The charming town of Castlemaine is nestled in a bush-lined valley just south of Bendigo. Known for its heritage and culture, an array of activities are just waiting to keep you busy while you explore the gold rush town. Whether staying in Castlemaine to visit family, spending a romantic weekend away or stopping over on your travels through Victoria, Castlemaine will embrace you with its friendly nature and beautiful scenery. We have worked with Castlemaine Boutique Accommodation to collate a list of attractions and activities you can use to make the most of your stay in Castlemaine.
Learn about Local Art and History
The Castlemaine Art Museum has a rich collection of Australian art, ranging from late 1700s pieces to contemporary local art. The gallery is a fantastic combination of art and heritage with much of the artwork documenting the history of Australia and Castlemaine. The museum is located in a fascinating art deco building just off the main street at 14 Lyttleton St.
The Falkner Gallery offers its own art experience at 35 Templeton St, only a short stroll from the Art Museum. A variety of art is available to peruse or purchase in the form of paintings, sculptures, furniture and more.
Discover the Beautiful Gardens and Parks
The Castlemaine Botanical Gardens is the perfect place to unwind by wandering through the scenic paths and well established trees. The gardens were constructed in 1860 and feature a beautiful lake, flower displays and Victorian era structures. You will find the gardens only a couple minutes drive from the main street of Castlemaine. A short drive further you will find Kalimna Park. This parkland makes up a large portion of the bush surrounding Castlemaine with almost 2 square kilometres of unspoiled bushland. Visit Kalimna Park to experience fantastic views of Castlemaine while taking in the natural environment.
Kalimna Park is a part of a larger national park known as the Diggings National Heritage Park. This protected cultural area is the largest non-native protected landscape in Australia with 75 square kilometres of bushland and many endangered plants and animals. The park has many bush walking trails and great potential for wildlife encounters. It is known for its importance in the history of Victoria's migration heritage and the gold rush, with relics of the gold rush still scattered among the bushland.
Take a Trip Back in Time
The Old Castlemaine Gaol still stands a few blocks from the main street. The prison was in use for over 130 years making it rich in history, and mysterious ghost stories. Comprehensive guided tours show you all the nooks and crannies of the old prison, but if you are more of an independent explorer you can take it all in with a self-guided tour. For those brave enough there are spooky ghost tours available on certain evenings, make sure to book ahead. While you are out at the old gaol, take in the wonderful view over Castlemaine or put your feet up while enjoying the modern cafe they have onsite.
Escape to the past with an exciting day out riding an authentic steam train through the Victorian countryside. The Victorian Goldfields Railway gives you this exact opportunity and you can start your journey simply from the main train station of Castlemaine. All ages will love the trip from Castlemaine to Maldon, a lovely small town north west of Castlemaine (and back again). You can even ride in luxury parlour cars complete with bar service. It truly brings the past to life.
Enjoy the Entertainment
Experience a night out at the Castlemaine Theatre Royal in the centre of town. The impressive building is reminiscent of the nostalgic days of cinema and is the oldest continuously operating theatre in Australia. Head here to enjoy films, live music, a bar, a cafe or simply the lively atmosphere.
Castlemaine is known as one of the main gathering spots for Hot Rod enthusiasts. Look out for the cars when you are visiting and you might spot examples of these cars, particularly when shows or festivals are on in the area.
Explore the Local Markets and Shops
The Wesley Hill Community Market brings the community of Castlemaine together from 9am every Saturday at 149 Pyrenees Hwy. A range of local produce, products and merchandise are available to purchase from over 70 stalls.
Opposite the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens is The Mill Castlemaine, boasting an array of curious goods. The expansive creative hub is home to local food and crafts, and the Castlemaine Vintage Bazaar with many collectables and antiques. Utilising the old Castlemaine Woollen Mill that was built in 1875, The Mill is a must visit to search for treasured items from various stallholders, watch artists create pieces of their work or relax with some delicious cuisine.
Stroll down the main street of Castlemaine to explore a collection of eclectic gift shops and speciality stores. Throughout the main area of town you will find the likes of The Restorers Barn, Tribe Castlemaine, Cecode Shop and Gallery, and the Castlemaine Central Wine Store. These are just a few of the interesting stores to check out, we are sure you will find many more!
Taste the Delicious Food
Castlemaine offers immense food options, ranging from bakeries to restaurants.
For a refreshing lunch spot look no further than the Origini Cafe at 213 Barker St. Offering a taste of Italy in the heart of Castlemaine, this is an exciting find. If you decide to stop by on a sunny day make sure to check out the charming outdoor seating area and relax with your delicious food.
The Castlemaine train station boasts a surprising food experience. The Railway Hotel gives visitors the relaxed atmosphere of an old English pub with food that is sure to impress. Offering something for everyone, this is a hidden gem of Castlemaine and a must to visit.
If you are after an upscale dining experience do not delay in making a booking at the Public INN, located at 26a Templeton St. The rustic facade of the old fire station opens up to a modern and gorgeous space inside. With beautiful presentation, in both the food and the decor, you will enjoy every moment of your experience at the Public INN. A divine menu sets this restaurant a part, ensuring you will find the right dish to satisfy your taste buds.
Castlemaine has so many fantastic eateries that we encourage you to explore and find all the amazing options available. Simply take a stroll from your accommodation and you are sure to find something wonderful.
Enjoy Your Stay
We have collected just a short list of the possible delights to find in charming Castlemaine, so enjoy staying in Castlemaine whichever activities you choose to enjoy. We would like to thank Castlemaine Boutique Accommodation for their contribution to this list and making it easier to find the gems of Castlemaine. With so much to find, learn and explore there is no doubt you will have a beautiful stay.
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