Visit historic Castlemaine, a bustling town renowned for its eclectic arts scene, rich gold rush history, and growing reputation as a fine food destination.
Stop by a local artist's studio to find sculpture, ceramics, jewellery, paintings and textiles, or experience the village's artistic heritage by taking in a concert at the Theatre Royal, Australia's oldest continually operating theatre. For a day viewing major Australian and international works, head to the Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum.
Wines and fresh produce
Foodies and wine lovers won't be disappointed as a number of talented chefs have made the move to the area. Frock up or stick with country casual and book your spot at the Public Inn, hatted by the Good Food Guide. Savour some of the region's finest food coupled with exceptional local wines. Stock up on olive oil, cheeses, preserves and fresh apples and cider at farm gates and specialty provedores on your way through.
Antiques and collectables
Collectors, brace yourselves: Castlemaine is a veritable treasure trove. Allow plenty of time to browse the stores lining Mostyn and Barker streets and the intriguing wall-to-wall relics at the Restorers Barn. Or cross town to the vibrant Mill precinct for your fill of vintage, artisanal and gourmet delights.
Paved with gold
Explore Castlemaine's rich history and heritage with a self-guided tour of its grand public buildings, wide streets, ornate hotels and century-old shops. You'll find a range of self-guided walks that take in the village and beyond. Hire an MP3 player from the Visitor Information Centre in the historic Market Building on Mostyn Street and start exploring.
The open air
Enjoy a relaxing afternoon by the lake in the Botanical Gardens. Established in 1856 the gardens have recently undergone a multi-million dollar refurbishment. Visit Buda Historic Home and Garden with its magnificent 19th Century gardens and house, or head out along the Goldfields Track by foot or on two wheels.