Melbourne, the bustling capital of Victoria, is a vibrant city with a lively culture and rich history. It is a popular travel destination with tourists from all over the world, offering a diverse range of experiences from art and culture to food and nightlife. Meanwhile, Daylesford, a charming spa town located just a few hours away, is a hidden gem that offers a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.

This travel blog article aims to provide readers with an informative guide to the Melbourne to Daylesford road trip, including recommended stops along the way, top things to do in Daylesford, accommodation options, dining choices, and day trip ideas. Whether you’re a tourist arriving at Melbourne Airport or a local looking for a weekend getaway, this article will help you plan a memorable trip filled with adventure and relaxation. So, let’s get started and explore the best trip stops on the road trip from Melbourne to Daylesford!

Melbourne to Daylesford Travel Itinerary

Getting There:

Whether you prefer driving on a road trip, taking a train, or a bus, there are plenty of transportation options for traveling from Melbourne to Daylesford. A road trip is undoubtedly the most popular way to reach Daylesford, with numerous trip stops along the way. The drive from Melbourne to Daylesford is approximately 115 kilometers and takes about 1.5 hours. However, if you’re looking to make it a longer road trip, consider taking a detour via the Great Ocean Road, which is known for its stunning coastal views.

Here are some more details on getting to Daylesford by car and public transport:

Car Drive:

A car drive is a popular way to get to Daylesford as it provides flexibility and allows you to stop at various trip stops along the way. The most direct route is via the Western Freeway (M8), which takes you through charming towns like Woodend, Kyneton, and Trentham. To get to Daylesford, you can take the exit onto Ballan-Daylesford Road (C141) and follow it until you reach your destination.

If you’re coming from Melbourne Airport, you can take the Tullamarine Freeway (M2) and merge onto the Western Ring Road (M80). Take the Ballarat Road exit and follow it until you reach the Western Freeway. From there, follow the same route as mentioned above.

Public Transport:


If you prefer public transport, you can take the V/Line train service from Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station to Daylesford Station. The journey takes approximately 2 hours, and trains run regularly throughout the day. Once you arrive at Daylesford Station, you can take a taxi or walk to your accommodation.


There are also regular bus services that operate from Melbourne’s CBD to Daylesford, taking approximately 2.5 hours. The buses are comfortable and equipped with amenities like air conditioning and Wi-Fi. Once you arrive at the Daylesford Bus Stop, you can take a taxi or walk to your accommodation.

In conclusion, getting to Daylesford is easy, whether you choose to drive or take public transport. With so many trips stops along the way, a road trip to Daylesford is undoubtedly one of the best ways to explore Victoria’s countryside and create unforgettable memories.

No matter which transportation option you choose or the route you take, the Melbourne to Daylesford road trip is undoubtedly one of the best ways to explore Victoria’s countryside and visit popular trip stops. If you’re coming from further afield, like Western Australia, Northern Territory, or New South Wales, you can also fly into Melbourne and then embark on the Daylesford drive.

Recommended Towns and Villages to Stop By:

If you’re taking a road trip from Melbourne to Daylesford, there are several charming towns and villages that you should consider adding to your itinerary. Here are some of the top road trip stops you don’t want to miss,

Macedon Ranges

Macedon Ranges is a picturesque region situated just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, making it a perfect stop for visitors on a road trip to Daylesford. The region is known for its natural beauty, with stunning views of rolling hills, native bushland, and quaint villages. Some of the top things to do include hiking in the Macedon Regional Park, visiting the Hanging Rock Reserve, and exploring the charming towns of Woodend and Kyneton.

Macedon Ranges is also home to a thriving food and wine scene, with many local producers offering tastings and tours. Visitors can sample locally made cheeses, olive oils, and wines while enjoying the region’s tranquil beauty.


Located in the heart of the Macedon Ranges, Woodend is a popular tourist destination and one of the most recommended towns to visit on the way to Daylesford. This charming town offers plenty of activities, including wine tasting, boutique shopping, and dining experiences.


