Date : 2023-06-16
Nestled between the cities of Bendigo and Ballarat is Castlemaine, a small tourist town in central Victoria popular among avid travellers, nature lovers, vintage shoppers, and art enthusiasts. The area boasts many fun activities ideal for families, couples, and solo travellers.
There are several things to do in Castlemaine, from visiting historical attractions sites and exploring botanical gardens to hiking nature trails and shopping for antiques and collectibles.
In the sections below, we’ll explore the various Castlemaine attractions and things to do in this southeastern region of Australia.
Castlemaine Attractions and Places
If you are to enjoy your visit or stay at Castlemaine, here are some of the places you should include in your travel itinerary:
Castlemaine Art Museum
This is an Australian museum and art gallery housed in a neo-classical building. It represents the history of Castlemaine and its region in maps, objects, photographs, models, and prints. This museum’s thematic exhibition includes costumes, artifacts from Mount Alexander, and decorative arts. The Castlemaine Art Museum is a must-visit for all art lovers and history enthusiasts.
Castlemaine botanical gardens are located along 2 Walker Street and feature many exotic and native tree species. The park has an ornamental lake, a children’s playground, tea rooms, and BBQ facilities. Due to its perfect location and many facilities, the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens is ideal for parties, weddings, and family gatherings.
Buda Historic Home and Garden
Buda is an authentic house and garden surviving from the gold rush period. It has an entire collection of artworks, jewellery, and furniture. People enjoy walking through this historic house, where they are transported from one era to another. The three-acre garden contains plants and structures such as the bird aviary, outbuildings, and the tennis pavilion. Buda Historic Home is open daily from 12 pm to 4 pm.
Victorian Goldfields Railways
The Victorian Goldfields Railways is a steam-powered heritage train linking the gold mining towns of Maldon and Castlemaine. You can go solo or take your loved ones on a memorable train ride as you explore the old historical cities and their hidden gems. The train runs every Wednesday and Sunday, except in February and some public holidays.
This park has plenty of tables and seats where you and your loved ones can relax as you enjoy the lovely shade and fresh air from the surrounding trees. There is a playground for kids and a relaxation area for adults and the elderly. The park is centrally located, with easy access to public toilets and car parks.
Boorp Boorp Boondyil Exhibition
This cultural exhibition offers visitors and residents a chance to learn the area’s history and the teachings passed down through the generations. The exhibition also has important cultural lessons about country life, bush foods, waterways, weaving, and medicine. You can visit this exhibition any day of the week, from 9 am to 5 pm, except on Christmas Day.
Castlemaine Presbyterian Church
If you want to explore ancient church architecture, the Castlemaine Presbyterian takes you on a fascinating journey. The church was opened in 1858 and is more than a century old. If you visit the church at night, you’ll love the lighting, the art deco and the shadows.
Exciting Things to Do In Castlemaine
Now that you know the various Castlemaine attractions and places to visit, let’s look at the fun things to do in Castlemaine. The list below isn’t exhaustive but will give you an idea of what to expect before planning your visit.
Explore the Goldfield’s Track
This is a scenic 200-kilometre trail connecting Ballarat and Bendigo through Hepburn, Castlemaine, Creswick and Daylesford villages. Mountain bikers and hikers find this place interesting since they can adventure through the beautiful forests and historic towns. As you pass the villages, you’ll love interacting with the locals and exploring new foods from the nearby cafes and restaurants. The Goldfield’s Track is divided into smaller tracks, such as the Leanganook Track (ideal for mountain bikers), the Dry Digging Track, and the Wallaby Track.
Visit the Castlemaine Golf Club
If you love playing golf, the Castlemaine Golf Club will be an ideal destination to relax and join your friends or other golfers for a casual game. You can also organize a simple event or tournament, depending on your size. Regular competition days at the Castlemaine Golf Club are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Remember, all competitions are favourable for both men and women.
Bike the Maldon Railside Trail
This mountain or hybrid bike trail is suitable for bikers with a reasonable fitness level. The track is well-maintained and signposted, so you don’t have to worry about taking a wrong turn. You can ride the trail one way and take a train on your back. However, you need to confirm with the VGR train that there’s an empty guard’s van for your bike.
