Take a tour of the region's creative side on this weekend gallery-hop through Ballarat, Bendigo and Castlemaine.
First stop: Ballarat, just 90 minutes from Melbourne. Warm up your weekend with pop-art and dumplings at Fu Man Lou, the fine menus at Underbar or Lola. See who's treading the boards at historic Her Majesty's Theatre or head to The Eastern or The Railway Hotel for a night of great live music.
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 or The Provincial Hotel.
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.