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The Best Things To Do In Daylesford, Victoria

Looking for a relaxing getaway in Australia with lots of local charm? Visit Daylesford, Australia, the spa capital of Victoria!

Daylesford is a trendy travel destination that attracts many (inter)national visitors to experience the healing mineral springs and spas found locally.

There are lots of things to do in Daylesford, Victoria. You’ll get to discover the picturesque scenery of locations like Lake Daylesford, enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the Hepburn Mineral Spring Reserve, and much more.

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Things to do in Daylesford, Victoria

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This post was written by Bryan, who is born and raised in Australia and writes for the Great Ocean Road Collective, a very informative website dedicated to sharing the beauty of the Great Ocean Road in Australia with travelers far and wide.

If you are planning your Great Ocean Road trip and need some inspiration, or if you are looking for authentic advice on Aussie travel, visit The Great Ocean Road Collective.

Why visit Daylesford, Australia?

Daylesford is a great destination for all types of travelers. No matter if you are looking for a romantic getaway (insider tip: book a room at the iconic Lake House Hotel, pictured above) or if you are planning a family trip, there are lots of Daylesford attractions to keep you occupied.

Bring the entire family to explore the spa capital of Victoria and enjoy the incredible natural scenery surrounding Daylesford.

In this article, you can read all about what to do in Daylesford, the best Daylesford restaurants you have to try during your stay, and the top accommodation in Daylesford.

Get ready to experience one of Victoria’s top travel destinations!

Lake Daylesford Victoria

Things to know before traveling to Daylesford

Where is Daylesford?

Daylesford is located 108 kilometers northwest of Melbourne, at the foothills of the Great Dividing Range. Melbourne to Daylesford takes approximately an hour (by car) and Ballarat to Daylesford takes just 40 minutes.

Most people visiting Daylesford from outside the region arrive at Melbourne International Airport (MLB), where you’ll have easy access to coach bus transfers stopping in Daylesford.

You can also rent a car to use during your visit. In my opinion, a car is the best way to get around Daylesford.

While it’s not a large city and you can explore many sights on foot, a car makes it easier to travel between multiple attractions and see everything on your itinerary. Many of the hotels and restaurants offer complimentary parking.

Click here for the best car rental deals on

What is Daylesford famous for?

Daylesford is known for its mineral springs, but it’s easy to confuse them with hot springs.

Daylesford doesn't have public natural mineral spring baths, the local mineral springs are for drinking only. The Daylesford spas source the water and heat them for the spa experiences.

Sulphur Spring Daylesford Victoria

When to visit Daylesford?

Keep in mind that Daylesford is located in the southern hemisphere, so it's very well possible that seasons are reversed from where you are living.

So contrary to the Northern Hemisphere, the summer in Australia lasts from December to February. The best time to visit Daylesford is during these months, especially if you want to take advantage of the outdoor activities.

The winter lasts from June to August and is typically cold with lots of precipitation (not the best time for a Daylesford trip).

The best places to stay in Daylesford

As with all popular tourist destinations, you’ll find many hotels in Daylesford, Victoria.

In fact, when it comes to unique hotels, Daylesford offers plenty of options, ranging from heritage hotels to boutique inns and, of course, spa retreats.

Do you prefer to go glamping? Daylesford has got you covered (check out Cozy Tents)! You can also find many B&B rentals and country cottages around town.

The Lakehouse Daylesford☆☆☆☆€577Click here
Pepper’s Hepburn Springs☆☆☆☆€168Click here
Daylesford Hotel☆☆☆€91Click here
Hotel Frangos Daylesford☆☆☆☆€168Click here
Cozy Tents☆☆☆☆€153Click here

Note: Prices for these hotels depend on the time of year and how far in advance you book. Therefore, the prices mentioned above are a rough indication of the price per night to help you compare the different options. Use the ‘click here' text in the Book column to see the latest prices on Booking and book ahead to get the best deal.

Further down in the post, you can read more about the hotels listed in the table above, but for now, let's take a look at some of the best places to visit in Daylesford.

What to do in Daylesford: map

You can find all Daylesford activities and highlights in the map below, as well as recommended accommodations and places to eat.

Click here for the interactive map

Daylesford: things to do

Daylesford is the perfect place to go for a relaxing holiday. It’s easy to get around and has attractions around the entire town.

There are so many beautiful places to visit in Daylesford, you could easily spend a week here and not be bored. Below you can read about some of our favorite Daylesford activities and main attractions.

Visit the local spas

If you love going to the spa, Daylesford is a great place to visit as it's undoubtedly the spa capital of Victoria. It’s hard not to come across a spa while visiting Daylesford, and each one offers a unique experience.

Definitely add visiting a local spa to your travel itinerary for a chance to relax, refresh, and enjoy one of the best spas in the region.

