The tiny towns of Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges are like living museums; perfectly preserved glimpses into the region's gold rush past.
Wander along cobblestone footpaths in Malmsbury and Kyneton, past bluestone houses in Kilmore, and absorb the grandeur of granite and sandstone buildings that evoke the heady gold years of the 1850s.
Stone farm buildings around the region – and many restaurants as well – tell the story of the Swiss-Italian migrants who settled in the area after World War II.
For a more curated look at the past, call into one of a number of local museums that tell the stories of the lives of the early pioneers.
Looking back at the gold rush
Marvel at the National Trust–registered Kyneton Museum building, and its collection that includes a wide range of household items, artworks, photographs, linen, lace, costumes, horse-drawn vehicles, and farm machinery from gold rush days.
Early days of settlement
Learn more about white settlement of the area around Sunbury through photographic displays at the George Evans Museum, as well as ephemera from the heady Sunbury Pop Festival days of 1972–75.
Look back to life as it was for early settlers at The Willows Historical Park in Melton, and go back even further to discover local Aboriginal history from the Djadja Wurrung artefacts at the Daylesford Historical Museum.
Ride on a tram from 1906 and view the collection of heritage and vintage trams at the Tramways Museum at Bylands, near Kilmore.
Journey back to childhood
Take the kids to the 1800s National Trust homestead of Dromkeen at Riddells Creek, near Gisborne, to be inspired by a museum of Australian children's literature and picture book art, and magnificent gardens in which to run off some steam.