Just a short one-hour drive from Melbourne, the town of Daylesford is the perfect rural mini-retreat — a unique destination blessed with great restaurants and cafes, a range of accommodation options, and the Hepburn Springs spa complex.
As well as being an attractive place to visit for LGBTQ travellers, many have made it their permanent home — according to some estimates, around 20 percent of Daylesford’s population identify as LGBTQ.
Daylesford is also home to one of Australia’s biggest bear festivals.
Beartopia sees hundreds of bears and bear-lovers migrating to Daylesford. Presented by VicBears, the annual event is held in December — the dates for 2018 are 30 November — 2 December.
Events include a Chillout Bake-off, as well as a Country Bear Party — think denim, gingham, leather vests, chaps, bandanas, plaid, cowboy hats, and cowboy boots.
Daylesford is a great part of the world to visit at any time of year, but if you like your men with a bit of grunt, then Beartopia is worth adding to your itinerary.
Where to stay
- Luxury: Kudos Villas — Five-star luxury in the spa resort town of Hepburn Springs.
- Mid-range: Hotel Frangos — Right in the heart of Daylesford, the perfect base to immerse yourself in this region.
- Budget: The Daylesford Hotel — Room options include a self-contained apartment which is ideal.