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Take a tour of the region's creative side on this weekend gallery-hop through Ballarat, Bendigo and Castlemaine.

Friday

First stop: Ballarat, just 90 minutes from Melbourne. Warm up your weekend with live music at Karova Lounge or the Eastern, or see who’s treading the boards at historic Her Majesty's Theatre.

Dine on pop-art and dumplings at Fu Man Lou or hatted Thai at Catfish. Tipplers can follow up with craft beer tastings at Hop Temple or local grapes at Mitchell Harris Wine Bar. For a stylish sleep, book in to Lascelles Terrace.

Saturday

Start your art tour proper with exceptional Australian works at the Art Gallery of Ballarat and contemporary colours at Lost Ones Gallery. Don’t leave town without coffee or breakfast at Yellow Espresso or Eclectic Tastes.

Make your way north to Bendigo for an afternoon of brews and tunes on the Blues Tram, rolling through the streets on the first Saturday of the month.

Wander Bendigo's arts precinct, taking in boutique galleries on View Street and street art on Chancery Lane. Discuss your findings over a sun-downer at laneway stop The Dispensary, and when night falls enjoy a show at Ulumbarra Theatre or its cousin the Capital.

Fine art deserves fine food: try culinary excellence at hatted Masons of Bendigo, and tuck yourself in for a night of luxury glamping among the vines at Balgownie Estate Bendigo.

Sunday

Wake refreshed and ready for more art: Bendigo Art Gallery is one of the country's oldest and largest galleries with an impressive roll call of touring blockbuster exhibitions.

Keep your energy up with speciality small-batch brews at Brewhouse Coffee Roasters and brekkie at Percy and Percy before the quick trip south to Castlemaine.

Muse over the specialist collection of traditional and contemporary Australian art at Castlemaine Art Museum, and then use the inspiration to scour for upcycled, vintage and bespoke treasures at creative hub The Mill and sculpture, ceramics and more at Cecode.

Time to go? Top up with coffee and strudel at Das Kaffeehaus or an ale at local brewhouse the Taproom before returning to Melbourne.

Got more time?

Take a long weekend, staying for live music at the Bridge or a film at restored art deco Theatre Royal. Feast on pasta at the Royal's Bistro Lola, pub grub at the Bridge or high-end fare at Public Inn, hatted by the Good Food Guide.

Art galleries

Goldfields arts itinerary

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Ballarat

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Performing arts

Her Majesty's Theatre Ballarat

Soak up old-world elegance in this beautifully renovated grand 1875 theatre, with top-notch drama, dance and music performances throughout the year.

Restaurants

Catfish

Set the cat among your tastebuds with an ever-changing menu of contemporary Thai curries and street food, hatted by the Good Food Guide 2018.

Holiday houses

Earle Ballarat - Lascelles Terraces

Lascelles is luxurious, boutique accommodation right in the heart of Ballarat. Located in Errard Street North, Ballarat Central, it is within easy...

From $149 - $279
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Bendigo

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Performing arts

Ulumbarra Theatre

Catch big-name performers and cultural events in an extraordinary arts and community complex encircled by the walls of the old Sandhurst Gaol.

Shopping

Chancery Lane

An eclectic mix of food, fashion and art has awakened one of Bendigo’s most endearing laneways. This little charmer was once known as Dispensary Lane...

Food & wine tours

Bendigo Blues Tram

Bendigo Visitor Centre Tours

This exciting concept combines two of Bendigo’s best attractions - its historic trams and sublime music talent. Fans can enjoy a relaxed drink on the...

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Castlemaine

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Cafes

Das Kaffeehaus

Join locals and weekenders for an authentic Viennese coffee house experience at this café slash roastery opposite Castlemaine's botanic gardens.

Cinemas

Theatre Royal

Choose from arthouse and blockbuster movies or catch local and international touring gigs at Australia's oldest continually operating theatre.

Markets

The Mill Castlemaine

Hailed as a vibrant and exciting tourist destination, The Mill Castlemaine is a creative hub for foodies, artisans and purveyors of collectables and...

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Destinations

Goldfields Arts Itinerary

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