After being under COVID restrictions for so much of 2021, excuses for opportunities to get away locally have been in order so we used the occasion of our birthdays to finally make use of a generous accommodation gift voucher given to Lee for his 50th. The gift voucher was for Daylesford Getaways so we booked a small apartment near the lake for three nights, checking the cancellation rules just in case things changed yet again on us!
Packing up early on Tuesday, we first headed to Leopold to drop Lola off with Joan and Al (as our accommodation didn't allow dogs). The drive from there to Daylesford (via Anakie and Ballan) was uneventful with very quiet roads and the day warmed up considerably during that couple of hours. It was humid and in the high 20C's by lunchtime as we explored the main street. We grabbed some nice vegan takeaway frood from the popular Healthfood & Organics shop and wandered down to Lake Daylesford to enjoy it. Lee sneaked into the Winespeake Cellar & Deli to acquire some local Daylesford Cider before we drove the short distance out to our accommodation down on the shores of the lake. Our apartment was small but beautifully furnished with a balcony with lovely views over the lake. The warm afternoon sunshine was too good to miss, so we walked around the entirety of Lake Daylesford - and then tacked on another lap of the shorter Lake Daylesford circuit! It was nice to enjoy dinner on the balcony, washed down with a Daylesford cider!
It was a warm and humid start to Lee's birthday on Wednesday. We kicked off with a walk around the lake into town and a nice coffee from the Healthfood and Organics shop. From there, it was a steep walk up to Wombat Hill botanic gardens and this was a lovely area to rest and explore. The gardens were peaceful and beautifully maintained, well worth the effort to walk there! Heading back into town, we bought some nice bread and a pie from the famous Himalaya Bakery on the main street. Lunch in the warm sunshine on the balcony back at the apartment was also very relaxing before we headed out again, this time the short drive to the extinct volcano, Mount Franklin. We tackled the slightly strenuous circuit walk which, while very quiet and through picturesque pine forests, didn't give us the views we expected from the top of a mountain! With the afternoon still warm and sunny, we drove back to Hepburn Springs, where we hiked up to Jackson's Lookout before meandering along the more leisurely track alongside the various mineral springs. We'd heard about a vegan food truck out at Trentham and this was Lee's pick for his birthday dinner so we drove out there in time for their opening at 5pm. Despite some heavy rain on the road between Daylesford and Trentham, it was still warm, sunny and humid when we arrived there and we enjoyed a nice walk in Quarry Street Reserve, before heading to the Twinkle Town food truck, just off the quaint town's main street. We enjoyed lovely meals sitting outside in their large seated area, as well as taking away their signature dessert in the shape of Ethan Mess (a vegan take on Eton Mess, consisting of lemon cake, lemon myrtle coconut cream, meringue, Hepburn Distillery Gin jelly, charred and pickled pineapple, and fresh berries). Driving back to the apartment, a chunk of the Ethan Mess was devoured alongside a Daylesford Cider after a busy day and lots of walking - a good birthday!
The weather on Thursday wasn't quite as kind for Ky's birthday, starting off much cooler and showery. We started the day with the long walk to Sutton Spring before circling the lake and into town for coffee from the Healthfood and Organics shop. We managed to walk around the full lake circuit on the way back to the apartment without getting too wet and then enjoyed lunch (and the remains of the Ethan Mess!) on the sheltered balcony. During a clearer spell in the afternoon, we drove back to Hepburn Springs and did the longer walk there out to the Argyle Spring, before exploring the town's largely-deserted main street. Heading back to Daylesford, we did the full lake circuit walk again before relaxing in the comfort of the apartment.
It was windy, cool and drizzly as we packed up on Friday morning. We still managed to walk around the lake into town without getting wet, buying more bread from the Himalaya Bakery and a final coffee from the Healthfood and Organics shop. We checked-out right on 11am and drove back as far as Geelong West, where we met up with Joan, Al and Lola at our local vegan haunt, Faceplant. Our plan to lunch there was scuppered by a lack of outdoor seating thanks to the weather but we grabbed takeaway and enjoyed it back at Joan and Al's, before finally heading home.
Daylesford is always a relaxing and rejuvinating place to spend some time and we really enjoyed our few days exploring the town and the local area based in our lovely spot on the lake, even with the pretty mixed weather we experienced there.
Review of Lake Daylesford Apartments 2A