Visit the Forest Creek Historic Gold Diggings
If you have plans to visit some historic Gold digging sites, this should be on top of your list. With detailed information and history about the ancient Gold mining activities and tools, there’s much to explore at the Forest Creek Historic Gold Diggings. Pack your picnic lunch and get ready to stroll this ancient yet fascinating ancient Gold mining village.
Visit the Campbells Creek Recreation Reserve
This recreation reserve hosts several events, from weekend sports to shows and cultural exhibits. The Reserve features numerous amenities such as playgrounds, change rooms, a pavilion and restrooms. If you want to use the recreation reserve for an event, you must book with the Section 86 management.
Castlemaine has several malls, markets and shopping centres where you can shop for foodstuff, fine paintings, artworks, books, antique dressers, curios, and more. Based on what you want to buy, you can choose to visit any of the various markets, from the Castlemaine Artist Market, Farmers Market or the Community Market. Here are the other main shopping centres to consider:
Castlemaine Vintage Bazaar
The Vintage Bazaar is located along 1 Walker Street, opposite the Botanic Gardens. This shopping haven stretching over 2000 square meters is part of the Mill and is a perfect destination when shopping with friends or family. Inside the Vintage Bazaar are a café, roaster, winemaker shop, metal artisans, office spaces, and more. It’s worth noting that this market is well organized and offers a friendly environment for local and foreign visitors. You can also grab your favourite snack or meal.
The Mill Castlemaine
The Mill was established in 1875 and has now undergone a remarkable transformation. Today, the Mill is a thriving hub for artisan and food manufacturers and general businesses. Explore this vibrant market on a lazy afternoon, and you’ll love the collection of unique items and the energizing spirit and enthusiasm of the locals.
Make Your Trip as Memorable as Possible
All the attractions in Castlemaine, things to do, and must-visit places offer something unique for everyone. Whether you are visiting Castlemaine solo, with friends, or with family, there are plenty of places to explore, from biking and hiking trails to historic sites and markets.
Depending on your travel schedule, you may or may not have the time to visit all the 14 areas highlighted above. You may need to compare and contrast the various destinations before narrowing down your options.
If it’s your first time visiting Castlemaine, VIC, you’ll probably use some help navigating the various attraction sites, villages, markets and historic sites. Don’t hesitate to contact us; we’d love to help with your tours and adventures.
Date : 2023-06-16
Discover Community Within Castlemaine
With a rich history of gold mining, this convenient two-hour drive from Melbourne is a hot spot for year-long festivals. We can’t wait to reveal Victoria’s best-kept secret in Castlemaine and promote its strong reputation for creative expression. Within our list of the top 7 Castlemaine festivals, we’ve also included two bonus community events that might not even be on your radar.
Besides festivals, Castlemaine is a great weekend destination, packed with fantastic foodie spots, museums, and art exhibitions. Regardless of how you connect with the creative inside you, find the perfect festival weekend to explore in Castlemaine, Victoria!
The Top 7 Castlemaine Festivals
Castlemaine Fringe Festival
The younger sister to the state festival, the Castlemaine Fringe festival celebrated 30 years of expression based on pillars of inclusivity, accessibility, and community participation. We acknowledge our stages are built on the lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung People, and continue to pay our respects to the traditional owners of the land, the local elders, and emerging leaders.
This year, the festival took place from March 17 to April 2nd and featured various guests and performers like author Carmel Bird, and musical acts Luke Warm and Jadebyrd. The closing party was held at The Tappy beer garden, and the energy was vibrant with blues and beats from Oliver and the Elsewheres, Out of Abingdon, and visual artist Liminal Treats.
Castlemaine Jazz Festival
The annual Castlemaine Jazz Festival takes over downtown filling the streets with rhythmic melodies and brass. Taking place on the Kings Birthday Weekend, we recommend booking accommodation now to avoid disappointment. Completely organized and operated by volunteers, this Castlemaine festival started with a discussion among musicians in 2012. It took a few years to understand the collective vision, but this year marks the seventh Castlemaine Jazz Festival and the future only promises more growth.
Last year’s highlights included three separate stages with jazz musicians like Melba Big Band, Brooklyn ‘86’, and Jon Magill’s Groove Congress. This year, there will be performances on six stages with returning acts and first-comers. Early bird tickets are available until May 14th and more information is available online for scheduling.
