Best Things To Do In Daylesford, Victoria

Author: Daria Osipova | Updated Nov 10, 2023

Looking for the best things to do in Daylesford, Victoria? Here are the top attractions, walking trails and more fun outdoor activities in Daylesford that the whole family will enjoy!

Whether you're looking for an action-packed day during the weekends or Melbourne school holidays or just some time to get outside and enjoy nature, here's what we recommend.

Daylesford is home to the iconic Hepburn Springs, Lake Daylesford, Botanic Gardens, Lavandula Swiss Italian Lavender Farm and more. Check out our list of top things to do in Daylesford with your family.

Daylesford Lake is one of the best things to do in Daylesford.
Daylesford Lake is one of the best things to do in Daylesford

Some of the best things to do in Daylesford are:

  • Daylesford Lake House

  • Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens Daylesford

  • Daylesford camping and playground at Jubilee Lake

  • Daylesford lavender farm

  • Daylesford waterfalls

  • Daylesford walks

  • Daylesford lookouts

  • Best Daylesford cafes

  • Best Daylesford restaurants

  • Where to go near Daylesford

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Daylesford Lake House

A must-visit in Daylesford is Daylesford Lake! Here's an insider tip on how to see the entire lake and make the most of it:

  • Start by parking your car and enjoying the views at the Lake Daylesford Lookout, then begin walking on the Lerderberg Track down to the lake. 📍Get directions here.

Walk down from the carpark and lookout to the lake to meet this view.
Walk down from the carpark and lookout to the lake to meet this view
  • Continue on the Lerderberg Track, and go right on the path towards the Lake Daylesford Jetty and Bridge. 📍Get directions here.

Marvel at the views on your way, and don't forget to take a photo on the iconic bridge with the stunning lake and red lake house behind you!

A must-do in Daylesford is taking a photo on the Lake Daylesford bridge.
A must-do in Daylesford is taking a photo on the Lake Daylesford bridge

There is a playground there for the kids to let off some steam. You can enjoy a bite or coffee at the Boathouse Cafe or at Splinters Cafe.

  • Keep walking along the lake and cross to the other side of Bleakly Street in the direction of Wombat Flat Mineral Spring. 📍Get directions here.

There you can taste the natural Daylesford mineral springs water by pouring some into a water bottle or cup (that you bring yourself!).

Wombat Flat mineral springs at Lake Daylesford.
Wombat Flat mineral springs at Lake Daylesford
  • Continue walking around the lake until you are back at the carpark where you started.

Alternatively, you can go the opposite direction, to the mineral springs first, by taking the Lerderberg Track down to the lake, going left and straight towards the Wombat Flat Mineral Spring.

Then, take the loop back to Lake Daylesford Boathouse and continue around the lake until you're back where you started.

💡 School Holidays Tip:

Bring your ouwn water bottle or cup so you can taste real mineral water! Also, you can bring some snacks to enjoy a picnic by the lake on the grass.


Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens Daylesford

Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens is a must-visit in Daylesford, Victoria. They are situated on an extinct volcano and are gorgeous all year round.

Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens are beautiful all year round, but especially in autumn and spring.
Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens are beautiful all year round, but especially in autumn and spring
  • Stroll around the beautiful Wombat Hill Gardens. You can bring your dog as they are allowed on a leash.

  • Marvel at views of Daylesford and Hepburn Regional Park from the Pioneer lookout tower (not the most accessible experience - need to climb up a set of narrow stairs for the best views)

  • Enjoy a picnic with your family and friends

  • Read a book surrounded by peaceful nature.

📍Get directions to Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens.

Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens Map

A map of Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens is just a mouse click away. Check out the Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens map here before your visit to Daylesford.

Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens map.
Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens map. Image credit: GoldfieldsGuide.com.au

Wombat Hill Cafe

After exploring these beautiful gardens, enjoy a meal or dessert at Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens Cafe!

The garden cafe and bakehouse are open from Tuesdays to Fridays, 9 am - 3.30 pm.

Don't miss the delicious meals, desserts and coffee at Wombat Hill House.
Don't miss the delicious meals, desserts and coffee at Wombat Hill House

Daylesford camping and playground at Jubilee Lake

Jubilee Lake is a great place to find peace in nature. There are plenty of benches and picnic tables, walking trails, a kids' playground and a camping ground.

