An intriguing enclave of artists’ studios, galleries and cafés selling artisanal food and regional produce, this small Goldfields city is a charming getaway in Victoria.
Epicurean delights, antiques and locally made crafts await discovery behind the Victorian-era façades of Castlemaine, a gold rush city in the heart of Victoria. Get a feel for the small city’s fascinating heritage by walking down its wide streets, dotted with ornate establishments that date back over 100 years. Stop by artists’ studios and galleries selling unique items, such as ceramics, textiles, paintings and jewellery.
Start your trip in Castlemaine at the Visitor Information Centre, located within the historic Castlemaine Market Building. Here, you can pick up brochures detailing different parts of the city or embark on a walking tour with a hired audio guide. Stroll around Lyttleton Street and Mostyn Street to find a collection of stately historic buildings. Nearby, find the tall Burke and Wills Monument, a structure that honours the two frontier explorers who died traversing the outback in 1861. Take in views of Castlemaine’s surroundings from this hilltop monument. Don’t miss the Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum to see a collection of artworks by Australian and international artists.
After a long day exploring art galleries and antique stores, stop for a meal in one of Castlemaine’s high-quality restaurants. Serving fresh produce with award-winning olive oil, cheeses and preserves from the region, Castlemaine has a rightful place on every Victorian foodie’s map. Many of Castlemaine’s restaurants also stock a selection of excellent local wines.
Catch a film, performance or recital at the city’s Theatre Royal, Australia’s oldest continuously operating theatre. Join the locals at the Wesley Hill Community Market every Saturday and peruse locally crafted items and farmers’ produce.
Castlemaine’s Botanical Gardens offer a serene landscape where you can relax in the grass or stroll around the lake. Visit the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park to bushwalk, spot bird species and check out goldmining relics.
Reach Castlemaine in approximately 90 minutes by car from Melbourne, Victoria’s capital city. The regional V/Line railway service from Melbourne to Bendigo also stops in Castlemaine. Within the city, catch local buses or climb aboard the Victorian Goldfields Railway to experience the historic passage to Maldon via Muckleford.