breakfast or high tea in the on-site cafe, which also sells takeaway picnic boxes. While on Wombat Hill, visit Convent Gallery in an 1800s convent and stay for drinks at Altar Bar.
Shopping in Daylesford means browsing an array of vintage goods, especially at the Mill Markets. You’ll find everything from fine china to record albums, jewellery and vintage clothing. Brick Lane Bazaar serves as an extension of the markets, with artisans and craftspeople selling restored and repurposed collectables and antiques.
Feel like getting out into nature? Rent a paddleboat at Lake Daylesford, drive out to the Lavandula lavender farm or cycle through Wombat Forest. Visit Passing Clouds Winery to sample local wines and tour the winemaking facilities.
Getting around Daylesford
Daylesford sits about 120 kilometres from Melbourne via the Calder Highway. You can rent a car in town or use local buses that run between Daylesford and Hepburn Springs. Taxis and chauffeured cars are convenient for touring the spas and wineries.