I have wanted to go to Daylesford for the longest time. I have been to Melbourne many, many times since I was a girl, visiting my dad on school holidays. I also know the Gippsland region east of Melbourne well too from countless visits to Dad's farm. But other than a visit to Hanging Rock as a teenager I have never been into the Macedon ranges area.
For many years I was longing to visit the Lark shop in central Daylesford ( how devastating to have the shop close 18 months before I made it there and her pop up Melbourne store close up just weeks before we arrived) and then there is the matter of that gorgeous inspirational Kate from the Foxs Lane blog who lives somewhere near Daylesford. There just seemed to be some magic to be found in that little town. So, we scootled out of the big city, into a land of clear blue skies, parched yellow fields, gum trees and sheep.
We found a beautiful little studio on Air Bnb, walking distance from the centre of town with a view across a paddock and a hedge of lavender. While the flowers were finished, there was still just a hint of lavender in the air.
Our first morning we awoke to kangaroos grazing near the bedroom window.
We explored the towns around Daylesford by car, venturing into Kyneton, Malmsbury, Hepburn Springs and Ballarat. Sometimes we just turned off onto little dirt roads, just to see where we would end up. This is the view from the top of Mount Franklin.
We stopped often, to soak in a view, ferret in a second hand store or photograph a hedge with a hole for a gate ( I have a weakness for these).
Even the letterboxes were inspired. (I wonder if all these neighbours pop down at 4pm for a beer and a chat while they collect their mail).
We paused for long, slow meals at Cafe Koukla at dusk. Sitting under the grape vines with the golden light all around, dipping Churros in chocolate sauce is a memory that will not fade quickly.
It wasn't until the last day that my back had improved enough that I was able to walk the ten minutes to the centre of town. So many gorgeous details to notice in a place were the climate and seasonal change are so different from home. From the rambling rose gardens,
the murals on garage doors,
the wall of the community garden,
the yards full of feasting sulphur crested cockatoos,
and the quaint little shops.
Goodies were found in shops and fossicked from the nearby paddocks.
And did you know that Daylesford has one of the largest warehouses of vintage and secondhand eclectic ever seen? Nope, neither did I and goodness what a treat that was to stumble onto, but that is a whole other post. Back soon with the rest of the goodies.