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  • Writer's pictureAlliey Kutynec

Daylesford, Victoria Travel Guide

Updated: Jan 21, 2023

This in the valley town has grown more on me the more I visit. It is a special place that I truly enjoy - especially in Victoria. The fresh markets, restaurants and all the crafty stores ; what more could I ask for in one place?

Daylesford is known for being a weekend escape from the city as Melbourne Is only 110km away - its perfect! For being the "Spa Capital" of Australia, it has a lot more to offer.

As it being tucked away in the valley it tends to get chilly all year round, so make sure you bring a sweater as you'll want to be cuddled up to the wood burning stove.

There is so much to explore in and around Daylesford, whether you like to chase some waterfalls, shopping, trail walking or even spending the day at the spa pools - you will not regret it! You will be so relaxed you will never want to leave. Let me share with you my travel guide of Daylesford.

Where to eat

Supporting local is huge in Daylesford; between the restaurants, markets and cafes almost every place carries the local produce. Finding a place to eat is super easy, but deciding which one you want to go to first is hard! In peak season make sure you make booking prior to dinner as it does get booked up.

Here is where I recommend:

This is the best place in Daylesford to grab coffee, takeaway coffee or a meal in. Their menu is absolutely gorgeous and the presentation is fantastic!

I want to keep raving about this place some more but I think its just better to experience it for yourself! There is upstairs, downstairs and outside seating.

This cafe is located just on the edge of leaving south of town towards Geelong.

Peppe is one of my out to dinner favourite restaurants in Daylesford. We got lucky, as we didn't book a table, they squeezed us in. It must be really a popular place in town as every time we drove by it was always pretty busy. All the pasta and pizza doughs are made in house, who doesn't love fresh pasta made with local produce paired up with local wine?

Located beside Cliffy's coming into Daylesford coming south from Castlemaine.

Usually when I'm visiting a place I always pick my favourite cafes and places to eat. Now I may rave about how amazing Pancho is but Cliffy's is just as beautiful. They have a breakfast/ brunch menu which is served until 3pm. Inside they have the restaurant on the left which has comfy throw pillows and a wood stove fire and on the right side they have a emporium full of local sauces, jams, chocolates and so much more! This place is an experience within itself - the food is gorgeous and staff are so very lovely.

Wouldn't be me if I didn't recommend a health food store attached to an awesome cafe! The store has so many things from skincare, supplements, spices, teas and really anything you need. If you like vegan food, smoothies and/or a turmeric latte this is your place ! The food is great. Love the vibe. Located across fro Muffins & More and Coles.

I recommended the ones that I've experienced so far, but I do want to suggest a few more that has great reviews and that ill be visiting next time I'm in Daylesford...

Where to Stay

Depending on your budget and how long you are staying ; there is always a place to stay. In all my travels I choose an inexpensive accommodation that suits my budget but I will always do my research for knowledge and of course for blogging!

Below you will find a more cheaper side that I would consider and recommend...

Whether you are staying in a caravan or needed a cabin to stay in this is the place. Located on the edge of Daylesford heading towards Sailors Falls they have plenty of space. We ended up staying here for a few days in a tent and the prices are reasonable. Super beautiful area, the trees and the birds make it very 'in the woods' feel. They have lots of amenities among the park and have a camp kitchen.

We never got the opportunity yet to stay here, it is closer to town and from my knowledge the rates are similar

Click on the above link to find out more!

Recommending accommodation in Daylesford is hard because there is so much to pick from on Google and on Airbnb. I would head online to see that fits your budget and needs.

What to do

There is so much that Daylesford has to offer; whether your into shopping the Main Street, to spending the day at the hot springs or taking the scenic drives in and around the town - you won't be disappointed. I would pop into the local information centre across from the Daylesford Brewery, they know the hours and what's best that suite your interests.

Below you will find different options on what to do...

Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens

Connecting with nature and walking around a garden with plants and trees you have never seen before is my absolute favourite! On the top of the hill of Daylesford turning left at the traffic circle it will lead you up with parking and to a tower that looks over the Macedon Ranges. Very quiet and peaceful and even has a Cafe.

We know that Daylesford is the Capital place for Spa retreats because of the mineral rich waters. There is quite the selections for your day spas, and would recommend doing your research that suits your needs and budgets. If you got a half a day or a full spend it at the Hepburn Mineral Springs, they have a public pool you can relax around bush setting. Around is a public picnic tables with barbecues surrounded by walking trails. The cost is around 80AUD pp.

