Where to eat, drink, stay, and explore in Daylesford – Forte Travel Guide

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Where to eat, drink, stay, and explore in Daylesford – Forte Travel Guide

Words by Ashlee Simpson

Daylesford is our next destination in the Forte travel guide; with mineral springs and the botanic countryside a go-to for your next relaxing holiday.

Picture rejuvenating in your very own private mineral bath before indulging in a head-to-toe mask and massage, all whilst sipping and nibbling on a regional tasting platter and later retreating to the luxurious suite by the lake. 

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Welcome to Daylesford; regional Victoria’s go-to destination for rest and relaxation in the spotlight for this edition of the Forte travel guide. Known for its natural mineral springs and historic countryside delight, Daylesford boasts a beautiful mountain scenery, forests, gardens, lakes, and promotes a lifestyle of physical and spiritual wellness.

Lake Daylesford

Start the day off at Lake Daylesford and paddleboat across the gentle water to soak up some morning sun and fresh, countryside air. With a scenic path circling the lake and multiple stops along the way to indulge in the scenery, the Lake is the perfect spot for a picnic or even a weekend wedding.

The Lake House

The Lake House restaurant, hotel, and spa is described to be “an Australian icon where the beautiful rhythm of life is emphasised and honoured” by Luxury Travel Magazine, and this is no lie. Resting on six acres of country gardens extending down to the waters of Lake Daylesford and to the Wombat State Forest, the renowned restaurant produces cutting edge, modern Australian cuisine with seasonal and regional ingredients; an award-winning cellar; an oasis of tranquillity in the spa and treatment site; and a huge range of luxurious villas and suites.


Lunch calls for some of Australia’s best eats in Daylesford, particularly Japanese restaurant Kadota who has just won the prestigious Golden Plate culinary award. Located in the heart of Daylesford, the warm, inviting restaurant crafts Japanese flavours produced using seasonal local artisan ingredients. 

Bistro Terroir

Also making its name in the Golden Plate culinary award with the best value dining is Bistro Terroir; an indulgent French bistro with a variety of delicious (and affordable!) meal options, as well as a stunning selection of wines.

Tipperary Walking Track

Go for a wander along the Tipperary Walking Track that passes disuses goldfields, mineral springs, and trees blazing with colour particularly in autumn. Beginning at the Lake Daylesford car park, the adventure concludes at the Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa.

Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa

Located on the Hepburn Springs is the Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa. Offering a plethora of retreat packages specifically designed for optimum wellness and rejuvenation, the bathhouse offers spa treatment packages, massages, water and steam therapy, and a variety of mineral bathing options. With day packages and couples escape experiences, complete the day by resting in the contemporary and elegant accommodation on offer. Packages are designed with wellness in mind, with villas, suites, and a ‘hideaway’ house on offer. 

Clifftop at Hepburn

Another go-to destination to rest at night is the Clifftop at Hepburn; a luxury hotel named one of the worlds most Instagrammable hotels of 2021. With dreamy infinity pools, stunning architecture, incredible interiors, and panoramic views of an untouched landscape, there are a variety of villas inviting two to four guests to indulge in the incredible experience.

Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens & Cafe

Head on down to the Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens and enjoy the panoramic views and beautiful surrounds Daylesford has to offer. Perched high on the summit of an extinct volcano, the gardens have an enchanting array of flora, as well as the Wombat Hill House Cafe offering fresh produce and all-day dining in a relaxed setting.

Convent Gallery

Nestled on the crest of the botanic gardens is the Convent Gallery, a 19th-century mansion with art stretching over three levels. The Bad Habits cafe offers breakfast, lunch, sweets, and even high tea for all arts and food lovers, as well as offering catering for wedding receptions. The gallery offers its gorgeously grand chapel for weddings, as well as two function spaces for receptions. The gallery itself is described as “the most beautiful gallery in Australia”, presenting local, national, and international artists with a variety of media and styles and with exhibition spaces to provide a truly diverse range of art.

ChillOut Festival

Check out the upcoming ChillOut Festival in March 2022 at Daylesford, Australia’s longest-running and largest regional pride festival; inviting visitors of all ages to dance, prance and chill over four days of fabulous festivity.

Daylesford Sunday Market

Complete your Daylesford getaway at the Sunday market, held weekly. With up to 110 stalls, free parking, and a dog-friendly atmosphere, head down and treat yourself to some local produce, nicknacks, and the friendly country town community spirit. 

There are a heap more icons of Daylesford worth checking out, so be sure to book in your stay before summer is up. 

For more options and info regarding your travels to Daylesford, head here.