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An ideal escape for couples, Daylesford is a land of natural beauty, culinary masterpieces, and indulgent wellness experiences.

Just 90-minutes from Melbourne, it’s a world away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Daylesford was recently named by as one of the most welcoming places on the planet. From warm and welcoming hospitality venues, to the many wellness practices and day spas, boutique shops and vibrant art spaces, this is a town that loves and embraces visitors and goes out of its way to make them feel welcome.

Relax and rejuvenate

The Dja Dja Wurrung people, who occupied these lands for thousands of years have long-regarded Daylesford as a special place of healing. This is thanks to the vast network of natural mineral water springs the area is home to. Sipping the mineral-rich water is said to revitalise the soul.

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a wellbeing experience or treatment, with a seemingly endless list of options available. For a truly unique experience, The Spa at Lake House offers a Mineral Water ‘Tree Top’ Soak. Set in a magical treetop location, private circular spa tubs sit in individual ‘cabins’ and look out through the willow trees to Lake Daylesford. Alternatively, opt for a deeply relaxing, stress relieving reiki session at Daylesford Healing Massage. You’ll walk away feeling calm and re-energised.

Fine dining and fresh produce

Daylesford is as a foodie’s paradise where each meal is a culinary adventure. Explore farm gates, farmers’ markets, cellar doors, micro-breweries, gin distilleries, welcoming country pubs, charming cafés and hatted restaurants.

Treating yourself to lunch at the renowned, two hatted restaurant at Lake House is one of life’s true pleasures. Other fine dining highlights include the sustainably focused and picturesque Sault Restaurant, the French inspired Bistro Terroir and the two hatted Kadota, where lovingly crafted Japanese dishes are carefully produced using seasonal local artisanal ingredients.

For more casual bites, Winespeake is a favourite, where a platter of local cheese is the ideal accompaniment to a drop of local wine. Cliffy’s Emporium is the go-to spot for brunch, while Wombat Hill House café is ideal for a coffee and light lunch surrounded by garden views. Just out of town, Passing Clouds Winery in another great lunch option, with the three-course shared menu prepared over their charcoal fire pit. Lunch can then be washed down at nearby Daylesford Cider.

Natural beauty

No visit is complete without a walk around the tranquil Lake Daylesford, the perfect spot to unwind and connect with nature. Allow time to circumnavigate the whole lake (2.8km, allow 40-minutes). You’ll cross storybook bridges and pass mineral spring pumps.

Other mineral pumps can be found at Sailors Falls, just outside of town. Be awed by the beauty of these spectacular twin falls and make sure you take the time to read the interpretive signage detailing the history and fascinating geology of the area.

Perched high on the summit of an extinct volcano, Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens is another must visit attraction. Originally designed in the 1880s, the pinnacle of the gardens is Pioneer Memorial Tower, which soars high above the trees and offers superb views of the surrounding forest, and the town of Daylesford itself.

Boutique shopping, studios and art galleries

Vincent Street is the charming heart of Daylesford. Here, art galleries and antique stores can be found sitting alongside designer boutiques. Drop into boutique stores such as Harry & Me and Creswick Woollen Mills, or find that one of a kind artwork at Bromley & Co.

Allow plenty of time to peruse the artworks at The Convent Gallery. Perched on the slopes of Wombat Hill, this grand old building contains eight gallery spaces. The surrounding gardens have been compared to some of the most famous in Versailles and are reason alone for visiting.

Luxurious accommodation

You won’t find big chain hotels in Daylesford. Instead, you will find a collection of boutique, independently run properties. Choose from luxurious resorts to architecturally designed digs or cosy self-contained cottages. For a truly luxurious stay, you can’t go past Lake House Daylesford. Recognised as one of Australia’s most romantic hotels, Lake House is famous for its beautiful lakeside location, two-hatted destination restaurant, luxury accommodation, award-winning cellar and impeccable service.

If you’re after a self-contained option, book a stay through one of the Daylesford’s leading booking agents such as Daylesford Country Retreats, The Houses Daylesford, Discover Daylesford or Dayget.

It’s hard not to feel a sense of peace and serenity in this charming hilltop town. A home away from home, you’ll leave feeling refreshed, re-energised and recharged from the connections you have made with the friendly locals.

About the author

Daylesford Macedon Tourism

Daylesford Macedon Tourism Ltd is the Regional Tourism Board for the Daylesford and Macedon Ranges region.