Located north of Daylesford in Hepburn Springs

$10 entry fee with a cafe and a beautiful area to explore.

Click the link above to find out all about the Convent Art Gallery

It isn't as big as it sounds and really not much to it but it sure is beautiful. On the lake there is paddleboat for rent and a walking path around the lake. There is a couple restaurants that are lake front view ;The Boathouse Restaurant and the Lakehouse which has luxury accommodation onsite as well.

With being a local ran town there always needs a Market! 110 stalls and plus a farmer markets I mean what an opportunity to support more local. They are open from 8am to 1pm on Raglan Street near by Cliffy's and Peppe.

I feel like this local hangout is what adds to Daylesford. Before dinner head out for an evening stroll on Main Street and stay for a pint or two. They do have a food menu along with a selective drinks menu. Enjoy indoor seating or sit out front and watch the sun go down.

Being a crafty locally supported produce town you Defs have to try the Cider. They are located on Dairys flat road and have a Celler door and a restaurant onsite. The location is gorgeous and must visit.

Outside & Around Daylesford

Although there is a lot in town to do, there is quite a bit outside of town if you have a car or want to do a little day road trip.

If you love natural made products, a cafe full of Lavender and farm area with a garden this is your place. 5$ Entry p/p into the farm starts with a shop full of herbal handmade hygiene care and gift shop, lead by the original Swiss house and the La Trattoria Cafe. You could easily spend the day here, or a few hours visiting the farm hours and exploring the garden. Located 10 minutes out of Daylesford on Newstead Road by Shepherds Flat

When heading to Daylesford from Castlemaine on the right hand side you'll see a Chocolate Mill with a cafe attached. Inside they have a great selection of all your chocolate craving needs. At the cafe you can order your desired mocha or hot chocolate made with homemade chocolate. Lovely place to stop.

Who doesn't like to chase waterfalls? I mean really they do calm the mind when hearing the sound of water falling. Sailor falls is just a few minutes heading out of Daylesford. You can take a look driving by or pulling up and walking down to the falls. The best view is halfway down the stairs and they do have trails to the mineral springs.

Trentham Falls

Driving around on the back roads in and around Daylesford have to be my favourite drives. The drives offer covered tree roads, twists and turn around the hills and little local gallery and eateries. Trentham falls is stunning and easy walk to see the falls for a good photo. When we went the path to the bottom wasn't open but it would be amazing to see it from the bottom.

Loddon Falls

You know when google maps bring you down back roads and they lead you no where? That is what happened here. By the time we figured out how to get there we had no time to explore it. With online research I will recommend heading head from the other side of the river.

Mt. Franklin

I could've added this in the stays section because there is free camping at the top of mount Franklin which is first come first serve. You might think of the water that your'e drinking out of but it doesn't actually come from the mountain as I figured out through a google search. It is considered a volcanic crater and totally has a good view of the valley from the top if you want to go on a hiking adventure.

It is located near the Newstead road, about 10-15 min headed north of Daylesford

See pic below of Mt. Franklin

Hanging Rock

This is one of the places I highly recommend going if you have the whole day, and want to do 'little bit' farther road trip out to see. Did you know that Australia has quite a bit of a history with Volcano eruptions? Victoria has heaps. Hanging Rock is a phenomenal place to go to, they have a discovery centre with a cafe and lots of area for barbecue or picnic. Make sure you bring a water bottle or two to head up on a hike to the top, it does get out and you will love the view from the top and want to explore more of the rock as there is endless amount of eruption rocks.

It costs $10 per car so you pay on the way out.

Check out some drone photography of The Hanging Rock Below

Shopping & Supermarkets

Nothing like a shopping therapy day, this town has got it! Mainstreet has plenty of crafty stores with all sorts. This kind of shopping is one you don't know what you need but you will find out when you get there.

Some of my favourites I recommend...

  • Blake Family Grocers

  • Tonna's Fruit & Vegetables

  • Cedar & Sage

  • Brick Lane Collectibles

Getting Here & Away

Only 110 km headed north of Melbourne, it is an easy destination to access. Although it can get wet and freezing over in the winter season it is a must-visit destination.

If coming here or through by car there is plenty of side highways that will take you here.

Heading here on the V/Line? the train and couch head here daily to/from Woodend for around a price of $7.

Check out my Daylesford Gallery below

Thank you for taking time reading my Daylesford Travel guide.

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