Kyneton is a lovely village located between Woodend and Daylesford. This town is known for its historic buildings, art galleries, and antique shops. You can also take a walk through the Kyneton Botanic Gardens or visit the Piper Street precinct for some great food and shopping.


Malmsbury is on the way to Daylesford if you’re driving from Melbourne. It is located just off the Calder Freeway, which is the most recommended route to take when driving to Daylesford from Melbourne. This historic gold rush town is famous for its botanical gardens, art galleries, and antique shops. You can also take a stroll along the riverbank or enjoy a picnic in the park.


Castlemaine is a historic gold rush town located in Central Victoria, approximately 30 minutes drive before Daylesford. The town is known for its beautiful colonial architecture, vibrant arts scene, and historic charm. Here are some of the top attractions to visit in Castlemaine:

  1. Castlemaine Art Museum – This is one of the oldest and most significant regional galleries in Australia, showcasing a wide range of Australian art from the colonial period to contemporary times.
  2. Botanical Gardens – The beautiful and tranquil botanical gardens in Castlemaine offer a great place to relax, take a stroll, and enjoy the natural beauty of the region.
  3. Old Castlemaine Gaol – This historic gaol is a fascinating place to visit, offering a glimpse into the life of prisoners in colonial Victoria.
  4. Mount Alexander – This scenic mountain located just outside Castlemaine offers spectacular views of the surrounding countryside and is a great place for hiking and exploring.
  5. The Mill Castlemaine – This is a vibrant creative hub in Castlemaine, with art galleries, shops, cafes, and a vintage market.

Castlemaine is easily accessible by car, and it can also be reached by train from Melbourne. The journey by train takes approximately 1.5 hours from Melbourne, and the station is located in the heart of the town. If you’re driving from Melbourne to Daylesford, Castlemaine can be a great road trips stop to include on your itinerary.

Hepburn Springs

Hepburn Springs is a small town located just a few minutes drives from Daylesford, in Victoria’s spa country. It’s a convenient stop for those traveling from Melbourne to Daylesford, as it’s located along the route. It’s known for its natural mineral springs and wellness offerings, making it a popular destination for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. 

Things to do and see:

  1. Visit the Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa for a range of spa treatments and wellness experiences.
  2. Take a walk through Hepburn Regional Park, which features several hiking trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
  3. Explore the town’s historic buildings and architecture, including the Hepburn Mineral Springs Reserve and Pavilion.
  4. Go on a wine tour and visit some of the local wineries and vineyards in the area.
  5. Attend one of the town’s annual events, such as the Hepburn Springs Swiss Italian Festival or the Hepburn Springs Golf Week.

Recommended length of stay: Hepburn Springs is a small town, so a day trip is possible, but it’s recommended to stay at least one or two nights to fully experience everything the town has to offer.

Then you can visit Daylesford and on the way back visit some of these other towns on your way back to Melbourne.


Trentham is a charming village located in the Hepburn Shire, approximately 20 minutes drive from Daylesford Melbourne. The town is known for its picturesque streetscape, beautiful gardens, and natural springs. Here are some of the top attractions to visit in Trentham:

  1. Trentham Falls – This is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Victoria, with a drop of approximately 32 meters. The falls are easily accessible, with a viewing platform and walking tracks.
  2. Trentham Collective – This is a unique shopping experience in Trentham, with a range of artisanal products, including handmade ceramics, textiles, and jewelry.
  3. Red Beard Bakery – This award-winning bakery is a must-visit in Trentham, offering delicious bread, pastries, and coffee.
  4. Trentham Estate – This is a beautiful historic property with sprawling gardens, vineyards, and a restaurant that offers fantastic views of the surrounding countryside.


