Paved by gold, Castlemaine's history and heritage is visible in its fine public buildings, wide streets, ornate hotels and century-old shops selling everything from antiques and art to increasingly coveted gourmet food.
Castlemaine has a thriving arts and cultural community and has made its mark as a leading regional arts centre. Attend a show at Australia's oldest continually operating theatre, the Theatre Royal. View major Australian artworks of the late 19th and early 20th centuries at the Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum.
Bring your basket and fill it with exceptional olive oil, cheeses, preserves and fresh regional produce at the regular farmers market. Follow the movements of the talented chefs that have made the shift to Castlemaine, book a table and try some of the region's finest food coupled with exceptional local wines.
Whether your love is for formal gardens or natural landscapes, you'll find them in Castlemaine. Take a picnic and enjoy a relaxing afternoon by the lake in the Botanical Gardens, established in 1856. Visit the Buda Historic Home and Garden with its magnificent nineteenth century gardens, and the Kaweka Wildflower Reserve, vividly coloured in spring.
Follow the Mt Alexander Diggings heritage trail and find out about life on the goldfields. Pick up a brochure from the historic Market Building in Mostyn Street.
Castlemaine is 119 kilometres north-west of Melbourne or just under 90 minutes via the Calder Highway. Alternatively you can travel via the Western Highway to the Midland Highway passing through Daylesford.