Victoria’s foodie destinations dominated the Best Town stakes this year, with Daylesford bumping Margaret River off the podium to take the top spot.

Nestled in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, just over 100 kilometres north-west of Melbourne, Daylesford is a charming mix of cafés and farm gates, with lavender crops and boutique wineries; as well as a menu of mineral springs and local spas that earn it the title of Australia’s spa capital.

Like a European village lost in time, one reader commented “Daylesford is the perfect blend of rural and urban”.

Of course there were many mentions of the adjoining township of Hepburn Springs too, as well as the famed Lake House restaurant and hotel. But our love for Daylesford is nicely summarised by one reader who wrote, “Daylesford is gorgeous in its own rustic way – it’s perfect but not necessarily manicured”. See


In runner-up position is the Kimberley’s ever-popular Broome, which was described as “a melting pot of cultures, history and beaches”, followed by another charming township from regional Victoria, Beechworth. In fourth place was eternal favourite Margaret River, which won the title for the past two years, and newcomer Longreach, famed for its rich history, Qantas museum, and friendly outback community.

See the full Readers’ Choice Awards winners’ list.

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