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Best Things to Do in Daylesford: Where to Eat, Stay & Play

From spa retreats and retail therapy to nature-filled wonder, these are the best things to do in Daylesford for a dreamy getaway.

Sault Restaurant

Victoria’s famous spa sanctuary Daylesford is an oasis of calm where luxurious spa retreats, purple fields at lavender farms and charming boutique cottages are set amongst acres of fairytale rural landscapes.

Just an hour from Melbourne, this quaint country town is the type of place you can escape to all year round to enjoy rejuvenating spa experiences.

A place where you can soak away all your troubles in warm, mineral-rich waters, enjoy a spring picnic with fresh local produce at Lake Daylesford and devour some of regional Victoria's most delectable fare.

We’ve put together an essential checklist of the best things to do in Daylesford, rounding up where to eat, drink, shop, stay and explore. 

Best Things to Do in Daylesford: Eat



Kadota may be one of Daylesford’s newest restaurants, but it’s already won a flurry of acclaim and national interest. With Kadota, the team have created a calming, timber-filled venue that champions slow and restorative dining.

The seven-course menu changes with the seasons, with inclusions such as fresh sashimi, shio koji braised free-range pork dumplings and scallop ceviche.

1 Camp Street, Daylesford



Expect contemporary, seasonal, simple, nourishing and expertly crafted breakfast and lunch dishes at this popular Daylesford cafe. Pancho prides itself on its small but well-considered offerings, working with quality regional suppliers and producers to create fresh and innovative dishes.

From brown rice chicken congee to a hearty roast lamb and hummus, the meals are set to satisfy.

The space is warm and convivial and bustles with the early morning thrum of tourists come weekend time.  

117 Vincent Street, Daylesford

Sault Restaurant

Sault Restaurant

Behind a fanciful fountain in a stunning two-storey country house, visitors are destined for romance at Sault Restaurant.

The surrounding lavender-specked landscapes are simply breathtaking,  but just wait until you see the menu, you’ll be even more smitten.

Indulge your culinary senses with three or four courses of regionally sourced and seasonally inspired creations. This may well be the region's most impressive restaurant.

2349 Ballan Daylesford Road, Sailors Falls

Cliffy's Emporium

Cliffy's Emporium

A welcome change from the white tablecloths of the Lake House, Cliffy's Emporium is a laid-back local gem and quite possibly the cutest café in town.

A lovingly preserved 1950s general store, this rustic outpost was Daylesford's go-to for fresh produce, groceries and farm supplies. 

Fast forward to today and it still maintains its vintage charm, with the same rusty corrugated iron and distressed timber panels it was blessed with 60 years ago.

A visit here is one of the best things to do in Daylesford, and farmers still drop in with fresh fruit and veg, and shelves are packed with a delicious selection of local culinary offerings. 

30 Raglan Street, Daylesford

Best Things to Do in Daylesford: Drink

Bar Merenda

Bar Merenda

With an old-worldly charm, Bar Merenda is the perfect spot for a tasty aperitif and a visit here is one of the best things to do in Daylesford.

A casual neighbourhood wine bar-cum-eatery, the constantly changing menu sits somewhere between bistro and tapas, written by hand on a hanging chalkboard.

The food keeps things local, championing seasonal produce from around the area to create simple yet satiating dishes like olive focaccia, winter veggies with buffalo mozzarella and Osso Bucco Milanese.

For the wine, they venture a little further showcasing drops from Piemonte, Tuscany and Sicily alongside Victorian producers such as Young Gun of Wine. These guys also do an epic negroni – have one for us, will you?

Shop 3/22/24 Howe Street, Daylesford 

Passing Clouds

Passing Clouds Winery

If your wish is to while away the hours at a local winery, head on over to the cellar door at Passing Clouds. Located just a five-minute drive from Daylesford, you can sample their most recently released wines, including their chardonnay and Pinot Noir blends — made from grapes they proudly grow onsite.

Whilst here grab yourself a glass of wine, head out onto their large deck to soak up the sun, and watch the clouds, indeed pass by.

30 Roddas Lane, Musk

Cafe Trattoria

Cafe La Trattoria

The minute you smell the fragrant scent of fresh lavender, you’ll know you’ve arrived at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm. Located a short 15-minute drive from the heart of Daylesford, there’s an abundance to explore here, but their onsite eatery, Cafe La Trattoria is an absolute must. 

Take shade outside beneath the shady trees, hole up inside the rustic café, or (our personal favourite) outside amongst the vines — there are plenty of spots to choose from.

The café offers a delicious menu, from breakfast right through to afternoon tea. But the real drawcard here has to be their famous lavender Champagne. We won't judge you for ordering two glasses.

350 Hepburn-Newstead Road, Shepherds Flat

Best Things to Do in Daylesford: Stay

Poets Lodge

Poet's Lodge

Stylish and wholesome, Poet's Lodge provides busy couples with the ultimate country escape. Made up of three different accommodation offerings - the Main House, Garden Loft and Jacks Garden Cottage - Poet's Lodge has the perfect retreat for everyone.