One of the favourite parts of Jubilee Lake is the water lilies. There are lots during the summer and early autumn seasons.

📍Get directions to Jubilee Lake camping and playground

Gorgeous lilies and autumn trees at Jubilee Lake.
Gorgeous lilies and autumn trees at Jubilee Lake

Daylesford Lavender Farm

The Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm is a beautiful place to visit with family. Explore the 100 acres of gardens and, of course, the huge surrounding farms of lavender, with their amazing scent and violet colours.

There are also farm animals: meet Mirella the Highland Cow, two Cheeky Emus, alpacas, sheep, roaming geese, Guinea Fowls and Bantams.

Well-behaved dogs are allowed, too! Just don't forget to bring their leash.

Beautiful lavender farm in Daylesford.
Beautiful lavender farm in Daylesford. Image credit: Rosa Ferrer on Google Maps

Daylesford Lavender Farm entry fee:

  • $5 per adult

  • $1 per school-aged child.

Daylesford Lavender Farm opening hours:

  • Friday to Tuesday, 10:30 am - 5 pm

  • Closed Wednesday & Thursday each week

📍Get directions to the Daylesford lavender farm.


Daylesford waterfalls

There are many beautiful waterfalls in Daylesford and surrounding areas. Here are some of the best waterfalls in Daylesford to check out: Sailors Falls and Loddon Falls.


Sailors Falls

You can view the stunning Sailors Falls from the viewing platform near the carpark, but for the full experience, take the steps down to the foot of the falls. It's not an easy climb down, but there is a railing for support.

📍Get directions here to Sailors Falls.

Sailor Falls is a must see - it is one of the best waterfall in Daylesford.
Sailor Falls is a must see - it is one of the best waterfall in Daylesford

Sailor Falls walking trails

There are two walking trails you can take either away or towards the waterfall. The easier walking track is away from the falls. It's a more level trail going towards the natural mineral springs.

The trail going towards the falls is a loop track that eventually leads to the mineral springs and involves some climbing and hiking areas. It takes around 25-30 minutes to complete.

Sailor Falls walking trails.
Sailor Falls walking trails

Loddon Falls

Just a 15 min-drive from Daylesford, get your heart rate up by taking the hike through the bush and witnessing beautiful waterfalls - Loddon Falls. There's a water pool that can be awesome to cool down in during the warmer summer months.

Waterfall and water pool at Loddon Falls, one of the best waterfalls in Daylesford.
Waterfall and water pool at Loddon Falls, one of the best waterfalls in Daylesford

Do keep in mind that there are many steep and rocky sections in the walk to and from the falls, so wear (or bring along) sturdy, comfortable walking or hiking shoes and plenty of water.

💡 School Holiday Tip:

If you find hikes difficult, best not to go due to many steep sections to and from the falls.

Loddon Falls, one of the best waterfalls in Daylesford.
Loddon Falls, one of the best waterfalls in Daylesford

💡 School Holiday Tip:

Look for the display plank with the falls' history on it, then continue to walk past it to get to the track leading to Loddon Falls.


Daylesford walks

Here are the top picks for walking and hiking trails in Daylesford and its surroundings:

  • Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve,

  • Mt Franklin Reserve and

  • Tipperary Springs.


Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve

This beautiful reserve is located in Hepburn Springs, the town in Australia with the largest concentration of mineral springs, known as natural healing waters.

Walking trails in the beautiful Hepburn Springs Mineral Reserve in Daylesford, Victoria.
Walking trails in the beautiful Hepburn Springs Mineral Reserve in Daylesford, Victoria. Image credit: barkingcow on Google Images

The best part of visiting here is tasting the Hepburn Springs mineral water. There are taps around the park, and at each, the water tastes different, which is a unique experience!

Don't forget to bring an empty bottle or cup so you can try the water.

Daylesford mineral springs. Taste natural mineral spring water at Hepburn Springs reserve.
Daylesford mineral springs. Taste natural mineral spring water at Hepburn Springs reserve. Image credit: Ian Argent on Google Images

Hepburn Springs Mineral Reserve is a peaceful and beautiful place to walk around and a lovely picnic spot in Daylesford. There are some picnic tables, BBQ facilities and kids' playgrounds.

Dogs are allowed on a leash here.

Hepburn Springs Mineral Reserve is not to be missed when you visit Daylesford!

📍Get directions to Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve.


