The Botanical Gardens have long been the pride of Daylesford. Established on the peak of Wombat Hill, an extinct volcanic cone, they were commenced in 1861 and their design enhanced in 1884 by the famous nurseryman, William Sangster.
One of the early features of the gardens was an elaborate fernery which gradually disappeared during a period of neglect in the 1950's and 1960's. It was rediscovered by chance a few years ago and carefully excavated.
The original paths were found to be intact under many years accumulation of soil and sediment and the fernery has been completely restored. The gardens now cover nine hectares of parkland with some rare introduced trees and avenues.
Although to some extent a pale reflection of their former glory, like the town, they are still beautiful and retain something of the grandeur which made 'Taking the Waters'.