Vintage shoppers and train spotters, ghost chasers and cider tasters, culinary queens and music fiends, Castlemaine is your town. Try our top ten things to do.
1. The Mill Castlemaine
Mill about with artisans, foodies, swillers and collectors at Castlemaine's creative hub. The restored woollen mill houses vintage stalls and upcycled goods, fresh produce, a bakery, coffee house, ice cream scoopery, plus, equally importantly, the Castlemaine Brewing Company.
2. Castlemaine Art Museum
Wander among the landscapes and get lost in Australian art. With contemporary and major works of the late 1800s and Edwardian era, the Castlemaine Art Museum is an art-class act.
3. Old Castlemaine Gaol Ghost Tour
Old ghosts are the new paranormal at Old Castlemaine Gaol. Spook yourself on a tour with tales of crime and punishment, untimely endings and restless souls.
4. Public INN
Join the inn crowd for high-end Provincial fare hatted by The Age Good Food Guide within the walls of Castlemaine's original, repurposed fire station.
5. Victorian Goldfields Railway
Choo-se steam for a trip between historic gold mining towns Castlemaine and Maldon. Experience old-school glamour in first-class and take in the scenery from the parlour car's viewing platform.
6. The Bridge Hotel
Make like James Brown and take it to the Bridge. Catch gigs, spend sunny afternoons in the beer garden and wintry evenings by the fire, all with craft beer and great pub-grub on hand.
7. Theatre Royal
Have a royally good time at Australia's oldest continually operating theatre. Originally constructed to entertain diggers during the gold rush, the restored art deco Royal is now a cinema and live music venue.
8. The Restorers Barn
Set aside barn-loads of time to wander through wall-to-wall relics, fittings and collectables in this haven for renovators, interior designers, collectors and the curious.
9. The Local, Growing Abundance
Grow your own way and get a taste for the local bounty at Castlemaine's new social enterprise Growing Abundance. Time your trip with a gardening workshop or reap the rewards of local green thumbs at its cafe, The Local.
Take a sweet side trip to Victoria's apple capital, Harcourt. Stock up on doctor-delayers at roadside stalls, or compare the fruit fizz at local cideries Henry of Harcourt, Bress, and Harcourt Perry & Cider.