Daylesford is a town in the foothills of the Macedon Ranges of Victoria and is mostly known for its natural mineral springs.
The leafy Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens sits atop an extinct volcano. On its grounds, a 19th-century mansion is home to the Convent Gallery.
Daylesford Spa Country Railway winds through farmland and forest. Nearby, Wombat State Forest shelters rare wildlife like the spot-tailed quoll.
From the Dja Dja Wurrung people, who first inhabited the land thousands of years ago, to the Swiss Italian migrants of the gold rush and Melbourne’s turn-of-the-century holidaymakers, Daylesford has long been considered a special place of healing.
Wellness and vitality
Find balance and invigorate your body and mind in Daylesford’s famous mineral waters. Enjoy the region’s natural mineral springs with a rejuvenating spa experience at Daylesford Day Spa or Salus Spa at the Lake House or book in for relaxing massages and silky, skin-renewing rituals at Daylesford Healing Massage.
Neighbouring Hepburn Springs offers more opportunities for R&R at Hepburn Bathhouse and Peppers Mineral Springs.
Slow down, unwind and be sure to take in the natural surroundings of Victoria’s spa centre. Watch native wildlife at play and fill up a bottle with the local mineral water down at Lake Daylesford, paddle around in a kayak on Jubilee Lake, or get the blood flowing with a walk to the top of Wombat Hill.
Once there, look out over the township before entering the striking Convent Gallery, housed in a historic 19th century mansion. Peruse three levels of local, national and international art, then take the time for reflection in the onsite cafe, surrounding art and sculpture park or deeper into the botanic gardens.
Browse art collectables and homewares at boutiques, such as Bromley & Co., Arte Deco and Harry & Me, pick up statement fashion pieces at Alpaca Passion and Manteau Noir or climb aboard the Spa Country Railway for a trip with the kids to the popular Sunday Market.
Time your visit to coincide with one of the town’s many community celebrations. A regional mecca for the gay community, Daylesford comes alive each March for the annual Chill Out Festival, the largest country queer pride event in Australia.
From the farm to the plate
Save your seat at some of Victoria’s best restaurants. Wine and dine at Daylesford’s renowned Lake House Restaurant, winner of two hats from the Good Food Guide 2019 or try out the Argus Dining Room. Make a reservation for fine pub dining at the Farmers Arms, or supper at Mercato, where style and seasonal produce meet.
Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm
Ten minutes north of Daylesford, Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm is an iconic property nestled among the rolling hills of Shepherds Flat. The 100 acre property was once farmed by Swiss-Italians, who came to Australia in the 1850’s looking for new opportunities.
In the late 1980’s, Carol White and her family restored and re-imagined the old dairy farm and it has become one of Victoria’s most important rural properties.
European style gardens were planted out to frame and meander around the original stone buildings. Productive vegetable and herb gardens were established to supply the cafe, La Trattoria. Lavender was planted out to provide quality materials for the creation of farm-made body lotions and creams, room mists and insecticides, and essential oil.
La Trattoria eatery serves late breakfasts, morning teas, lunches and afternoon teas. Produce is sourced locally and from its own gardens. The cafe is fully licensed with a good range of local wines, beers and ciders, including its famous lavender champagne.
Lavandula hosts three major festivals each year: Autumn Harvest in May, La Primavera in October and Lavender Harvest in January.