It is another small village located in the Hepburn Shire, approximately 30 minutes drive from Daylesford. The town is known for its historic buildings, scenic drives, and gold mining history. Here are some of the top attractions to visit in Blackwood:

  1. Blackwood Mineral Springs Reserve – This is a beautiful park with natural mineral springs that were once popular for their healing properties.
  2. The Garden of St Erth – This is a stunning heritage garden with rare and unusual plants, a nursery, and a café.
  3. The Blackwood Ridge Nursery and Gardens – This is another lovely garden with a nursery and a café, offering beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.

Both Trentham and Blackwood can be easily accessed by car and are great places to include on your itinerary for a day trip or as part of a longer road trip in the region.

To make the most of your trip, we recommend spending a few days exploring the charming towns and villages between Melbourne and Daylesford. You can easily add these trip stops to your itinerary if you’re traveling from Sydney or flying into Melbourne airport. If you’re coming from Ballarat to Daylesford, Melbourne to Ballarat, Melbourne airport to Daylesford, Melbourne to Castlemaine, or Woodend to Daylesford, these trip stops are easily accessible via various directions to Daylesford or Woodend to Daylesford bus timetables.

Things to Do in Daylesford

  1. Exploring the town: visitors can wander around the town’s charming streets and discover its history and heritage buildings, such as the old train station and the convent gallery.
  2. Relaxing in the mineral springs: Daylesford is renowned for its natural mineral springs, which offer visitors a chance to soak in the healing waters and indulge in spa treatments and massages.
  3. Visiting local wineries and breweries: the region boasts many award-winning wineries and craft breweries that visitors can tour and taste the local produce.
  4. Shopping at the markets and boutiques: Daylesford has a thriving local market scene, with farmers’ markets, artisan markets, and vintage markets selling fresh produce, handmade crafts, and unique souvenirs.
  5. Enjoying outdoor activities: the region’s natural beauty provides ample opportunities for outdoor adventures, such as hiking in the Wombat State Forest, biking along the Great Dividing Trail, or fishing in the nearby lakes and rivers.
  6. It’s recommended to spend at least a weekend in Daylesford to fully experience its attractions and relax in the peaceful surroundings. Visitors should also check out the local events calendar for festivals, concerts, and cultural events that showcase the region’s arts and music scene.

Accommodation Options

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Hotels and Resorts: Daylesford offers a range of luxury retreats and spa resorts, perfect for those looking for a high-end stay. From 5-star hotels to boutique resorts, visitors can find something to fit their style and budget. Some popular options include The Lake House, The Mineral Springs Hotel, and The Daylesford Hotel. Some are also pet-friendly accommodations.

Hostels or Bed and Breakfasts: For a more affordable and cozy stay, visitors can opt for hostels or bed and breakfasts. These options provide a home-like atmosphere and a chance to interact with locals. Some popular options in Daylesford include The Daylesford Central Motor Inn, Daylesford Spa Country Railway Station, and Abelia Cottage.

Airbnb and Vacation Rentals: Airbnb and vacation rentals have become increasingly popular in recent years, and Daylesford offers many options for those looking for a unique, private stay and family-friendly accommodations. Visitors can find everything from quaint cottages to modern apartments on platforms like Airbnb, Stayz, and

Camping and Caravan Parks: For those who enjoy the great outdoors, camping and caravan parks are popular options. Daylesford offers several camping and caravan sites, including the Daylesford Holiday Park, the Creswick Caravan Park, and the Hepburn Springs Tourist Park. These sites offer a range of facilities such as powered sites, BBQ areas, and camp kitchens.

Dining Options

Local cuisine and specialties: Daylesford offers a wide variety of local cuisine and specialties, including regional wines, artisanal cheeses, and fresh produce. Visitors can enjoy traditional Australian dishes as well as international cuisine such as Italian, French, and Asian fusion.

Fine dining restaurants: For those seeking a more upscale dining experience, Daylesford has several fine dining options. Many of these restaurants use locally sourced and organic ingredients to create unique and flavorful dishes. Some popular fine dining options include The Lake House, The Argus Dining Room, and Sault Restaurant.

