Castlemaine: Golden Charm and Gourmet Delights
The charming historic town of Castlemaine once bustled with miners seeking nuggets of gold. Today you can unearth a myriad of other treasures, with beautiful heritage architecture, a vibrant arts scene and some of the flavours that are giving Castlemaine a reputation for the best in fine food and wine.
The town’s wide streets boast a selection of historic shops, hotels and public buildings. Introduce yourself to them with a self-guided tour, including the historic Market Building, which is home to the Visitor Information Centre.
You can also discover antiques, fashion and art. There are several small galleries and artist studios open to the public. The Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum is a major centre with a collection of Australian and international works. Perhaps you’d also enjoy a concert or show at the Theatre Royal, the nation’s oldest continually operating theatre?
The town’s Botanical Gardens are an ideal spot for a picnic. And don’t miss Buda Historic Home & Garden; built in 1861, it features a wonderful art and craft collection, and three acres of stunning 19th Century gardens. Another popular outing is the Goldfields Track, a 200km mountain biking trail that connects Ballarat, Castlemaine, Hepburn, Daylesford, Creswick and Bendigo. Twice a week there is also the option of a trip on the Victorian Goldfield Railway’s authentic historic steam train.
Take a day to explore the wonderful food and wine of the area, which includes many cafés and restaurants along with vineyards, farm-gates and other local producers open for tastings. There are also several award-winning restaurants in the region.
Castlemaine is located around 90 minutes’ drive from Melbourne. If you decide to stay you can have your choice of historic cottage, rustic guesthouse, quality hotel or charming bed and breakfast.