Daylesford is an immensely popular weekender for inner-city Melburnians, particularly gay and lesbian people. Some even move there permanently.

But with this popularity come some sacrifices -” like other oft-frequented close-to-Melbourne holiday spots, Daylesford can get busy in peak times. If what you’re after is peace, quiet and solitude, it may be wise to take a midweek trip to the region, rather than spending the weekend.

Peace and quiet aren’t the only benefits of a midweek break: you’ll find that in many respects, the price is right too. It’s a quieter, cheaper time to be away, especially if you’re trying to escape all the rush of the city during the silly season. Here are a few perfect midweek getaway options in Daylesford and surrounds.

Getting there
Once you’re in Melbourne, there are two ways of getting to Daylesford. ow you go depends on whether or not you’d like to stop off on the way.

The slightly quicker and more direct route is to take the Western Freeway out of Melbourne city, taking the Daylesford exit at Ballan. Follow the signs -” the road will lead you directly to Daylesford.

The other option is to take the Calder Freeway out of the city, heading north-west. Just past Kyneton, turn into the Calder Highway into Malmsbury, then turn left onto Daylesford-Malmsbury Rd, where it’s only a short drive to your destination. The advantage of this slightly longer route is than you can stop off in any of the scenic towns of Kyneton, Woodend or Macedon on the way -” even stopping to explore Hanging Rock.

Nightly comforts
You can find many places in Daylesford where you’ll be able to spend three nights during the week for the weekend price of two. Best of all, unlike many country destinations, businesses in Daylesford are comfortable with gay travellers: bring your partner and you won’t find raised eyebrows at the reservations desk when you book a double bed.

Stress relief
The beauty of a midweek stay is that you’ll be able to really embrace the solitude and extra room in the region’s multitude of spas.

Treatments and therapies are often less rushed during the week and outside of peak times, while the prices can drop considerably at these times too.

The locals know the score -” far better to enjoy a quiet dip in one of the area’s many mineral springs on a midweek morning than to wait until Sunday when city folk arrive in droves seeking a de-stresser before heading back to the rat race.

Wine and dine
Many of Daylesford’s restaurants and cafes offer midweek local nights where you’ll be able to enjoy a main course and a glass of wine for under $20.

Because business is less busy during the week, you’ll be able to find a table in most restaurants without a booking, and will find the restaurant staff are able to be more attentive and less rushed than on weekends.

Going bush
Daylesford is home to a network of bushwalks, many of which begin at Lake Daylesford, only a short stroll from the main street. The walks vary in length, with the longest, at 16km, running between the town and Hepburn Springs. Many of the tracks snake past gold-rush era relics, while the lake itself is a great place for boating, birdwatching or picnics.

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