Stay close, go further.
Warm up after winter with refreshing mineral springs, wellness treatments and luxury accommodation in Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges. Here are our top tips for your spring road trip.
1. Hanging Rock and Camel's Hump
Outward bound from Melbourne to Daylesford, detour for a glimpse of the mysterious Hanging Rock. Explore the dramatic rock formations and keep an eye out for native flora and fauna catching some sun.
Get more morning exercise at nearby Camel's Hump, the highest peak in the Macedon Ranges. It's a short, steep trail with great views over the ranges.
2. Coffee with charm
Start your trip with a stop at one of the region's best known cafes. Cliffy's Emporium looks like it hasn't changed since the 1950s — and that's because it hasn't. Farmers still drop in with fresh fruit and vegetables, and the cafe churns out exceptional coffee for the local regulars.
Pull up a stool at one of the original long timber counters or sit outdoors under the shade of the verandah and grapevines.
3. Spas and treatments
Hepburn Springs boasts the largest concentration of naturally occurring mineral springs in Australia, and you're spoilt for world-class spas. For a dose of history visit Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa, which has been providing traditional wellness bathing since 1895.
4. Farmers' markets
The Daylesford Sunday Market has been running out of the Daylesford Railway Station for almost 40 years. Nab a bargain from a local selling their wares, grab a baked treat and stock up on the local spring produce.
5. Picnic spots
After filling your basket at the market, take it to picturesque Lake Daylesford where you'll find paddleboats for hire, a children's playground, undercover barbecues, and on weekends, you might see a wedding or two.
Locals and visitors have been enjoying the panoramic views and beautiful surrounds of the Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens since the 1860s. Perched high on the summit of an extinct volcano, it's another perfect spot for a picnic.
Stunning Trentham Falls is one of the longest single drop waterfalls in Victoria, plunging more than 30 metres. For the best views, take the easy walk from the carpark to the viewing area. About 6km south of Daylesford is Sailors Falls, where you can sip the mineral-rich waters as you take in beautiful natural scenery.
7. Lavender farm
Ten minutes north of Daylesford, Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm is an iconic property nestled among the rolling hills of Shepherds Flat. Lavandula is a working lavender farm, and houses a cafe where you can try lavender cordial and lavender honey. The farm hosts 'La Primavera' in October, a celebration of the Swiss Italian heritage of the farm and the Hepburn Shire.
Stay in luxury at one of Daylesford's natural mineral spas, escape to a country cottage or soak up million-dollar views. Lake House is an iconic hotel featuring villas and suites among breathtaking waterfront and garden settings. Groups can experience the quaint charm of a converted 1850's miners cottage at Wentworth House, on the cusp of Lake Daylesford. Closer to town, Hotel Frangos is the perfect hub for your daily adventures. For more holiday inspiration, ask Dayget (Daylesford Getaways) for some local recommendations.
Daylesford & the Macedon Ranges in spring
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