Mt Franklin Reserve in Hepburn Regional Park

Mt Franklin Reserve is perfect for a peaceful walk in a forest. Set on an extinct volcano's crater, there is a circuit trail to enjoy and some picnic tables. This is a camping ground as well.

Dogs are allowed on a leash here.

📍Get directions to Mt Franklin Reserve.

Explore the forest at Mt Franklin Reserve.
Explore the forest at Mt Franklin Reserve. Image credit: Rali K on Google Images

Tipperary Springs

While most popular for picnics, you can enjoy great bush walks at Tipperary Springs. Bring along your dog to join you!

You can also bring along a water bottle or cup to taste the natural mineral water. During the warmer months, you can enjoy a splash in the creek with your family.

📍Get directions to the Tipperary Springs picnic area.

Tipperary Springs picnic area and natural mineral water pump.
Tipperary Springs picnic area and natural mineral water pump. Image credit: John G on Google Images

Daylesford lookouts

When visiting Daylesford, or driving through, stop at these fantastic lookouts with great views over the town: Thomas' Lookout and Wombat Hill Lookout.


Thomas' Lookout

This is a great lookout over Daylesford. You won't get the most impressive view of the buildings, with trees covering them, but it does provide a 360-degree view and makes Daylesford look like a city nestled in the middle of a forest.

📍Get directions to Thomas' Lookout.

Great views of Daylesford from Thomas' Lookout.
Great views of Daylesford from Thomas' Lookout

Wombat Hill Lookout

When visiting the Daylesford botanical gardens, don't miss the amazing views from the Pioneer lookout tower.

You need to climb a very narrow winding staircase. It's not wheelchair or pram accessible to go to the very top, but if you are able to go, the views are not to be missed.

📍Get directions to Wombat Hill Lookout.

Fantastic views from Wombat Hill lookout tower.
Fantastic views from Wombat Hill lookout tower

Best Daylesford Cafes

Enjoy a coffee, breakfast, snack or dessert in Daylesford, Victoria, in one of these lovely cafes:

  • The Daylesford Hot Chocolate Company: If you want to cosy up on a cold or rainy day with the best hot chocolate in Daylesford, Victoria, don't miss this lovely cafe. The staff are very kind, and each hot chocolate is served with a huge marshmallow - yum!
    📍Get directions to The Daylesford Hot Chocolate Company.

  • Cliffy's Daylesford Cafe: If you're looking for the best breakfast cafe in Daylesford, Victoria, look no further than Cliffy's! Don't miss their eggs Benedict, poached egg meal of your choice and delicious crepes!
    📍Get directions to Cliffy's.

  • Muffins And More Cafe: Another fantastic place to have breakfast or lunch, with lovely staff and a menu with something yummy for everyone that is also reasonably priced.
    📍Get directions to Muffins And More.

  • The Mill Market Cafe: Their lasagne and pumpkin soup are amazing! They also have a great selection of desserts and wraps to takeaway. Stop here after exploring The Amazing Mill Markets - if you're a fan of going to the Sunday market, consider coming here for their wide selection of vintage finds!
    📍Get directions to The Mill Market Cafe.

Discover the best cafes in Daylesford.
Discover the best cafes in Daylesford

Best Daylesford Restaurants

Wondering where to get dinner in Daylesford after a long day of exploring? Check out these great places:

  • Jackies On Vincent Street - Asian Fusion Restaurant: An extensive menu of Asian-Western fusion cuisine using fresh local produce, developed through Chef Jackie’s Chinese heritage and Australian culinary experience. T
    📍Get directions to Jackies On Vincent.

  • Taj Mahal - Authentic Daylesford Indian Restaurant: Experience real Indian cuisine from fresh produce in Daylesford, Victoria. With many gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options, this restaurant caters for all, including families with kids wanting to try for the first time.
    📍Get directions to Taj Mahal Authentic Indian Restaurant.

  • La Luna - Pizzeria: A small Daylesford pizza place with a menu jam-packed with affordable and delicious pizzas for every taste. The wait can be pretty long, so best to order ahead and get there by the specified time rather than waiting outside. Located just off Vincent Street on Albert Street.
    📍Get directions to Pizzeria La Luna.

