Daylesford is a town in Victoria, about 100km north west of Melbourne. It was one of the first places we visited after we bought our car, and to this today is still one of the more interesting towns we have visited. There are various things to see and do, as well as all being in a picturesque location.
We stayed a little outside the town itself and closer to Hepburn Springs at Bellinzona Resort, a large place in spacious grounds with amenities including a pool and games room.
Here are a few of the things you can do around the area:
Central Lake Reserve
A few hundred metres from the centre of town, this is where we headed first. Very relaxing, take a walk around the perimeter of the lake, watch the ducks watching the people in the hire boats, or step down the hill for a taste of the famous mineral spring water. Now that is where I went wrong, as I tried the mineral water here and I.. could not finish it and quite frankly was somewhat surprised but also punished for so excitedly putting a handful in my mouth to drink. Do people really come far and wide to drink this stuff?
A lovely place which reminded us of Abbottsford Convent in Melbourne, but more to see and a lot more slick. Home to art galleries, bakery, a small shop selling clothes and produce, it made for an enjoyable stroll up the hill from the town centre.
Daylesford Spa Country Railway
This is a very gentle slow ride through the trees and hills with an ever ascending altitude on a well restored small train from yesteryear. If you’re looking for excitement- it’s not here, but I would be great for families with young kids and the like, as they made up the majority of most of the other passengers. The ticket takes you up to Bullarto and back, right into the heart of the market.
There are two markets that we visited, one, the Sunday Morning Market being a typical weekend farmer’s market with food snacks and other little handicraft stores, and is right at the entrance to the train ride mentioned above. We got a big tub of honey here for $15 which was actually pretty tasty.
The second, The Amazing Mill Market was an old second hand /antiques/ vintage market of nearly everything under the sun at the other end of town. I felt quite bewildered in there and it certainly made me feel that it was a place for ‘finding’ things, as opposed to ‘looking’ for things.
Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve
A pleasant place for a picnic, which we didn’t stick around for, and I definitely didn’t want to taste the water after my experience of the spring water at Central Lake. Maybe it’s an Australian thing regarding the minerals, but it’s nothing like what I was expecting, which was what I drank out of a spring in the town of Buxton, UK (known for its water). That is text book ‘pure fresh spring water’ in my head.
Actually a wonderfully renovated Swiss-Italian 19th Century Villa, it is now a luxury accommodation with delightful gardens including grape-vines.
This mini golf course looks like it has seen better days. The landscaping and obstacles are all pretty good, with symbols of Australia such as wildlife and sports etc, but in need of repair. Still, it’s a thing I used to enjoy as a kid and not something we ever do these days, so it made a refreshing change. Mrs FW, having never done this kind of thing before, totally beat me.
Chocolate Mill and Winery
Sadly no pictures here, but we did pick up some rather expensive but tasty chocolates and some sparkling red wine for my parents from Passing Clouds winery who were planning to come to visit us at the time. There are quite a few vineyards in the area but we just liked the name of this one so that’s why we went.
We had also hoped to visit Lavandula Swiss Farm and the Maze House (I’ve always had a mild fascination with mazes for some bizarre reason), but unlucky for me, they were both closed at the time.
We’ll definitely visit Daylseford again, as mentioned at the start it’s been one of the most interesting places around here we’ve been to, and we didn’t even get to see all of it. It’s well worth a visit if you’re considering it.