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Daylesford is a former mining town in Victoria, established in the mid-19th century and just 80 minutes from Melbourne. Here, bush species meet naturally occurring mineral springs. The town of Daylesford has a small year-round population, rendering it a favourite Victorian destination to escape high energy everyday life. Take a trip back to a simpler time while still enjoying all of the modern conveniences you are accustomed to. In Daylesford, holidaymakers have the option to stay in private villas and cottages, in high-end hotels with spa services or in sumptuous estates with vast grounds.
Water lovers rejoice, as Daylesford offers an exciting mix of naturally occurring water features. Take a day trip to explore all of the cascading waterfalls in the Daylesford area, or head over to Trentham Falls, which is just a short drive from Daylesford, right in the heart of the Wombat State Forest. There is an abundance of lakes throughout Daylesford, and this allows for fishing, swimming, boating and more. And of course, the piece de resistance of Daylesford comes in the shape of numerous natural mineral springs; in fact, this area has the highest concentration of mineral springs in all of Australia. These healing waters are used in various spa treatments throughout the Daylesford area - spend your day learning about natural healing and experience the effects for yourself.
Because Daylesford is set in the bush and is surrounded by trees, there are many species of wildlife throughout the area, including koalas, wallabies and wombats. The village is surrounded by a massive state forest, which provides plenty of protected land. If you do not feel comfortable venturing off into the wilderness alone, take part in one of the many guided tours leaving from Daylesford, which include wildflower tours, train rides through historic sites, vehicular tours, secret forest tours and even wine and ghost tours. Should you desire a greater adventure, try horse-riding. Other outdoor activities include sports like cricket, golf, fishing and more.
The natural richness of the Daylesford soil makes it a Mecca for agricultural ventures. Artisan farmers call this region home and produce some of the finest cuisine in all of Australia, thanks to the fresh ingredients that take hold in the fertile soils of Daylesford. Eatery options abound. A mix of markets, pubs, farm gates and high-end dining establishments can be found throughout the Daylesford area.
Do not forget to wash your meal down with a glass of local wine. Many winemakers are also based in Daylesford and produce a variety of wines with their sun-ripened grapes. In fact, there are four wineries within close proximity: Passing Clouds, Sailors Falls Estates, Ellender Estate and Fontanella Vineyards.
For years, artists have flocked to Daylesford for inspiration. As such, Daylesford boasts a vibrant artistic community with multiple galleries and art shops for visitors to explore. Travellers can stroll along downtown Daylesford streets to uncover quirky local shops that offer everything from clothing to home pieces. In addition, bookstores chock-full of classics and modern-day pieces are scattered throughout town, and for a true local thrill, check out the Sunday and Mill Markets, which both offer an eclectic mix of fashion, local produce and collectables.
Daylesford enjoys a seasonal climate that allows for warm weather in the summer months, chilly winters and colourful displays in the fall. The easiest way to access Daylesford is by renting a car in Melbourne, the closest big city with an international airport. Trains departing Melbourne and connecting coaches also operate, but these options can sometimes be infrequent so advanced planning is advised. Regardless, if you have a free weekend or longer, Daylesford’s acclaimed scenery, health and wellness scene and culinary endeavours are only an hour-and-a-half from the capital of Victoria!