Take a journey to Heathcote, nestled on the lands of the Taungurung People in a tranquil bush setting at the foot of the McIvor and McHarg Ranges. Founded in the 1850s, the town has a heritage streetscape reflecting its gold rush past – but it's the wineries and regional produce in these parts that are the major drawcards.
Meet the winemakers
Heathcote wine region has a reputation for producing some of the finest shiraz in the world along with other high quality varieties of red. Experience it for yourself. Taste the wines and meet the winemakers at cellar doors, or treat yourself to a long lunch among the vines at winery restaurants, all year round. Visit over the June long weekend to meet the winemakers, brewers and distillers at Heathcote on Show.
Find a brew
If beer is more your tipple of choice, visit the Tooborac Pub and Brewery, just a 15-minute drive south of Heathcote. Sample handcrafted beers at the bar or find a shady spot on the lawn and while away an afternoon. Other notable influences in the region are Cornella Brewery and Palling Bros. Brewery, where you can taste fresh bevs brewed on-site.
After a tasting experience with a little more kick? The Heathcote region is now home to a number of distillers, including Envy Distilling, Heathcote Gin @ Heathcote Juniper Lounge and In Good Spirits @ Domaine Asmara Vineyard & Distillery.
For those keen on bushwalking and photography, visit the Pink Cliffs Reserve on the edge of town. Wander across this unique landscape and discover mini gorges, wildflowers and wildlife. To see Heathcote and surrounds from on high, explore the walking trails in the Heathcote-Graytown National Park and take in the views from Mt Ida and Viewing Rock.
For aquatic fun, take the whole family to Lake Eppalock, just a 20-minute drive from Heathcote. Sitting pretty on the Campaspe River, it's a great spot for swimming, boating, fishing, and lakeside barbecues and picnics.
Heathcote is connected to Bendigo via the O’Keefe Rail Trail, a historic railway line which operated during the gold rush era. Today, the 49 kilometre trail is popular among bike riders, walkers and runners.