Hamilton was once known as the 'wool capital of the world' and its settlement grew as a result of the area's strong pastoral development. The squatters and their wool were of great economic and social importance to the growth of the town, and this is reflected in its impressive architecture. See the many treasures from the homesteads, which are now part of the renowned collection at the Hamilton Art Gallery.
Set off on one of the many historic walks through town and finish up at the beautiful William Guilfoyle-designed Botanic Gardens. Heritage-listed, the gardens include a native animal enclosure, bird aviary, band rotunda and decorative fountains.
Enjoy water sports or just take it easy at Lake Hamilton, where the calm waters are perfect for canoeing, fishing, waterskiing and sailing. Follow it up with lunch on the grassy banks and then keep the whole family smiling with a visit to the Lakes Edge Adventure Playground Kids.
Learn about the local wool industry at the Big Woolbales and Hamilton Pastoral Museum, and get up to speed on aviation history at the Sir Reginald Ansett Transport Museum. Reward yourself after a day exploring with a glass of sparkling wine from the nearby Henty wine region.
Hamilton is 285 kilometres west of Melbourne and is a three-and-a-half hour drive along the Henty, Glenelg or Hamilton highways. Coach services are available from Melbourne.