Food & Wine
Dine on food so fresh it comes straight from the paddock to your plate at restaurants in Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges. Frock up for exquisitely prepared local produce at Daylesford’s Lake House or find a comfy corner to enjoy the Farmers Arms and Daylesford Hotel’s gastropub’s restaurant-quality tucker. Indulge in Golden Plate Award winning Japanes Kadota, or French at Bistro Terroir and be tempted by great wines and regional produce at Winespeake.
Savour preserves and produce on the shelves of Cliffy’s and city-quality espresso at Buffalo Girls Coffee Bar. Walk along Kyneton’s Piper Street and be lured by menus featuring regional produce. Dig into the contemporary cuisines of Kyneton’s Royal George Hotel, Annie Smithers’ Bistrot, Mr Carsisi, Monsieur Pierre, and Little Swallow Café. Sate your appetite as you travel around the region, making a beeline for Olive Jones in Macedon, Du Fermier, Coliban Foodstore and The Cosmopolitan in Trentham, and Maloa House Gourmet Delights and Village Larder in Woodend.
Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges boasts more than 60 mineral springs, largely concentrated around the villages of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs. Rich in magnesium, calcium and silica, among other minerals, the region’s springs are believed to cure all sorts of afflictions, from acne to arthritis.
Trace the waters from the spas in Daylesford and Hepburn Springs to their sources in Sailors Falls, Mount Franklin, the Blowhole and the Hepburn Pool at Hepburn Regional Park. Picnic under the period rotunda at Kyneton Mineral Springs Reserve and use the old pump to sample the famed mineral water.
The Convent Gallery in Daylesford has had many lives since it was built in the 1860’s including the private residence for the Gold Commissioner, a convent and then boarding school for nearly 100 years. Left in disrepair, the site was purchased by artist Tina Banitska in 1989 who, over the past 15 years has tirelessly and meticulously restored the building uniting history, spirituality, art and culture all under one roof.
The Convent houses seven galleries featuring work by over 100 local, national and international artists, featuring fine art, sculpture, limited edition prints, ceramics, glassware and textiles, the exhibition program, changing every eight weeks, showcases a diverse array of traditional and contemporary artwork.
Ballarat and Bendigo are also home to some of this country’s best fine art galleries. Both worth a drive to experience the history and grandeur of the glory days of the goldrush era.
Relax and rejuvenate in Daylesford, Victoria’s spa capital. Indulge on the shores of Lake Daylesford at Salus Spa which is nestled amongst the lush gardens of the Lake House Hotel offering a treetop spa experience and award winning dining. Spend a day rejuvenating body and mind in the natural mineral waters of the original Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa welcoming locals and travellers since 1895. Take some time out at the beautiful art deco Peppers Mineral Springs Hotel which has the onsite mineral spa, luxury spa rooms and villas, and sophisticated dining at The Argus Dining Room.
Parks & Gardens
In this green region visitors can experience lush tranquil forests, rolling farmland, and naturally, water – waterfalls, streams and mineral springs. Take a tour of the region’s impressive botanic gardens, which you’ll find even in the smaller towns including Malmsbury, Kyneton and Daylesford’s Wombat Hill. See Gisborne’s botanical garden’s contemporary Maori theme, inspired by its New Zealand sister city.
Visit some of the beautiful gardens such as Lavandula in Daylesford and Yuulong Lavender Estate in Mount Egerton. And last but definitely not least, make your way to the mysterious Hanging Rock and clamber over the cavernous, bizarrely perched boulders and imagine yourself as part of the Picnic at Hanging Rock adventures.
Further afield (less than an hour’s drive), visit Ballarat and marvel at the stunning botanical gardens on the shores of Lake Wendouree.