Daylesford is a charming town in Victoria, Australia, known for its natural springs, art galleries, and wellness retreats. I personally love this area for it’s beautiful autumn feel, with golden leaves spread out amongst you and birds and trees adorning every corner. The stillness and peace of this area makes it the perfect location for a deeply restful and rejuvenating break away. 😌
As a person who is on and off mobility aids, I also know that it can be tricky travelling with a disability. That’s why I’ve curated a day-plan that allows people in wheelchairs to immerse themselves in the tranquility, beauty and peacefulness of this town. 🕊️
Get ready and be prepared to enjoy a day of beautiful gardens, inspiring art, spa treatments and sunsets. 🌹🌻 🎨 💆♀️ ☀️
First Stop: Breakfast
First make your way to Pancho Cafe. Where they pride themselves on quality service, contemporary seasonal cooking and excellent coffee.
Whilst, they do not have a wheelchair accessible bathroom and it is a bit of a tight squeeze in the Cafe, the manager Lauren is more than accomodating for people in wheelchairs. All you need to do is call up to confirm you are coming and they will help you get through the venue.
Plus, there is a wheelchair accessible bathroom 2 mins away at the Tourist Information Centre.
Click here to find out more information about the cafe.
Second Stop: Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens
Perched high on the summit of an extinct volcano in the centre of Daylesford, Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens is the perfect spot for a morning stroll.
Take the scenic drive around the gardens and then stop a while to explore. Whilst here you can explore the many areas throughout the gardens including the fernery, rotunda and begonia house.
Third Stop: Lunch
Stop off for lunch at the Boathouse Restaurant. Located on the banks of Lake Daylesford and with exquisite water views from any vantage point. You can take in the beautiful views from their warm and cosy indoor dining area for winter catch ups and their outdoor deck and seating area during the warmer months.
They are wheelchair accessible and have a wheelchair accessible bathroom.
Call them on 03 5348 2199 prior to attending to confirm your unique accessibility needs.
Fourth Stop: Convent Gallery
Described as “the most beautiful art gallery in Australia”, the Convent is a multi-award winning tourist destination in Daylesford.
Located in an historic 19th century old building, over four levels, there are seven gallery spaces, a museum, chapel, gift shop, café, bar and function rooms, all incorporating art, history and culture. Surrounded by fragrant and beautifully groomed gardens and panoramic views of Victoria’s picturesque central highlands, a visit to The Convent Daylesford is truly a divine experience.
Now, parts of the building are wheelchair accessible. This includes the main gallery space, the function room, the chapel and nun cell. There are 3 gallery spaces on the ground level that have 2 steps so you won’t be able to access this.
To access the accessible parts when you get there you will need to follow the wheelchair signs that direct you to park in the Altar Bar carpark. From the carpark, you can enter via the function centre door, which leads you to the lift. The lift allows access to the main gallery space, chapel & function centre. This door is typically locked; a phone call is required for staff to open it for you.
The bathroom in the function area has a handle, whilst the one in the gallery does not.
Big electric wheelchairs may have issues getting through the doorways of some of the rooms. I suggest you call prior to confirm this on 03 5348 3211.
Fifth Stop: Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa
Next step into the grandeur of Hepburn Bathhouse & Spa, a sanctuary of relaxation and rejuvenation steeped in history. Established in 1895, their historic Bathhouse has been a source of traditional wellness for over a century. Indulge in the pure, mineral-rich waters drawn directly from their natural source, and discover a range of bespoke wellness packages designed to enhance your relaxation experience. Allow them to transport you back in time, as you reconnect with the therapeutic benefits of mineral bathing.
Their bathhouse and facilities are fully accessible except for some of the more uniquely shaped pools.
Disabled toilets are available as well as access to the Bathhouse Mineral Bathing via a large ramp with handrails.
The Private Bathing facilities can also be made accessible with hoists available upon request.
A lift is available allowing access to the entrance and lower levels of the Bathhouse.
Water wheelchairs are onsite to be utilised.
For more information on their accessibility call them on (03) 8727 8901.
Sixth Stop: Dinner
Unwind after your pampering session with dinner at the Kadota Restaurant. Kadota is a warm and inviting restaurant, where lovingly crafted Japanese flavours are carefully produced using seasonal local ingredients.
It is wheelchair accessible, with an accessible bathroom, parking and seating.
To discuss your unique accessibility needs call them on 03 – 5348 1218.
What to Prepare?
Make sure to prepare for your trip! Below is a rough guide for you to follow, however there will be things that you need to prepare specifically for your needs. Try to write these down and organise them in advance to have everything perfect for your trip, and to avoid unnecessary stressors.
Look at guide below ↓ ↓ ↓
2 Week's Prior to Day-Trip:
- A support worker to push you around on your chair and to drive you to the different locations
- A wheelchair accessible vehicle (if you do not have a vehicle you can drive and need a wheelchair accessible vehicle, have a look at our vehicles here, we would love to support you on your day out!)
- Disability Parking Permit
- Essential back ups for your mobility device e.g. batteries, crutches, waterproof covering for your wheelchair, visibiliity LED lights just in case it becomes dark etc.
- Book reservations and contact all restaurants and venues. Whilst doing this confirm all of your unique accessibility requirements, e.g. steps, accessible bathroom, corridor space etc.
- Map out accessible roots in Wombat Hill Botanical Gardens
- Check weather and consider any potential impact on outdoor activities. (do this a few times leading up to trip and organise a plan b if its predicted to be bad weather!)
2 Day's Prior to Day-Trip:
- Print of a map or have ready a map on your phone for use, and directions to the different locations (collect an accessibility map designed for people with mobility issues from the Daylesford Regional Visitor Information Centre, click here for more info)
- Check weather and organise essentials for changing weather conditions; e.g. an umbrella, extra layers, a waterproof jacket etc.
- Water bottle
- Confirm bookings and details with support worker, accessible vehicle hire company, restaurants and venues
- Collate back ups for your mobility device
- Personal Comfort and Supplies, e.g. snacks
- Personal Medications
- Emergency contacts
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