Published on 29th April 2016
by Linsey Rendell

Need a change of pace? With natural mineral springs and excellent farm-to-table fare, Daylesford has plenty to offer those looking to spend a weekend in low gear.

Once you’ve dipped your toe in the waters of Spa Country, it’s easy to see why the region draws so many tree-changers.

A strong cohort of Swiss-Italians migrated here during the 1852 gold rush, and a smattering of their architectural and gastronomic influences still remain. In the 150 years since, the idyllic landscape has inspired many potters, painters and producers.

The rich earth – Wombat Hill and Mt Franklin are both extinct volcanoes – is ideal for farming, and encourages a focus on local produce. Many menus have vegetarian and gluten-free options, and there’s plenty of local wine to test your palate. When asked, always say yes to sparkling water – 80 per cent of Australia’s mineral springs are situated here.

Welcome to Daylesford

NEAREST CAPITAL CITY

Melbourne

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

3 hours by train and bus

DRIVE

1 hour and 30 mins from Melbourne

DO

Explore the natural terrain from the sky, or wander about on foot. There is also excellent shopping in town, or hop between the day spas – a wellness version of a pub-crawl.

Itinerary

A day of relaxation in the Daylesford area

From a soak in a historic bathhouse, to a private sauna at your hotel, this region is for relaxing and indulging. Punctuate soothing spa treatments and lazy nature strolls with nourishing meals and local wine.

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6AM

Picture This Ballooning

12 Pilgrim Court
Ringwood VIC VIC
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Picture This Ballooning

Arrive in town the night before so you can wake up pre-sunrise to enjoy a hot-air balloon flight over the rolling hills of the region. Your voyage concludes with a champagne breakfast.

9AM

Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa

Mineral Springs Crescent
Hepburn Springs VIC
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Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa

Fast track those relaxed vibes with a Moroccan steam ritual, a massage and a few hours soaking in the warm, healing waters of the communal mineral spas.

12PM

Passing Clouds Winery

Cellar Door 30 Roddas Lane
Musk VIC
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Passing Clouds Winery

From smooth sparkling and buttery chardonnay, to bold pinot noir, this winery delivers a top drop. Stay for a hearty lunch paired with your new favourite grape.

3PM

Daylesford Lake

Lake Daylesford
Daylesford VIC
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Daylesford Lake

Walk off lunch with a stroll around the lake. Pause to soak up some sunshine while dangling your feet off the jetty. Or opt for a kip beneath the pine trees. Watch out for the geese.

5PM

Villa Parma

124 Main Road
Hepburn Springs VIC
(03) 5321 6200
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Villa Parma

Lounge about in a white fluffy robe before dinner. Make use of the in-room spa and the sauna in your private garden.

7PM

Mercato

32 Raglan Street
Daylesford VIC
(03) 5348 4488
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Mercato

The menu at Mercato is inspired by the fruits of the surrounding terroir. Save room for dessert. Perhaps the whole poached pear in spiced mulled wine with saffron custard, lemon balm and candied citrus peel, or a deconstructed lemon meringue pie.