For many travellers, Australia is not always high on the list. And, that’s not because it’s a horrible destination to experience. It’s usually because the distance to get there for many people is a LONG way!
Yet, as Paul and I are from Australia, in particular Victoria… we’ve had the opportunity to see many areas within this lovely state. So, from quaint country towns, through to the bustling capital Melbourne… there’s plenty to see and do when you visit Victoria.
Yet, in this blog post, we’ll highlight one of our favourite country towns, Castlemaine.
A Bit Of History About Castlemaine
Castlemaine is about 120km north-west of Melbourne city, and is a former gold mining town.
And, in the 1800’s many buildings were built… including the Theatre Royal, Town Hall, Courthouse and several churches.
So, while many of the original buildings are still there… they’ve been converted to suit modern times, and are now supermarkets or schools, for example.
Yet, it’s great that the old style façade has been kept as original as possible… so that Castlemaine can show off it’s beautiful historic buildings.
So, over time Castlemaine has grown in population to about 7,000 people. And, it now is known for its thriving arts to many eateries… through to its natural beauty. Plus, who knows, being in the Goldfields region of Victoria… you may be lucky enough to find some gold!
What To Do In Castlemaine
So, for a small country town, the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens are so pretty. And, it’s a must see when you go there.
Surrounding Lake Joanna, are wonderful native trees, and many colourful flowers.
And, when the sunshine and warm weather hits… many people head on over to the gardens for picnics and parties.
Plus, it’s a lovely stroll around the gardens, with a playground area for kids too.
Then, outside of the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens… are many walking and cycling tracks for the adventurists.
And, at the time of writing this blog… Castlemaine is constructing what will be Australia’s largest miniature railway!
For The Art Lovers
Now, art lovers will want to check out places like the Castlemaine Art Gallery and Museum. So, this museum was founded in 1913, and was actually a former post office.
Yet, nowadays is houses Australian artwork and many historical artefacts. Plus, there are special art exhibitions that happen throughout the year.
So, for such a small town… there are several other art galleries dotted throughout Castlemaine and the outskirts. From charcoal sketches through to modern fine art, there’s something for everyone.
Shopping In Castlemaine
Now, when shopping in Castlemaine, you won’t see any H&M’s or similar stores!
Yet, one of our favourite things to do when we visit country towns… is to go to the various cute antique shops. And here, we love seeing the artefacts that our grandparent’s generation had back in the days.
Plus, if you want a mega-store of antiques, head on over to The Mill.
And, if you want to look at the items in hear in detail, you’ll want to allow a couple of hours or so!
There are also bookstores, which are rare these days. Plus, if you’re in Castlemaine at the right times, make sure you head on over to one of the markets.
And here, you could buy some fresh local produce at the farmers markets. Or, you could pick up some local handmade gifts or artwork, for example.
Now, with lots of things to see and experience… you may be wondering what to do in Castlemaine when your belly is calling out to be fed!
Eating and Drinking In Castlemaine
So, even though Castlemaine may be a small town… it actually has many cafes, restaurants and places to drink to please many tastebuds.
And, if you want to go somewhere with a lot of choices in the one area… head on back to The Mill area.
Here, there’s wine tasting, a brewery, chocolaterie, bakery, and even a Viennese Coffee House! And, if you have a feed at one of these places you won’t leave hungry.
Yet, one of things we love when going to Castlemaine, is going to Johnny Baker. And, here we can feast our eyes with lots of sweet treats… as well as a range of freshly baked pies, pasties and more.
So, here’s a pic of a lentil pie, which is one of our favourites…
And, while the prices here are on the higher end of the scale in comparison to other places… your mouth will experience a great taste sensation. Plus, you’ll be happily full.
So, if you’re looking for a day trip from Melbourne… you could experience Castlemaine in a day. Although, you’d want to have an early start. And, you could easily catch the VLine train from Melbourne to Castlemaine station, if you don’t have a car.
It’s such a relaxing town, yet it has lots of old town charm mixed with a modern, eclectic atmosphere.
So, if you do get the opportunity to visit Victoria… consider putting Castlemaine on your list of places to go.
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