A Local's Verdict on The Best Things to do in Daylesford
It isn’t too big of a call to say that Daylesford in the Macedon Ranges is one of the most popular weekend getaway destinations in Victoria. Only 90 minutes’ drive from Melbourne, Daylesford is easy to reach once you knock off work on a Friday afternoon and it is an even shorter trip if you take an early mark (we won’t tell your boss, promise).
In a town where part of its allure is its array of dining, drinking and day-tripping options, how do you know what to put at the top of your itinerary? Easy. Ask a local. From knowing which cafe brews the best latte, to letting you in about that virtually unknown walking track; there are no suggestions quite like those that come from a local. To that end, we went to the team at Dayget and asked them to share their top tips for travellers looking to explore the Macedon Ranges. Pencils and notepads at the ready…
What is your go-to for breakfast? What do you like to order?
“Head to The Boathouse café on beautiful Lake Daylesford for breakfast or brunch. Enjoy breakfast on the deck during warmer weather and cosy up by the fire inside in cooler seasons. Our picks are the corn and zucchini waffles or if you want to go all out, try the Boathouse Breakfast.”
Image: View of Daylesford from Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens. Cormac Hanrahan; Visit Victoria
Where can you find the best coffee in Daylesford?
“You can’t go past Cliffy’s Emporium on Raglan Street. Take a step back in time into this beautifully presented shop, which was once a well-known general store in the 1950s that was crammed full of produce, groceries and farm supplies. Today, it is home to a quirky café that serves up the best coffee in town.”
For an on-the-go lunch or snack, where should visitors make a beeline?
“The Hepburn General Store is packed with homemade baked goods and freshly made sandwiches, pies and amazing sweet treats. Picnic baskets are available and the store has an incredible selection of local produce should you want to make up your own basket. This is one of the few remaining general stores left and it offers old world charm, friendly staff and gourmet produce.”
What is the Dayget pick for best midweek dinner in the area?
“Be sure to try Frank and Connie’s in Hepburn Springs. The philosophy there is ‘whatever comes out of the pot’ and you can be guaranteed a sample of the region’s best local produce!”
What is one restaurant that visitors should book ahead for?
“Annie Smither’s Du Fermier in Trentham. This is an absolute must when visiting the region.”
Image: High Street, Trentham. Robert Blackburn; Visit Victoria
Why is winter a good time to visit Daylesford?
“It’s all about curling up in front of a fire with a good book, movie or glass of wine and your loved ones. Indulging in the healing waters at the world class spas and wellness centres is a must, and rugging up to take long walks around Lake Daylesford or through the Botanic Gardens to The Convent Garden Gallery is truly a Daylesford experience.”
What are some of the underrated things to do in Daylesford?
“Explore the surrounding towns and villages! There are so many amazing places to visit in and around Daylesford such as Glenlyon, Clunes, Yandoit and Trentham. Spend at least one day exploring some of the surrounding towns and villages and you won’t be disappointed.”
Can you let us in on some of the Macedon Ranges’ best local gems?
"There are so many special places to visit in Daylesford and surrounds but some of our top picks are Maze House, Captains Creek Organic Wines, Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm, Passing Clouds Winery, The Chocolate Mill, the Lakehouse Daylesford, Kazuki's Daylesford, and Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens and Convent Gallery."
Image: Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Mojo Advertising Partners; Visit Victoria
What is one of the first things a first-time traveller to Daylesford should do?
Take in the sights of Lake Daylesford by taking the Peace Mile walk around the perimeter of the lake. This gentle loop goes around a well-maintained path and boardwalk, and has stunning views across the lake, past mineral water pumps, the Boathouse café and gorgeous scenery.
Finally, can you finish this sentence: "Travellers should to come to Daylesford for..."
"Rest, rejuvenation and pampering; world-class food, wine and eclectic shopping; excellent day trips to historically significant towns and hamlets, and all the way soaking up the stunning scenery."
Okay, so you're ready to lock in an escape to Daylesford or the Macedon Ranges? Your luxe getaway can be found in our collection of beautiful Daylesford and Macedon Ranges accommodation.
Hero Image: View of Daylesford. Cormac Hanrahan; Visit Victoria