Daylesford is a spa town located in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, within the Shire of Hepburn, Victoria, approximately 115 kilometres north-west of Melbourne. It was first established in 1852 as a gold-mining town, and today Daylesford has a population of over 2,500.
As one of Australia’s few spa towns, Daylesford is a notable tourist destination. The town’s numerous spas, restaurants and galleries are popular alongside the many gardens and country-house-conversion styled bed and breakfasts.
The broader area around the town, including Hepburn Springs to the north, is known for its natural spring mineral spas and is the location of over 80 per cent of Australia’s effervescent mineral water reserve.
The commercial centre of Daylesford features many historic buildings including the Post Office (built in 1867), Town Hall (1882), and several hotels and shops. Many residences date back to the last century and consist of miners cottages and more substantial properties, as well as farmhouses on the outskirts of town.
Lake Daylesford, which covers land upon which gold was first discovered, was created in 1929 and is located in the beautiful Central Springs Reserve, and is just a few minutes walk from the town centre. There is a cafe built right beside the lake, picnic spots, walking tracks and several mineral springs. Jetties are provided for fishing and for those wishing to hire rowboats or other pleasure craft.
A short walk from the town centre is the Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens which were first established in 1863. They offer good views over the surrounding countryside and many majestic old trees. The gardens also feature a rotunda, lookout tower and conservatory as well as the top rated Wombat Hill Café.
- Spa treatments, massage and natural therapies
- Bush walking and cycling
- Restaurants (too numerous to mention) covering everything from fine dining to casual, trendy cafes and a vibrant coffee culture.
- Shopping in many boutiques for fashion, country style homewares, local produce and art. For a small town there is plenty of good shopping here.
- Art Galleries and Artists’ Studios offering ceramics, painting, printing and sculpture created by local artists.
- Wineries and a Cidery
- Farmers Markets and local produce outlets.
Businesses that we personally like are:
- Prani Glo Day Spa
- Eko Day Spa
- Manteau Noir Store
- Daylesford & Hepburn Mineral Springs Drinks Company
- Artdeco, 3/27 Vincent Street, Daylesford
- Farmhouse Muesli/Daylesford Hampers
- Bromley & Co, Daylesford Gallery