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




3 hours by train and bus


1 hour and 30 mins from Melbourne


From farm gates and cellar doors, to country cafes and fine-dining restaurants, this region is ripe with opportunities to sample the red soil’s bounty.

Cliffy’s Emporium


A historic corner plot with your breakfast and cheese needs covered.

Istra Smallgoods


Victorian pork meets traditional Croatian curing.

Permanently Closed



Experience hyperlocal flavours at this elegant country bistro.

Wombat Hill House


Seasonal eating, in a garden, at the top of an extinct volcano.


Known for cool-climate wines, the Daylesford area is also home to locally brewed beers and clever cocktails. The best places to drink usually deliver good food options, too.


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.


From historic dwellings to modern villas, there is luxury and comfort in this pocket of the state.


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.