Bendigo Town Hall, Goldfields, Victoria, Australia
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Sydney Melbourne Heritage Drive

Leg 1: Melbourne to Bendigo
154 km/95 miles, about 2 hours

The towns and villages between Melbourne and Bendigo are renowned for their antique shops that overflow with treasures, including furniture, silver, china, paintings and bric-a-brac.

To see antiques in situ, visit the historic home Buda in Castlemaine. The legacy of the gold-rush boom is present in the historic buildings throughout Castlemaine, and the old-world charm and the National Trust-listed streetscape in the tiny town of Maldon.

Piper Street in Kyneton has a small cluster of antique shops. The town also boasts mineral springs and 19th-century botanic gardens, plus The Provender, one of the new breed of bookshop cafés.

Hanging Rock, the haunting backdrop to the Picnic at Hanging Rock book and film, is near Woodend, a town with an historic streetscape featuring a number of heritage buildings and a clock tower.

From Woodend weave your way through the tree-lined streets and magnificent gardens of Mount Macedon. Overnight in cottage accommodation or a fine English-style pub, and call in to sample local wines at the cellar doors of boutique wineries. At the summit of the mountain, a short walk from the car park, is the Memorial Cross and several lookouts, from which you can see as far as Melbourne on a clear day.


Sovereign Hill, Ballarat, Goldfields, Victoria, Australia

Gold rush history

The legacy of the gold rush that shaped Victoria lives on in the boomtown architecture and rich history of the Goldfields region.

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Did you know?

Rising 105 metres from the plain and formed six million years ago, Hanging Rock is actually a small steep-sided volcano (mamelon).


Things to do