  • Beppe - Daylesford Italian restaurant: Inspired by tradition, with a beautiful atmosphere and lots of delicious Italian meals, pizzas and "dolce" (desserts). You can order takeaway from their website or have a fine dining experience in their restaurant on Raglan Street. Recommended to book a table in advance to avoid disappointment.
    📍Get directions to Beppe restaurant.

Discover the best Daylesford restaurants and pizza places (pizzerias).
Discover the best Daylesford restaurants and pizza places (pizzerias)

Where to go near Daylesford

Seen all the beauty of Daylesford and wondering what to do next? Rural Victoria has many more fantastic places to see. If you're looking to explore the surrounding area, these places near Daylesford are worth visiting:

  • Ballarat,

  • Hanging Rock, and

  • Macedon Ranges.


Ballarat

Ballarat is just a 30-40 min-drive from Daylesford. In this small and beautiful town, you can visit many historic buildings, boutique shops, antique and vintage clothes shops, iconic hotels, art galleries and more!

Check out fun things to do in Ballarat for families. It's not just a historical town - there are Ballarat Wildlife Park and beautiful botanic gardens that the whole family will love!

Koala at Ballarat Wildlife Park.
Where to go near Daylesford: Ballarat. Koala at Ballarat Wildlife Park

Hanging Rock

Hanging Rock is just a 40 min-drive from Daylesford. This place is best known as the setting of the classic Australian fiction novel, Picnic at Hanging Rock, where a group of girls from a boarding school go missing during a field trip.

But in the real world, it's a safe place for families to enjoy a fun hike and picnic!

Where to go near Daylesford: Hanging Rock.
Where to go near Daylesford: Hanging Rock

Macedon Ranges

Lush forests and amazing views from Mt Macedon. Best to go during autumn to witness the stunning red, orange and gold trees.

Great Dividing Range trail network map

  • the Lerderderg track from Daylesford to Bacchus Marsh; or

  • the Dry Diggings track from Lake Daylesford to Castlemaine Station that is also part of the Goldfields track from Mt Buninyong to Bendigo, letting you step through Victoria's gold rush era.

Great Dividing Range trail network map.
Great Dividing Range trail network map from https://www.gdt.org.au/

Daylesford offers many fun things to do for families. From exploring the beautiful Daylesford Lake and walking trails to visiting the enchanting Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens and Jubilee Lake playground, there is no shortage of what to do in Daylesford!

Know a friend who's planning to visit Daylesford? Share this article to help them out!

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Daylesford is located in regional Victoria, a 1.5hr drive from Melbourne CBD.

Daylesford is a town in Regional Victoria, Australia, a 1.5-hour drive from Melbourne CBD. Daylesford is located between Castlemaine and Creswick, in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range of Victoria and is known for its natural mineral springs, beautiful Lake Daylesford and the leafy Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens that sit atop an extinct volcano

Yes! If you're wondering what things to do in Melbourne this weekend, a road trip to Daylesford is a fantastic idea! It's only a 1.5hr drive from Melbourne city, and has many beautiful nature places, including waterfalls, lakes, botanical gardens, bush walking trails and more.

There're heaps of things to do in Daylesford, such as visiting the lake, botanical gardens, Hepburn Springs, Daylesford lavender farm and Sailors Falls, among many others. Read on to find out more.

Daylesford is known for its gorgeous nature, lakes, waterfalls and gardens, including botanical gardens and a lavender farm. Read on to find out more about these stunning places.

You must see Lake Daylesford, Sailors Falls, the Daylesford botanic gardens and lavender farm! Below you'll find all you need to know about what to see in Daylesford, Victoria.

Daylesford has many beautiful nature places and you may be surprised how many welcome dogs! As a rule of thumb, dogs need to be on leash in most places. If you don't see a sign that confirms this, it's best to keep your dog on leash anyways to avoid a potential fine. Also make sure to control your dog around wildlife and near roads and cycling tracks. Read on to discover the places that are dog-friendly.

Yes! Lake Daylesford offers one of the best Daylesford walks with dogs, so do bring your dog along on a great walk around the lake.

Yes! You can definitely bring along your dog when you next visit Daylesford. Dogs must be always on a leash.

Yes, it is dog friendly, with dogs required to be on a leash at all times. They can splash around on the lake shore, but make sure they don't disturb the native birds and wildlife while there.

Yes, dogs are allowed on a leash.

Daylesford lavender farm - The Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm's location: 350 Hepburn-Newstead Rd, Shepherds Flat VIC 3461

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