Daylesford is located 108kms north-west of Melbourne, about 90 minutes drive, and about 45kms north-east of Ballarat.
The climate varies significantly right across the region as a result of wind exposure and altitude. It is considered the coolest wine region on mainland Australia. The Ranges enjoy guaranteed summer sunshine and it is also not uncommon for light snow to blanket parts of the region during winter. Even during the spring and summer months, night time temperatures can get quite cool. Average summer daytime temperature: 18-21 deg cc. The region experiences brilliant seasonal changes.
Known by many as “Spa Country”, the rolling hills and farmland of Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges are home to the greatest concentration of naturally occurring mineral springs in Australia.
The Aborigines thought of it as a place of healing and now the region boasts the largest concentration of holistic therapists in the southern hemisphere. Whatever the latest in natural therapies, it is already here and probably being practiced by the very best.
Surrounded by the Wombat State Forrest, it is a place of breathtaking scenery, with a strong regional food and wine culture, a myriad of historical wonders and beautiful country villages to explore.
Regionality is important here. In Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges guests may dine simply or lavishly, cheaply or expensively, but they will dine on food straight from the farms and on wine from the vineyards they can see.
Fertile agricultural land is home to many acclaimed artisan food and wine producers. The village of Daylesford itself is an eclectic mix of cafes, quaint stores and galleries. Country roads are peppered with farm gates, roadside stalls featuring seasonal windfalls, cellar doors and much more.
A two day stay will barely scratch the surface of what's on offer in this vibrant region.
You will hear a lot about organics, biodynamics, rare breeds and heirloom varietals from the foodie folk in this region. The fertile volcanic soils are perfect for the small scale sustainable agri-community that has formed over the past 30 years and the winners are truly visitors and diners in the regions restaurants.
There are also weekly farmers markets in Daylesford and an annual Harvest Festival which celebrates the region’s bounty as well as its food and wine experts….. Classes in permaculture, bee keeping, fermentation, foraging, baking and butchery sell out months in advance and are a testament to the quality of education and experiences available here.
Macedon wines - The Macedon Ranges claims the coolest grape-growing climate of any wine region on the mainland, with more than 40 vineyards located between 350m and 700m above sea level. Fertile high country soils, deep chill in the winter months, and guaranteed sunshine in summer are the primary ingredients for producing some of the nation’s best table wines.
The region is renowned for its sparkling wine, with the ranges' high altitude and cool climate providing perfect conditions for the production of the variety. Most of the local wineries boast their own label of 'Macedon', a term used for their sparkling wines made to an agreed style using only Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes grown in the Macedon Ranges. Well-regarded wineries include Bindi, Hanging Rock, Curly Flat, Granite Hills and Cope-Williams.
Tour Mount Macedon's heritage gardens, explore the 19th century streetscapes of Woodend and Kyneton, or visit the legendary Hanging Rock, the haunting backdrop to The Picnic at Hanging Rock book and film. What’s more, this is a cool-climate region known for producing outstanding sparkling wine, pinot noir and chardonnay. There’s also an abundance of local produce, from tasty meats to wild mushrooms, crisp apples and succulent berries.
The village of Daylesford features a generous collection of historic buildings including the post office (built in 1867), town hall (1882). A mecca for generations of artists drawn by the region's luscious light, locations and seasonal ambience; Daylesford continues to attract many well know contemporary artists and residents. Works can be viewed in private studios, significant local galleries and amongst the quirky country shops of the main village streets.
Lake Daylesford - The lake covers land upon which gold was first discovered, was created in 1929 Jetties are provided for fishing and for those wishing to hire rowboats.
A short walk east of the town centre is the Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens which were first established in 1863. They are situated on an extinct volcano and offer good views over the surrounding countryside from its manicured lawns and pathways.
Daylesford itself is surrounded by several thousand hectares of state forest. Walking tracks through the forest alongside rivers, lakes and waterfalls yield frequent encounters with an abundance of Australian animals including wallabies, wombats and koalas.