Across each dwelling, you can expect cosy yet bright interiors, beautiful natural surroundings and all the creature comforts of home.

For romantic stays for two, the Garden Loft and Old Jacks Cottage are your best bet. Both provide an intimate setting for a romantic sojourn and come complete with opulent cast iron baths.

If you want to make it a group getaway with your best pals, book the four-bedroom Main House with its roaring fireplace and quaint communal spaces.

62 Raglan Street, Daylesford

Lake House

Lake House Daylesford 

Set amongst six acres of lush rolling countryside, surrounded by fruitful gardens, the Lake House Daylesford is located a mere 90-minute drive from Melbourne – this is the perfect country retreat and a stay here is one of the best things to do in Daylesford.

The 33 rooms and suites on offer are situated within either a waterfront or lodge setting, with convenient hotel features including complimentary breakfast and parking.

There are tennis courts, gardens, and a chic spa on site, ideal for those looking for an indulgent, blissful getaway.

4 King Street, Daylesford

Milk and Honey

Milk and Honey

Sitting on an elevated site surrounded by rolling countryside, Milk and Honey is a quaint two-bedroom property located in the centre of Daylesford.

A winding leafy stairway will guide you indoors, where you'll find an eclectic mix of Indian and Asian antiques scattered throughout.

There’s a worldly feel to each room, to add its cosiness, and outside there's a wrap-around verandah where you can relax with a cuppa and soak up the scenery, or watch the colourful sunset at the end of the day.

14 Hill Street, Daylesford

Acre of Roses

Acre of Roses

Just a 20-minute drive from Daylesford, you’ll stumble across Trentham  – an equally whimsical town. And here lies the hidden gem, Acre of Roses.

This former miners' cottage has been transformed into a luxury wellness retreat with three bedrooms and an enchanting garden that surrounds it.

Aside from the magazine-worthy interiors and thoughtful touches, there’s also a micro-farm of heritage roses onsite and a rainwater-filled cedar hot tub. Crank up the heat and prepare for ultimate relaxation. 

5 Blue Mount Road, Trentham

St Remy

St Remy

St Remy's sprawling home is perfect for a family gathering or girls' getaway. Consisting of three generous bedrooms, this property can sleep up to six guests and comes with plenty of communal spaces to entertain.

A beautiful hideaway that comes steeped in charm  – from the sky-blue front door to the apple trees in the garden, St Remy's is the epitome of rustic elegance. 

8 Hepburn Road, Daylesford

Best Things to Do in Daylesford: Explore

Amazing Mill Markets

The Amazing Mill Markets

You could easily lose a day exploring the Mill Markets’ never-ending mix of vintage collectables, retro fashion, antiques, home décor and jewellery. Each stallholder sells their own unique selection of items – which could range from rare records and glass art to Russian babushka dolls – and you’re guaranteed a great time meeting locals and learning about their passions. After picking up your newfound treasures, swing by the in-house Mill Café for a milkshake and pastry.

105 Central Springs Road, Daylesford

Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa

Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa

Mineral and water therapy bathing is a century-old phenomenon that will leave you feeling thoroughly refreshed and rejuvenated after a visit to one of Daylesford's best spas.

Once you’ve bathed in the pools to your hearts’ content, it’s time to indulge in massages and facials, with an extensive treatment menu to choose from.

Did we mention the Hepburn Bathhouse is considered the oldest of its kind in Australia (circa 1895!)?

Mineral Springs Reserve Road, Hepburn Springs 

Convent Gallery

Convent Gallery

Even if you’re not an art enthusiast, a visit to the Convent Gallery in Daylesford is a must. This three-level fine art mecca is set in a historic 19th-century mansion and boasts sweeping views of the countryside below.

Inside, there are seven beautiful galleries featuring work by over 100 local, national and international artists. The exhibition program changes every eight weeks, so you can expect to see something different with each visit.

7 Daly Street, Daylesford



Daylesford combines a vibrant artistic community with a strong element of French provincial chic. The result? An eclectic town swarming with antiques and endless vintage shopping. 

Found. is one of our favourites and always on our list of things to do in Daylesford, no matter what time of year we visit.

Situated on Vincent Street — the main shopping strip in town — you'll find quality, unique treasures that proudly show their age.

119 Vincent St, Daylesford

Salus Day Spa

Salus Day Spa

After all your exploring, you’re going to need some zen time — you’re in Daylesford after all. With countless day spas to choose from, allow us to recommend another personal favourite: the award-winning Salus Day Spa.

Tucked away in the lush gardens of the Lake House, treat yourself to a couple’s massage or soak in one of their tubs filled with hot mineral water, perched in a treehouse.

Afterwards, you can sip on herbal tea and walk around the fern gully — just make sure to breathe in every last gasp of that garden-fresh Daylesford air, before making your way back to the city.

4 King Street, Daylesford

Loved our round-up of the best things to do in Daylesford and looking for more travel inspo in Victoria? Book a girls' weekend away or embark on one of these romantic getaways in Victoria.

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