Castlemaine Festival Of Gardens
The Castlemaine Festival of Gardens occurs every two years with the next scheduled festival taking place in 2024. Aligning with Melbourne Cup Week, private and historical gardens open their doors to the public for two days only. This Castlemaine festival has been running for twenty-six years and provides a running backlog of each garden featured on its website. After crossing the threshold to witness the natural beauty of each garden, guests will also learn the property’s history and facts about birds who frequent the bushes. From cozy cottage plots to expansive and breathtaking historical properties, every anthophilous in Australia will save the date!
Castlemaine Pride Festival
The Castlemaine Pride Festival began in 2018 when Martyn Shaddick, Sherene Clow, and Marion Yates organized a Pride Picnic to thank everyone who supported the queer community during the marriage equality debate. Mark the calendars this year for April 29th to May 6th, and connect while celebrating with your rainbow-chosen family. Come together and learn the history surrounding the art of drag or sign up to watch the Queer Film Festival. We believe in standing proud and supporting our community now more than ever. Volunteer opportunities are available.
Castlemaine Documentary Festival
Calling all brand-new or senior documentary enthusiasts! This Castlemaine festival is scheduled for June 16-19th and is a weekend dedicated to the love of film. In the past, the documentary festival has taken place in July, but these June dates provide a unique opportunity for festival-goers to experience art-based activities for the entire month of June! While the festival schedule is yet to be confirmed, we do know events will include eight feature documentaries, an augmented reality showcase, and a new family and youth-focused Yurt. The Castlemaine C-Doc Club is responsible for the annual festival, plus they organize workshops throughout the year to connect with the community. These workshops held throughout the year include learning new skills for video editing, and a Masterclass on Storytelling.
Castlemaine Agricultural Show
The VAS or Victorian Agriculure Shows promote the community and movement of Australia. Passed down through generations we are meeting the next generation interested in activities relevant to the Agricultural Show movement. Unlike the other festivals mentioned above, the VAS hosts a feature show in April and then the Main Show takes place November 3-4. At both shows, you can expect Victoria’s excellence and events in beef and dairy cattle, sheep, saddle horse championships, and much more! Besides livestock events, there will also be home crafts, photography, and fleece competitions.
Castlemaine State Festival
The first Castlemaine State Festival happened in 1976. Today, it’s recognized as Australia’s longest-running flagship regional arts festival. While the event has already taken place this year, highlights include performances from Jaguar Jonze, KIAN, The Bulletes, and Lizzy Welsh with the Bendigo Symphony Orchestra. Visual and literary panels and experiences included a multichannel video installation titled Essays on Earth, and discussions with Alice Zaslasvsky and Jane Grylls.
The Castlemaine State Festival is always a fun and exciting experience perfect for friends or families. Taking over downtown Castlemaine with visual art exhibitions, guests are swept up in the joy and camaraderie of supporting artists in local venues.
Check Out These Honorable Mentions In Castlemaine Festivals
The Castlemaine Artists Market takes place on the fourth Sunday of every month from 10-3. Browse locally created artisanal goods and place unique orders to pick up the following month.
For guests not afraid of the dark, the annual Goldfields Gothic Festival of Dark Ideas takes place for three days in August 2023. As per the organisers, the festival is inspired by, “the dark undercurrent of the 1850s Victorian Goldfields and intriguing stories of the past.” Upcoming highlights include cemetery tours and workshops, and the dress-up encouraged Maldon Gothic and Victorian Picnic.
Lock In Castlemaine Festival Accommodation With Castlemaine Boutique Booking
Castlemaine Boutique Accommodation prides itself on aligning with properties that showcase a rich heritage to our guests while they explore Victorian manors and dive into the Castlemaine festival experience. From large to quaint, Castlemaine Boutique Accommodation continues to offer guests exclusive listings of properties in Castlemaine. Our team focuses on bespoke accommodation in Castlemaine that is carefully selected and double-checked for charm and luxury around every corner.
The Castlemaine Boutique Accommodation guarantee is to provide luxurious and comfortable options ranging in size for groups of solo travellers to 90 guests. Choose from restored Victorian manors to modern cosy apartments. With round-the-clock check-in available, free Wi-FI, complimentary parking, and modern amenities, your home away from home awaits to be unlocked.
