Daylesford has been a town visited by tourists for over 100 years. Whilst it had a quiet period after the train ceased to operate, in the early days visitors came by horse and buggy, then by train and eventually by car. The original attraction was the mineral water. There are still people who drive from Melbourne, car filled with empty bottles, ready to fill them with the healthy but not so nice smelling waters.
The reserves at Hepburn and Daylesford are great places to stroll around and try a little of the waters. Take a plastic cup with you. As you drive around the area there will be signs to other mineral springs. Why not call in and have a taste. They are usually in pretty settings.
Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens has some of the oldest trees in Victoria and one of the best views of the township and beyond. You can see Mt Franklin from some vantage points. Baron von Mueller (Melbourne Botanical Gardens fame) provided some of the conifers for the gardens. Dogs are allowed on a leash.
Lake Daylesford and Jubilee Lake are both lovely places to visit and walk around or have a picnic. Most people know of Lake Daylesford but many do not take the short drive down to Jubilee Lake. You can rent paddle boats and canoes and enjoy the bush setting.
A fifteen minute drive from Daylesford (about 17km) and not far beyond Lavandula lavendar farm there is a settlement called Yandoit. Apparently it is an Aboriginal word meaning travel (it is amazing what you learn when writing a blog!). We love it because if you drive around the area you will discover some beautiful old stone ruins of houses and sheds, mostly built by the Swiss Italian settlers around the time of the gold rush. There are a couple of interesting websites about the area if you are interested in history and lovely stone buildings. One is called Yandoit/Victorian Places and the other is a locals page.
The Blow Hole after a big rain is magnificent to visit. It is near Hepburn and on the Jim Crow Creek. It is also part of the Goldfields Track (Great Dividing Trail) which runs from Ballarat to Bendigo. The Hide @ Mt Franklin is also on this track. It is a good walk from the Blow Hole to The Hide. Ask us about it if you are interested. The Parks Victoria website has more information about walks in the area too.