Casual eateries and cafes: There are also plenty of casual eateries and cafes in Daylesford, perfect for a quick bite or a relaxed meal. Visitors can enjoy hearty breakfasts, light lunches, and dinners featuring local produce and ingredients. Some popular casual eateries and cafes include Cliffy’s Emporium, Larder Cafe, and the Daylesford Hotel.

Overall, Daylesford has a diverse range of dining options to suit every taste and budget, from high-end restaurants to casual cafes and eateries.

Day Trips from Daylesford

While Daylesford is a wonderful destination on its own, there are also many nearby attractions that make for great day trips.

Visiting Nearby Attractions: As mentioned above, you can explore any of the quaint towns around. Such as Hepburn Springs, known for its natural mineral springs and wellness retreats, and Mount Macedon, where visitors can enjoy hiking and stunning views from the summit. Other nearby towns worth exploring include Woodend, Kyneton, and Castlemaine.

Exploring the Surrounding Countryside: The countryside surrounding Daylesford is known for its natural beauty, with rolling hills, forests, and rivers. Visitors can enjoy scenic drives, hiking and biking trails, and horseback riding adventures. Some popular spots include the Wombat State Forest, Lerderderg State Park, and the Macedon Ranges.

Taking a Hot Air Balloon Ride: One of the most popular activities in Daylesford is taking a hot air balloon ride over the countryside. Visitors can enjoy stunning views of the landscape as they soar high above, and many companies offer packages that include champagne breakfasts or other special treats.

 Here are some additional suggestions:

  1. Visiting nearby wineries and vineyards
  2. Taking a scenic drive through the countryside
  3. Exploring historic towns such as Castlemaine and Bendigo
  4. Hiking in nearby national parks such as the Wombat State Forest and the Lerderderg State Park
  5. Visiting local art galleries and studios
  6. Taking a dip in nearby natural swimming holes and waterfalls
  7. Trying your luck at gold prospecting in the surrounding areas

Melbourne to Daylesford on public transport

If you don’t have a car or not driving, there are several options to go from Melbourne to Daylesford public transport.

  1. Bus: There are several bus companies that operate services from Melbourne bus to Daylesford, including V/Line and Gold Bus. The journey takes around 1.5-2 hours.
  2. Train: While there is no direct train from Melbourne to Daylesford train, you can take a train to Ballan or Castlemaine and then take a bus or taxi to Daylesford Victoria. The journey takes around 1.5-2 hours by train and additional time for the bus or taxi.
  3. Car rental: Renting a car is also an option, and there are several car rental companies available in Melbourne. The journey takes around 1.5 hours by car, depending on traffic.
  4. Private transfer: Private transfer services are also available for those who prefer a more comfortable and hassle-free journey.
  5. Alternatively, you can book private tours if not using Melbourne public transport or self-drive.


In summary, a road trip from Melbourne to Daylesford is a great way to explore the scenic countryside and experience the local culture. The trip offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, relaxation in mineral springs, exploring local markets and boutiques, and dining on local specialties.

For those looking to stay overnight, there are many accommodation options available, including hotels and resorts, bed and breakfasts, Airbnb and vacation rentals, and camping and caravan parks.

If you’re interested in exploring the surrounding areas, there are plenty of day trip options to consider, including visiting nearby attractions such as Hepburn Springs and Mount Macedon, taking a hot air balloon ride, and more.

Overall, this trip is perfect for those looking to escape the city and experience a different side of Victoria. When planning your trip, it is recommended to drive or rent a car especially if you want to check out the small towns along the way, or just be sure to check the timetable on the public transport (buses or trains as it could change without notice PT map Melbourne) and consider the recommended length of stay to make the most of your time in this beautiful region. 

Let me know in the comments:

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Melbourne to Daylesford Roadtrip

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