Date : 2023-07-12
If you are visiting Castlemaine, VIC, for the first time or are a resident looking to try out new restaurants and cafes in Castlemaine, there are several options for you to choose from. In this post, we have rounded up some best cafes and best restaurants serving all meals from breakfast and lunch to late supper.
9 Best Restaurants in Castlemaine
Run Rabbit Run
The Run Rabbit Run is a licensed, vegetarian-friendly restaurant and food store offering quality and fresh foods. Some of the restaurant’s signature treats are wild rabbit pie, BBQ, and the woodfire-roasted coffee ideal for breakfast and colder evenings. This restaurant is located along 24 Hargraves Street, Castlemaine, and serves breakfast, lunch, and brunch with takeout and outdoor seating options.
Bella Fresca Pizzeria
With a focus on Italian cuisine, the Bella Fresca Pizzeria, located along 219 Barker Street, is the perfect spot for those looking to enjoy Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas and various weekly specials. Bella Fresca is child-friendly, and you can reserve a spot early if you’re visiting with your family or friends. This restaurant serves lunch and dinner with vegan and vegetarian-friendly options.
Stop by the Das Kaffeehaus along 9 Walker Street, Castlemaine, and have a taste of the German, Australian, and European cuisines. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and brunch, with signature dishes such as cucumber salad, cranberry sauce, and potato salad being the most popular options. Das Kaffeehaus is vegetarian-friendly and offers outdoor seating and takeout options.
Phamily Kitchen is a modern Vietnamese restaurant offering vegetarian-friendly and vegan food options. It serves lunch and dinner with the main dishes based on their signature Mum & Dad’s recipes. The restaurant focuses on fresh and flavor-driven food, reflected in its seasonal menu. Early reservation is highly recommended if you are visiting with friends or family. This restaurant is located along 188 Barker Street.
Bridge Hotel Castlemaine
Located along 21 Walker Street alongside the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens, The Bridge Hotel is a family-friendly restaurant offering quality foods, drinks, and live music. Ingredients used in the hotel are directly sourced from local farmers, plus there are special vegetarian and gluten-free diets. The restaurant is wheelchair accessible, and outdoor seating is available on booking.
If you are looking for a restaurant where you can relax and enjoy home-style food, Tog’s Place could be your ideal place. Located along 58 Lyttleton St, next to Mulberry’s Deli, this restaurant is open daily from 8.30 to 4 pm. You can have breakfast upstairs as you enjoy the incredible views of the area. This restaurant is ideal for solo treats, birthday parties, and group dinners.
Bar Midland is a family-run restaurant located along Shop 1/2 Templeton Street. Its carefully selected recipes and menus show that this restaurant is focused on sustainable dining. All the food and wine menus feature organically sourced ingredients produced within the State of Victoria.
Wild restaurant Castlemaine
Wild Food and Wine is one of Castlemaine\'s restaurants that offers flexible dining and a great ambiance. This modern Australian restaurant is located along 26a Templeton St in a beautiful setting that was once a fire station. Every meal served in this restaurant, from the desserts to the seafood, is crafted with utmost care and culinary expertise.
Located along 30 Hargraves St., at Theatre Royal, Bistro LOLA offers the best of European food, from pizzas, fish, and fries to vegan dieting options. This restaurant serves lunch, dinner, late-night supper, and drinks. Book your spot in advance if you are stopping by with friends or family.
Franco’s Food & Wine
If you’re looking for a taste of authentic Italian cuisine, Franco’s Food & Wine is a must-visit. Located at 24 High St, Maldon VIC 3463, this charming restaurant offers a wide selection of delectable dishes, accompanied by a fine selection of wines. From classic pasta dishes to mouthwatering pizzas, Franco’s Food & Wine will transport your taste buds straight to Italy
See More: 7+ BEST CASTLEMAINE FESTIVALS AND EVENTS
6 Best Cafes in Castlemaine
Now that we’ve looked at some of the best places to eat in Castlemaine let’s explore the ideal cafes where you can visit during your stay in Castlemaine for that quick bite or sweet, savory drink. The list below is in no particular order.
