Are you looking to unwind and relax on your next holiday but don't want to travel far? Then a visit to Daylesford, Victoria might be just what the doctor ordered!
When it comes to relaxation, you can’t go past some of Victoria’s leading spa and wellbeing experiences in Daylesford and surrounds, located a 90-minute drive from Melbourne. Now is the time to stop dreaming of a relaxing break and go.
Here are lastminute.com.au’s top 10 reasons why experiencing a few rejuvenating days in the Daylesford region will be your best travel decision of 2014.
1) Lavandula: A truly authentic European experience can be found at Lavandula, located only 10 minutes north of Daylesford. Wander the restored 19th century farm houses, walk through lavender fields, olive groves and vineyards, picnic within the beautiful grounds, play boules on the lush grass, indulge with a home wares purchase at the Barn or enjoy a delicious bite to eat at the La Trattoria café.
2) Rest your head: When it comes to Daylesford accommodation, the region offers plenty of options to suit all tastes and budgets. If you’re looking for an insider’s tip, you can’t go past the truly unique and centrally located, Hotel Frangos. The Victorian style building boasts individually themed rooms with each as vibrant and eclectic as the next. Be sure to check out café KouKla downstairs for a great coffee.
3) Mineral Springs: Daylesford and the surrounding regions are home to more than 60 mineral springs; one of the first things that attracted the Swiss Italian migrants to the area. Like the early settlers, if you believe in the health benefits of the springs or you’re looking to simply unwind, you can’t go past the Mineral Spa at Peppers Mineral Springs Retreat. Begin your indulgent retreat in the 37-degree mineral water plunge pool then step into the stone bath sauna perfumed with essential oils. Then move on to a body wrap as you experience the ultimate in relaxation on the only soft-pak float beds in the Southern Hemisphere.
4) Shopping: A trip to Daylesford and the surround regions isn’t complete without strolling the abundance of unique shops boasting beautiful and quirky products to suit every taste. From antiques to second hand books, quaint home wares to stunning artworks, you’ll find yourself wandering for hours – and at the end, no doubt longing for another cuppa! Numerous cafes line the streets so a quality coffee isn’t too far away.
5) Wombat Hill: Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens is situated on an ancient extinct volcano high above the village of Daylesford and is renowned as one of Victoria's finest regional destination gardens. Pop into Wombat Hill House, grab a picnic hamper complete with wine and cheese and take your goodies out to the gardens to enjoy. Alla Wolf-Tasker and the team serve up healthy, delicious food, sourced locally – the chefs literally wander out the back of the cafe to pick vegies and herbs from the garden!
6) Art & Culture: Whether you’re the arty type or not, there’s beauty to be found inside and around the charming Dayleford’s Convent Gallery. This 19th Century Victorian mansion is home to seven galleries featuring work by over 100 local, national and international artists. The exhibition program changes every eight weeks so you’ll no doubt catch something fresh and impressive. Be sure to give yourself enough time to explore the six acres of stunning grounds surrounding the Gallery itself and to top off the experience, enjoy a drink and an arty debrief at the stylish lounge bar open late on Friday and Saturday nights.
7) Foodie heaven: “Paddock to plate” is a way of life in Daylesford with the community sharing in a love for fresh, seasonal produce. Obey your appetite and fill your belly to the brim with the many local delights on offer at the restaurants in Daylesford and surrounding regions. A hot tip is to check out Kazuki; an amazing Japanese fine dining experience with food to die for. Zoom Argus Dining Room to the top of your dining bucket list as well. Their produce is grown on their farm located 20kms away so the food is always ultra fresh.
8) Markets: The Mill Markets, Australia’s largest indoor market of antiques and collectables, is a must do for any visitor to Daylesford. Inside you’ll find 140 stallholders and a treasure chest of antiques, clothes, furniture, art and books. If you prefer markets of the farmers variety, the Daylesford Sunday market will have you up bright and early and drooling over fresh produce and locally made goodies, not to mention the odd woolly knit or bric-a-brac find.
9) Day Spa indulgence: More pampering you say? Yes please! Daylesford and the surrounding regions are at the heart of Victoria’s spa country so it would be rude not to soak up a healthy dose of rejuvenation while there. Check out the state-of-the-art Salus Spa located within the grounds of Lake House, overlooking Lake Daylesford. Start with a relaxing soak in a treetop spa, overlooking the lake, before succumbing to a rhythmic hot-stone massage and body exfoliation.
10) Walking: Leave behind the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse yourself in the Daylesford’s natural beauty. The region boasts a massive network of well mapped walking trails. Explore rugged river gorges and volcanic craters. Run through blankets of wildflowers or sit beside a peaceful lake. Admire panoramic views from towering peaks and of course dramatic rock formations like the famed Hanging Rock. Whatever path you take, you’re sure to have an adventure to remember.
For more information, visit: lastminute.com.au/daylesford.