A few of the best spas in Daylesford are:

Take advantage of the rich healing properties of the natural mineral baths sourced from nearby springs. You’ll feel rejuvenated both on the inside and out.

There are many day spas in Daylesford and you’ll find a variety of relaxation packages custom-tailored to your experience. 

The best part is that kids can even join you! Many of the local spas offer a public bathhouse that’s family-friendly, so everyone can enjoy it.

Spend a day at Lake Daylesford

Lake Daylesford Australia

Lake Daylesford is one of the centerpieces of Daylesford that you must see during your visit. The lake is a manmade lake that offers panoramic views and outdoor recreation for the whole family.

You can always find things to do at Lake Daylesford, so give yourself at least one day to hang out at the lake shore.

You’ll always see both locals and tourists handing out at Lake Daylesford, as it has ideal water conditions for swimming, fishing, and paddle boats.

You don’t have to get into the water to enjoy the lake atmosphere. It’s a very picturesque area surrounded by thick forest.

There are hiking trails leading to small waterfalls or scenic overlooks. It’s also a great location to hold a family picnic.

Sit out in the green space or use the designated grills available. It’s also perfect for children since there is a kid’s playground.

Drink from the Mineral Springs

Mineral springs Daylesford

Daylesford is abundant with natural mineral springs. Most people are familiar with the springs as a source for spa baths, but did you know that you can drink from the fresh springs?

It’s the closest thing you might find to the fountain of youth, and there are several springs around town to grab a taste from.

Mineral water is a popular drink sold in stores, but your trip to Daylesford gives you a chance to taste the water direct from the source. And the best part is that it’s free!

These are a few of the most popular mineral springs in Daylesford:

  • Central Spring
  • Wombat Flat Mineral Spring
  • Mount Franklin

The springs are a fun place to explore to enjoy walking trails. You’ll find spring pumps established at each of the sites that provide free drinking water. Be sure to bring your own reusable water bottle!

Mount Franklin is one of Australia’s most popular drinking water brands, and you’ll get to taste the water free from the source!

Visit Daylesford Sunday Market

Granville Island Public Market

You are in luck because when it comes to markets, Daylesford happens to be one of the most popular Sunday markets in Victoria! So if you happen to be in town on a Sunday, be sure to wake up early.

You’ll notice Daylesford is even more bustling than usual and with good reason. On Sundays, locals, and tourists head down to the Daylesford station to experience the iconic Daylesford Sunday Market.

The Sunday market is a mainstay in town that has been running for nearly four decades! It’s open every Sunday from 8 AM to 3 PM and only closes if it falls on the same day as Christmas. 

The family-friendly farmers market features 90 vendor stalls selling everything you could imagine.

Shop for fresh local produce, treats, clothing, handicrafts, souvenirs, and much more. Or simply hang out at the market to enjoy the Daylesford atmosphere.

Besides the abundance of excellent fresh produce, there are a few other things to keep you entertained during your time at the market.

You can take a ride on the restored heritage train to see some of the scenic landscape outside of town (kids will absolutely love this) and there is live music from local bands.

Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm

Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm Daylesford Australia

Did you know there are lavender farms in Daylesford? The historic Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm is a popular attraction that offers lots of things to see and do for everyone.

Located in Shepherd Flats right outside of Daylesford, you’ll come across the 100-acre farm built in the 1860s.

There are vast lavender fields around the farm and visitors can walk through the lavender gardens to smell the fresh aroma and take in the beautiful sights of colorful flora.

Take a tour of the farm and farmhouse to learn about the rich history of the site and the family who lived there.

You’ll also get a chance to see some of the farm animals roaming around, such as cows, geese, emu, and fowls.

Be sure to check out the gift shop, which sells handicrafts and other products made at the farm. You might even catch an event or festival happening when you visit.

Shop at the Amazing Mill Markets, Daylesford

Love to shop? Do include a stop at the Amazing Mill Markets to your Daylesford itinerary. Stepping into this expansive store kind of feels like stepping into Aladdin's Cave.

There is an extensive collection of vintage clothes, intricate glass miniatures, jewelry, books, antiques, memorabilia, and much more.

You can spend hours here browsing through all the knick-knacks and if you get hungry, there is a nice cafe run by Kathy and Hannah (mother and daughter).

Stroll around the city center

Founded in 1852 as a gold-mining town, Daylesford has a nice and very walkable city center. There are many beautiful historic buildings, such as Hotel Frangos (built in 1888, pictured above), Town Hall (1882) and the Post Office (1867).

Take your time exploring Vincent Street, the main street of Daylesford, and be sure to check out the world-famous Bromley & Co. Gallery. When it comes to boutique shops, Daylesford has its fair share of those as well.