Frankie Espresso | Coffee Castlemaine
Frankie Espresso is one of the best Castlemaine cafes offering coffee, chai, hot chocolate, and iced choco-latte, among other beverages. If you’re craving more than just coffee or tea, this spot also offers chips, cookies, and carob. Stop by Frankie Espresso along 9 Walker Street for a lighter fare in a relaxed and serene atmosphere.
Coffee Basics – Das Kaffeehaus
Das Kaffeehaus’s Coffee Basics is one of those cafes’ where you can order coffee and snacks or full-course meals while still enjoying that quiet and intimate ambiance. Besides serving breakfast, this café also offers lunch and brunch, so you’re never late stopping by at mid-morning or lunchtime.
The Dove Café
If you’re yearning for some of the best coffee in Castlemaine, the Dove Café, located along 61 Hargraves Street, is one of the spots to visit. This café offers more than just beverage options. You can order fish tacos or the popular Greek lamb flatbread and enjoy your meal in an open yet relaxed setting.
This Italian café is located along 213 Barker St. It serves breakfast, lunch, and Dinner, making it more of a restaurant than a café. However, the serene location, calm atmosphere, and wide variety of drinks and beverages make Origini Café the go-to spot in Castlemaine. You can book the outdoor seating for a more relaxed vibe or choose the takeout option if you’re in a hurry.
With over 15 years in the industry, Saffs Café is one of the long-serving Castlemaine cafes on this list. Whether you’re in for sweet coffee or cakes, the café aims to provide fast and professional dining services customized to the client’s unique dietary needs. Saffs Café is located along 64 Mostyn St.
Fig Cafe Castlemaine
If you’re looking for a flexible yet classy café that can accommodate you and your friends or family for dinner, the Fig Café is the place to be. It serves some delicious coffee and raisin toast besides vegan, gluten-free, and vegetarian-friendly food options. This café is located along 31 Templeton St.
For a cozy and inviting café experience, Moxie Café is the place to be. Situated at 14 Hargraves St, Castlemaine VIC 3450, this café shop offers a warm atmosphere and a menu filled with delicious options. Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty breakfast, a light lunch, or a tempting pastry, Moxie Café has something for everyone. Don’t forget to savor a cup of their expertly brewed coffee as you relax and soak in the café’s welcoming ambiance
Another café worth checking out in Castlemaine is the Blackbird Café, located at 325 Barker Street. With its casual and laid-back vibe, this café is a perfect spot to unwind and enjoy a tasty treat. From freshly brewed coffee to an array of scrumptious pastries and sandwiches, Blackbird Café has you covered for a quick and satisfying meal. Whether you’re looking to grab a bite on the go or linger with friends, this café is a great choice.
See More: 14 BEST THINGS TO DO IN CASTLEMAINE
Choose Your Favourite Spot in Castlemaine
Whether you’re looking for the best places to eat in Castlemaine or would prefer a serene, low-traffic café where you can enjoy your coffee solo or with friends, you won’t go wrong choosing any of the above options. Compare your options and choose any of the Castlemaine restaurants and cafes on this list.
Date : 2023-08-15
Looking for a pet-friendly accommodation in Castlemaine, Australia? Consider Sunday House, a beautifully renovated 1856 Welsh Baptist church turned luxury retreat located just 15 minutes from the center of Castlemaine. This dog-friendly accommodation offers a blend of historic charm and modern comfort, featuring impressive architectural details, a spacious lounge with a fireplace, a Sonos speaker system, a pool table, and more.
Sunday House is equipped with pet amenities for well-behaved dogs, including a secure fenced yard, a shaded dining space, and a pet-friendly pizza oven/fireplace. Located in Maldon\'s historic township, it provides easy access to the town\'s attractions and cultural scene.
Traveling with your pet offers shared adventures, stress relief, and opportunities to connect with fellow travelers. Pets also motivate exploration and add an adorable dimension to your travel photos.
Castlemaine and its surrounding areas offer numerous pet-friendly attractions, including off-leash dog parks and dog-friendly cafes like the Bridge Hotel, Run Rabbit Run, Saffs Café, and Togs.
While Sunday House is a great choice, there are other pet-friendly accommodations in Castlemaine, so be sure to inquire about pet policies when booking your stay. Experience relaxation, bonding, and exploration while immersing yourself in Castlemaine\'s history, culture, and local hospitality. Contact the property to discuss pet-friendly options for your stay.
