Daylesford is located 108kms north-west of Melbourne, about 90 minutes drive, and about 45kms north-east of Ballarat.
The climate varies significantly right across the region as a result of wind exposure and altitude. It is considered the coolest wine region on mainland Australia. The Ranges enjoy guaranteed summer sunshine and it is also not uncommon for light snow to blanket parts of the region during winter. Even during the spring and summer months, night time temperatures can get quite cool. Average summer daytime temperature: 18-21 deg cc. The region experiences brilliant seasonal changes.
Known for its mineral springs and abundance of health and wellbeing centres and spas, Daylesford, Victoria is a place of breathtaking scenery, with a strong regional food and wine culture, a myriad of historical wonders, natural mineral springs and a number of spa retreats and holistic health services.
The rolling hills and farmland of Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges are home to the greatest concentration of naturally occurring mineral springs in Australia. The Daylesford and Hepburn Springs area is noted as a centre for relaxation, health, wellbeing and of course pampering.
Regionality is important here. In Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges guests may dine simply or lavishly, cheaply or expensively, but they will dine on food straight from the farms and on wine from the vineyards they can see.
Indulge for an hour, a day or an entire weekend. Impressive mansions, striking landscapes and some of Victoria's finest gardens combine to create the old world ambience. There are also outstanding galleries, antique shops and fine restaurants.
Tour Mount Macedon's heritage gardens, explore the 19th century streetscapes of Woodend and Kyneton, or visit the legendary Hanging Rock, the haunting backdrop to The Picnic at Hanging Rock book and film. What’s more, this is a cool-climate region known for producing outstanding sparkling wine, pinot noir and chardonnay. There’s also an abundance of local produce, from tasty meats to wild mushrooms, crisp apples and succulent berries.
Spa country - The township of Daylesford is located within a region that contains Australia and the Southern Hemisphere's largest concentration of natural mineral springs. This is the heart of spa country, and the perfect destination for relaxation and rejuvenation.
While Daylesford's initial growth was due to thousands of workers looking for gold, the town is much more famous for the bubbling mineral waters which flow from its many springs. Coupled with its beautiful mountain scenery, forests, gardens and lakes, Daylesford and neighbouring Hepburn Springs there is a thriving industry built around physical and spiritual wellness including spa treatments, massages and acupuncture.
Fresh and local - So important are fresh local ingredients to the region's eateries that many highlight them on their menus, with award-winning chefs making best use of the season's bounty in some of Victoria's best restaurants. Within the region, guests may indulge in the full gamut of dining experience – from fine dining at the region’s flagship restaurant at Lake House, to congenial gastropubs, rustic trattorias, vineyard eateries and funky cafés.
Macedon wines - The Macedon Ranges claims the coolest grape-growing climate of any wine region on the mainland, with more than 40 vineyards located between 350m and 700m above sea level. Fertile high country soils, deep chill in the winter months, and guaranteed sunshine in summer are the primary ingredients for producing some of the nation’s best table wines.
The region is renowned for its sparkling wine, with the ranges' high altitude and cool climate providing perfect conditions for the production of the variety. Most of the local wineries boast their own label of 'Macedon', a term used for their sparkling wines made to an agreed style using only Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes grown in the Macedon Ranges. Well-regarded wineries include Bindi, Hanging Rock, Curly Flat, Granite Hills and Cope-Williams.
The commercial centre of Daylesford features a generous collection of historic buildings including the post office (built in 1867), town hall (1882), and several hotels and shops. Many of Daylesford's streets are lined with deciduous trees that erupt into a blaze of colour during the autumn season.
Lake Daylesford - The lake covers land upon which gold was first discovered, was created in 1929 and is located in the beautiful Central Springs Reserve, just a few minutes walk south of the town centre. There is a cafe built right beside the lake, picnic spots, walking tracks and several mineral springs. Jetties are provided for fishing and for those wishing to hire rowboats or other pleasure craft.
A short walk east of the town centre is the Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens which were first established in 1863. They are situated on an extinct volcano and offer good views over the surrounding countryside from its manicured lawns and pathways.
Jubilee Lake is located a couple of kilometres south of Daylesford, constructed in 1860 as a water supply. These days it is a scenic spot idea for fishing, boating and swimming, just a short walk from a mineral spring. A few kilometres further south is Sailor's Falls - a 30 metre cascade of water into a deep gorge, surrounded by a reserve.