Hit the road

Embrace the pace of Victoria's spa country on your next getaway. Cradled at the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges are brimming with award-winning restaurants, natural mineral springs and pretty townships to explore. Whether this is a return visit or your first trip out, here are the best things to do around Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges.

1. Relax at Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa

Rejuvenate your mind and body at the dreamy, heritage-listed Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa. Drawing natural, mineral-rich waters since 1895, this beautifully-restored bathhouse boasts wellness facilities including a magnesium salt therapy pool, underwater spa couches and outdoor bathing. Treat yourself to a private spa treatment, or extend your stay overnight with one of the on-site wellness villas for some serious relaxation.

2. Hike Hanging Rock

Made famous by the 1967 Australian Gothic novel of the same name, Hanging Rock is one of Victoria's unique natural wonders. Enjoy the tranquil journey to the summit of this volcanic rock formation, which was created over six million years ago. If you're looking for a one-of-a-kind experience, bookings with Hanging Rock Llama Treks can be made via their Facebook page. The walk takes visitors along five kilometres of the Hanging Rock Reserve accompanied by friendly and adorable llamas.

3. Admire art at Covent Gallery

The Covent Gallery is an Australian Tourism Award Winner, and one of the best things to check out while in Daylesford. The 19th-century building which was once a convent and boarding school now houses a multitude of galleries across a wide range of mediums. The seven gallery spaces span over four levels, hosting local and international artists along with a museum, chapel, gift shop, café and bar. The Covent Gallery’s gardens are worth the extra effort, too. Climb to the top for stunning views over Daylesford.

4. Enjoy award-winning dining

Book your seat at some of the region’s best tables and indulge in a world-class dining. Start the day at Wombat Hill House café, overlooking the Botanic Gardens, or Larder which showcases the best of Daylesford’s produce. For dinner, consider hatted French restaurant Du Fermier which boasts a seasonal menu and farmhouse-style cooking. Alternatively, Sault Restaurant is set in the Wombat State Forest and has its own kitchen garden and beehives which is used across the Parisian-inspired menu. Kadota is a must-do in Daylesford, with honest Kaiseki-style dining hailing from Okayama.

5. Smell the flowers at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm

Stop and smell the flowers at this 100-acre farm. Along with picture-perfect rows of lavender, explore European-styled gardens, historic buildings and the original homestead. The on-site La Trattoria Bar & Eatery offers up plenty of lavender-inspired eats, including lavender scones and lavender cake.

6. Stop for a tipple

Drop into one of the many cool-climate wineries in the Macedon Ranges for a break along your travels. Stops could include Lyons Will Estate, a family-owned winery where all the grapes are hand-pruned and hand-picked — or, head along to Attwoods Wines for European-inspired drops. If you’re a sweet cider fan, make sure to stop at Daylesford Cider Company serving up traditional and sparkling ciders year round.

7. Hang around Lake Daylesford

A short stroll from Daylesford town centre lies Lake Daylesford, a manmade lake originally a site for gold diggers. The Peace Mile walk around the lake is a gentle 2.8-kilometre stroll which takes under an hour return. The walk can be extended to Hepburn Springs or towards Creswick. The jetty and small, sandy beach is perfect for hotter summer days, or head to the Lake House Restaurant for lunch alongside an acclaimed wine list. A hotel and spa also surround the waters.

8. Check out Trentham Falls

The highest single drop of any waterfall in Central Victoria, Trentham Falls is best visited in winter or spring after rainfall. A must-visit destination when you’re travelling around Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges, this 32-metre waterfall can easily be accessed from the main carpark. Follow a short, gently sloped path or steps to the falls. Make sure to check out the reserve Trentham Falls is nestled in, which is home to over 80 species of native plants and towering eucalypts.

9. Shop at a market

The Daylesford Sunday Market is open every weekend through rain, hail or shine — so you can rest assured about getting your shopping in. Located nearby Daylesford Railway Station, the market operates with over 90 vendors every Sunday from 8am. Arrive bright and early to pick the best produce from the farmers market, then peruse the stalls in the paddock area for second-hand and locally-made crafts, clothes, antiques and food. The entire market is also dog-friendly, so bring your four-legged friends along.

10. Spot koalas at Koala Park

Look out for koalas as you amble along a circuit trailhead at Koala Park. There are multiple walking options to choose from, starting at a half an hour round trip. Koala Park was first established as a breeding ground for these native marsupials. Do note, parts of Koala Park are currently closed for conservation works, check the Parks Vic website for the latest updates.


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