Daylesford, Victoria has a long list of accolades associated with it. Home of the oldest Italian building in all of Australia, this popular vacation town is nestled in the foothills of Australia’s Great Dividing Range, right next to over half of Australia’s supply of mineral water. In the 1800s, mineral water was definitely not what brought people to town, though; instead, it was the gold rush, which managed to build Daylesford into the quiet town that it is today. But where other bustling villages became ghost towns, Daylesford’s mineral water and ideal location allowed it to survive and continue prospering well into today.
A hugely popular vacation spot from its inception, travelers from all over Australia have been taking their holidays in Daylesford for quite sometime. For those foreigners who are expecting a sleepy town of around 3,000 inhabitants to be lacking in the high-class options, think again. Daylesford accommodation options are hugely varied, from luxury spas on the lakefront to bed & breakfasts ran by serious foodies who whip up gourmet meals while offering tours of the different mineral water varieties available in town.
It’s not just yuppies who enjoy Daylesford and its healing springs. The New Age community has been falling in love with the town for ages, and with a new nearby yoga ashram built and all of the healing powers of Hepburn Springs just a half-hour drive away, Daylesford is more popular than ever with the crystal-toting crowd. Whether it’s acupuncture, tarot card readings, aura cleansing, or any other variety of services, Daylesford definitely knows how to provide different outlets for those interested in their spirituality.
Less than three hours from Melbourne by car, Daylesford also makes for an excellent day trip, especially for those who are interested in a relaxing afternoon strolling through art galleries and checking out buildings that have managed to survive since gold was king. Mom and pop boutiques are another huge asset to the town’s appeal with visitors, and it’s definitely possible to explore Daylesford for the afternoon and be impressed with the amount of shopping that there is to get done.
A longtime favorite retreat for Aussies and foreigners alike, Daylesford has gone from gold rush capital of Victoria to one of the country’s fanciest spa retreats. With the excitement of today’s rush of spirituality and a healthy contingent of old-timers who have been vacationing here for years, it’s safe to say that the old and the new are managing to coexist just fine in this sleepy little town a couple of hours away from one of Australia’s biggest cities.