Date : 2023-09-21
Many popular travel destinations have a peak season when tourists flock to experience the best festivals, weather, and attractions. However, some places maintain a more consistent travel calendar, allowing you to plan your trip at any time of the year.
When considering a visit to Castlemaine, VIC, it\'s essential to aim for the optimal travel experience. This involves understanding what each season offers, preparing for the weather, and identifying key attractions to include in your itinerary. While it might seem like a daunting task, it\'s simpler than you might think. In the following sections, you\'ll gain insights into Castlemaine\'s weather patterns and the best times to explore this Australian city.
Situated approximately 120 kilometers northwest of Melbourne, Castlemaine climate boasts a warm and temperate climate that\'s ideal for travel throughout most of the year. To help you plan your trip more effectively, here\'s a brief overview of the weather patterns throughout the year.
Autumn in Castlemaine
Autumn spans from March through April and May and stands out as one of the prime seasons for witnessing vibrant foliage, attending art festivals, and exploring nearby parks and gardens. During this period, daily high temperatures range from 10°C to 21°C, while daily lows range from 3°C to 7°C.
If you\'re keen on visiting attractions like the Castlemaine Botanical Gardens or the Vaughan Springs Reserve, autumn provides the perfect backdrop for outdoor adventures. The changing colors and autumnal ambiance in the gardens and parks make for an ideal weekend getaway or family holiday.
Winter in Castlemaine
Castlemaine\'s winter season runs from June to August, featuring temperatures ranging from 3 to 4°C on colder nights and 11 to 13°C on milder days. Light rainfall is common, especially in late June and early July. Given the rarity of snowfall during winter, this time offers an opportunity to embark on scenic hikes and immerse yourself in cultural festivals. Alternatively, you can enjoy the warmth of a cozy fire while sipping hot beverages indoors.
Spring in Castlemaine
Spring, spanning from September through October to November, is one of the best times to visit Castlemaine and indulge in outdoor experiences. This period sees a surge in tourist activity. Travelers can enjoy activities like biking, bushwalking, and leisurely picnics amid the botanical gardens, surrounded by budding flowers and trees. The temperature typically ranges between 25°C and 15°C, with moderate winds and rainfall, making it an ideal time for family trips.
Summer in Castlemaine
Summer is characterized by high daytime temperatures and cooler nights, making it perfect for outdoor enthusiasts interested in activities such as swimming, water skiing, and camping. This season runs from December through February, with daytime temperatures reaching as high as 30°C to 40°C and nighttime lows around 10°C. Longer daylight hours make summer an excellent time to immerse yourself in local festivals, visit markets, attend outdoor concerts, or explore the town\'s diverse range of restaurants and cafes.
Current Castlemaine Weather
If you\'re planning a trip to Castlemaine in the upcoming days, here\'s the weather forecast for the next week to help you prepare effectively.
Best Time to Visit Castlemaine
Castlemaine attracts thousands of visitors annually, each seeking to explore its historical sites, botanical gardens, nature trails, and art scene. The ideal time to visit depends on your preferences. If you\'re a fan of flowers, gardens, and nature, plan your trip from September to November to experience the wildflower season and botanical garden splendor.
Conversely, if you\'re inclined towards outdoor activities, summer offers the best opportunities for exploration. Ultimately, the perfect time to visit Castlemaine varies based on your interests and desired activities.
Book Your Stay in Castlemaine Now!
Now that you have a better understanding of Castlemaine\'s weather and the seasonal activities it offers, it\'s time to explore accommodation options for your visit. Your choice of accommodation will depend on your specific needs, whether you seek a secluded luxury retreat with a private pool and garden or a more adventurous experience in the heart of Castlemaine\'s local culture.
Our selection of Castlemaine accommodations caters to a range of styles and group sizes, accommodating from 1-2 guests to larger groups of 50+ in a single location. These accommodations offer convenient access to historic landmarks, local markets, and excellent dining options.
Regardless of your accommodation requirements, we are here to assist you in selecting the perfect option or tailoring our services to your preferences. If you plan to visit Castlemaine during peak seasons, particularly in spring and summer, please let us know so we can secure your reservations in advance.