The perfect weekend getaway.
I don’t know about you, but coming out of the most recent lockdown, I’m ready for a getaway! A chance to walk different roads, see different sites and put down the Uber Eats and eat somewhere I never have before.
Daylesford is the perfect spot to do all that (and honestly, so much more!). Whether you’re a foodie, an adventurist, someone in desperate need of a wine tour, or simply want to shake out of your lockdown routine, Daylesford has it all.
Not sure where to start planning that trip? Here are the top must-sees and dos in Daylesford – no matter what you’re looking for!
Take a walk
Looking to get those 10,000 steps up? In Daylesford, it’s as easy exploring.
Orient yourself with a stroll of the gorgeous town centre, flowing in and out of the boutiques. Grab a coffee from Larder and meander. If you’re feeling ambitious you could walk up Wombat Hill – but if you’re anything like me, a sunset picnic up there may be your best bet!
Although Daylesford didn’t scream wine-region to me, I was very happy to be corrected on that fact.
Apparently, the region not only produces some of the best sparklings in Australia but also has great conditions for shiraz, chardonnay and pinot noir! Luckily for the winemakers up there, I love a pinot!
If you’ve got yourself a designated driver, you’re in luck – but if not, definitely consider hiring one of the local guides for that invaluable insider knowledge. I, however, made my mum drive while I tasted.
Planning our mini wine tour was as simple as a few Googles (and a few phone calls to ask about restrictions, bookings etc.). We started our adventure at delicious and sustainably-produced Zig Zag Road Wines (the furthest away) and worked our way back into town. Our tour took us via Wombat Forest Winery (which was one of the most beautifully Aussie places I’ve been) and Passing Clouds. We ended with a refreshing tasting paddle overlooking the lawns at Daylesford Cider Company – which would be perfect if you’ve been carting around kids or friends that are starting to act like kids!
Looking for a more low-key drink? Winespeake Cellar + Deli is perfect for a pre-dinner drink (especially perfect before reservations at Beppe or Bistrot Terroir) and has one of the most gorgeous selections of cheese I’ve seen.
Needing to re-hydrate after one too many ciders or wines? What Daylesford dishes out in hangovers, it cures as well.
Treat yourself to walk around the Central Springs Mineral Reserve, Wombat Flat Mineral Spring or Hepburn Mineral Spring Reserve (a quieter option) and take yourself on a different type of tasting tour.
Different mineral springs are dotted along the walk, each with a natural sparkle that is sure to help you bounce back. Pro tip: test a few, pick a fave and take a drink bottle to fill up to take home. Delicious!
Keep an eye out for wildlife too! I managed to spot an echidna on my walk (which by no means was a hike or particularly remote) and the sheer joy of that combined with the magical spring water managed to heal my lingering wine headache. Win-win!
Explore the heritage
The Convent is not to be missed. Now I know to some, old buildings are a little boring, but I promise this has something to please almost anyone!
The gorgeous gardens surrounding the Convent provide the perfect place to get some pics for the ‘gram and enjoy the kind of peace that is only brought about by wandering through bright, perfumed flowers.
If you’re truly not into gardens, luckily the inside is just as stunning as the outside. The repurposed Convent now houses a gorgeous art gallery and café – the perfect place to escape if the weather gets a little too warm out in the gardens!
Still not convinced? My final bargaining chip for the Convent is the ghost tours they offer – if I haven’t got you know I’m not going to on this one. Historical ghost tours are one of my personal favourite ‘doesn’t-feel-touristy-but-is-a-great-way-to-learn-about-a-place’ types of activities. Whether you’re exploring a Convent in Daylesford or a church in Barcelona, a ghost tour shows you the true underbelly of the place you’re in and gives such a different appreciation for the place. Highly recommend!
Retreat into nature
With stunning bushland surrounding the town, and gorgeous lakes less than a five-minute drive from the town centre, there’s so much nature to escape into.
Whether you’re looking for a hiking trail to take all day, or a walk just long enough to tire out the kids there’s a trail awaiting you. Check out all the options here.
And if walking isn’t your thing, swing past Winespeake Cellar + Deli and grab one of their gorgeous cheese boxes. Pack your picnic rug and head to one of the stunning picnics spots around the town. Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens not only offer the most perfectly manicured gardens to unwind with a picnic but also have stunning views of the Macedon Ranges.
Looking for a spot closer to the water? Both Lake Daylesford and Lake Jubilee have many cute picnic spots amongst the tall gum trees. Personally? I’d pick Jubilee for the serenity (it’s quieter than the town’s namesake lake) and friendly peacocks roam shores of the lake’s beaches.
I’m not sure why, but Daylesford has always held a mystical allure for me. Maybe it’s residual childhood wonder of springs that magically pour out a soft drink from the earth, but there’s definitely something otherworldly going on.
So, if you’re looking to tap into that mysticism, head to Empress and the Wolf for all your witchy needs – crystals, tarot cards, an escape from the heat!
Looking for a deeper dive? I can highly recommend a tarot and palm reading The Readers – and not just because they told me I’m going to write a successful book and travel the world. But, maybe, honestly, that is the reason a little bit.
Now restrictions have well and truly eased, it’s the perfect time to treat yourself to a little getaway. But really, aren’t we all just looking for any excuse to leave the house?