The Empress & Wolf, Harry & Me, and Alpaca Passion are just a few of the charming stores found in the main street.

Where to stay in Daylesford: best Daylesford hotels

The Lakehouse Daylesford

Lake House Daylesford is a 4-star hotel famous for… its views of (surprise surprise) Lake Daylesford! If you are looking for luxury accommodation in Daylesford, this is the place to go!

Daylesford Lake House is a wonderful place to celebrate a special occasion, such as a honeymoon or anniversary. You’ll have everything you need for a romantic and relaxing stay with a spa and a restaurant on site.

Each of the rooms features modern amenities and stunning designs. You can enjoy the views of the lake from your balcony or lounge in your ensuite living room.

All in all, the Lake House may just be the best accommodation Daylesford has to offer!

Peppers Mineral Springs Hotel

Peppers in Daylesford is a collection of villas built in the 1930s. It’s located within walking distance of the Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve but also has its own spa in the hotel.

The villas include large, upscale rooms with full kitchens and living areas. Beautifully manicured gardens surround the property and feature a unique hedge maze.

Daylesford Hotel

The Royal Daylesford Hotel is one of the most iconic hotels in town. This great Daylesford accommodation is housed inside a stunning 20th-century building with an extensive verandah and right in the city center.

A cozy atmosphere, simple rooms with comfortable beds, and all the amenities you need will surely make you feel at home. You’ll always find locals hanging out in the hotel’s restaurant and bar.

Frangos Daylesford

Frangos hotel Daylesford is located in the city center of Daylesford and is another lovely place to stay. Each room is unique and beautifully decorated, with a modern bathroom and a kingsized bed.

At the onsite cafe, Koukla Daylesford, you can order delicious food, enjoy a beer or grab a coffee. Or indulge yourself at Endota Spa, Hotel Frangos very own spa.

Cheap accommodation in Daylesford

Budget accommodation in Daylesford is a bit harder to come by, however, there is an excellent budget option for everyone who loves camping.

Daylesford (and the surrounding area) offers excellent camping options. Be sure to check out the free Mount Franklin Reserve Campground or the lovely Jubilee Lake Holiday Park.

The best restaurants in Daylesford

One thing you can know for sure: you’ll never run out of places to eat in Daylesford during your stay! Daylesford has many exciting restaurant options that you’ll be looking forward to trying out.

Many restaurants, such as the Pepper Mineral Spring Hotel, combine the local charm with fresh, quality food to satisfy you for every meal (see picture above).

Dining in Daylesford will surely be a tasty adventure, below I've listed a few of the many great places to eat in Daylesford.

Lake House

Lake House is one of the most famous restaurants in Daylesford, located inside of the Lake House Hotel with incredible views of Lake Daylesford.

It’s a fine dining experience that prides itself on making everything on the menu in-house. Order from a selection of seafood, a choice of meats, and a delicious dessert. They also have an extensive wine list.

Harvest Café Daylesford

Harvest Café is one of the best places to eat in Daylesford, especially if you’re looking to experience the local flavors.

All of the food is sourced locally for organic and vegan options. The casual dining room is perfect for eating brunch in Daylesford.


Eggs benedict Blueberry Kitchen Kathmandu

Talk to any of the locals, and you’ll frequently hear Cliffy’s as the most recommended restaurant to have lunch in Daylesford (truth be told: it also serves the best breakfast in Daylesford).

Cliffy’s started in the 1950s as a local general store selling farm materials and produce. It evolved into a restaurant while preserving much of its original appearance.

Cliffy’s is open daily for breakfast and lunch, and you’ll find great eats from eggs benedict to fresh salmon.

Cafes in Daylesford

Swan art in coffee

Do you love your morning coffee fix and are you looking for the best coffee in Daylesford? There are also plenty of lovely cafes in Daylesford, for those who love their morning coffee fix.

Daylesford Bakery, Sweet Decadence at Locantro, and Splinters Cottage are just a few of the options to grab a tasty cup of coffee in Daylesford!

Plan your trip like a pro with these tools:
✈️ Find the best flight deals on
? Get the best car rental deal for your road trip on
?️ Find your dream accommodation on or Agoda.
? Book the best tours via Get Your Guide, Viator or Klook.
? Plan your journey with the Lonely Planet.
?️ Travel safely and get reliable travel insurance from Safety Wing.

Top sights in Daylesford: in conclusion

I hope this post has given you plenty of information to plan your trip to Daylesford! From the best things to see and do to where to stay and where to eat in Daylesford.

I am sure you will love Daylesford, you’ll delight in the local charm and I'm confident you'll have plenty of reasons to return for another visit!

Looking for more Australia travel planning advice? Also read these posts:

This post was updated in February 2023.