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Eat. Stay. Play. Castlemaine

/ 31 Oct 2018
Castlemaine a bustling town renowned for its eclectic arts scene, rich gold rush history, and growing reputation as a fine food destination. The town was Victoria’s first regional hub of performing arts and culture as funded by the gold rush era. Castlemaine has retained its community of independent creatives with regular ‘tree changers’ choosing to base themselves in this thriving town.

EAT

The Railway Hotel
The Railway Hotel dates back to the mid 1800’s and is one of a few surviving hotels from the bustling gold boom era. Visitors will immediately feel the history and heritage of the venue with décor including timber and brick walls feature historical artefacts and photos. Food is seasonal hearty pub fare and includes in-house aged steaks, produce from local gamekeepers, organic growers, local potato farmers, cheese makers, olive groves and house-caught trout. 65 Gingell Street, Castlemaine, + 61 03 5472 1250

Henry of Harcourts
The Henry family has been making English style cider in Harcourt for almost twenty years, started by Drew Henry and now carried on by his children. The rustic cellar door experience, just a 15-minute drive from Castlemaine, is as entertaining for the tastings as for the warm welcome and stories told by son Michael, who can normally be found manning the venue. From the original cider, to the Duck & Bull and the Michelin to the Kingston Black, the apple and pear-based ciders offer a drink for every occasion. Bress Winery just up the road also makes a range of cider. 219 Reservoir Rd, Harcourt VIC 3453, (03) 5474 2177

The Mill
Starting as the Castlemaine Woollen Mill in 1875, since 2015 The Mill has become the heart of Castlemaine’s boutique artisan producers and retailers. Offering an on-site café, coffee roastery, a cellar door in the form of Boomtown Wines, Shedshaker brewery offering their own beers and a tap room of other selections, plus an ice-creamery and organic fruit and veg story and more. In the Vintage precinct the amazing bazaar is where visitors can easily lose several hours. Platform No. 5, offers stallholders market-style spaces to sell vintage, re-purposed, hand-made and second-hand goods. Worth a stop and visitors are advised to allocate a few hours. 1-9 Walker Street, Castlemaine, VIC 3450

STAY

The Empyre Hotel
For visitors who love to experience all the charm and grandeur of yesteryear, the Empyre Boutique Hotel has been lovingly restored to reflect Castlemaine in its heyday of a 30,000 plus population and the heart of cultural Victoria. There are several suites and rooms to choose from and many spacious beautifully considered common areas, including a restaurant and bar. The rooms include an al a carte breakfast. The location is second to none on the main street among all the eateries and the Theatre Royal - just 10 minutes walk from the train station. 68 Mostyn St, Castlemaine VIC 3450,  (03) 5472 5166

PLAY

Theatre Royal
The historic Theatre Royal is Australia's oldest continually operating theatre. Originally constructed to entertain diggers during the gold rush, the much-loved, fully restored art deco Royal is now a cinema and live music venue. Melbourne and international touring music acts are selling out fast as music punters opt for a night away in creative Castlemaine. Upcoming gigs include Billy Bragg and PP Arnold. Bistro Lola offers full a l carte menu and licensed bar. 30 Hargraves Street, Castlemaine, VIC, 3450, +61 (0) 3 5472 1196

Victorian Goldfields Railway
Who doesn’t love a ride on an authentic steam train. The Victorian Goldfields Railway links the historic gold mining towns of Castlemaine and Maldon in Central Victoria. Families can take a compartment and take in the sights with the kids as the world goes by. Or grown-ups can ride on the end viewing platform on the parlour car and enjoy a drink from the fully stocked bar. The route takes 45 minutes and trains run Sundays, Wednesdays and school holiday Saturdays. Castlemaine Railway Station, Platform 3, Kennedy Street, Castlemaine, +61 (03) 5470 6658

History and heritage
Castlemaine’s culturally rich history and heritage can be explored with a self-guided tour of its grand buildings, wide streets, ornate hotels and century-old shops. There are a range of self-guided walks that take in the village and beyond and an MP3 player can be hired from the very friendly and helpful staff at the Visitor Information Centre in the historic Market Building on Mostyn Street.

Botanical Gardens
Established in 1856, The Castlemaine Botanical Gardens and lake make for a welcome and relaxing afternoon and offers a fantastic playspace for kids. The project is informed by the area’s gold mining history and the ‘pleasure garden’ setting of the site. Visitors can also visit Buda Historic Home and Gardens and House or head out along the Goldfields Track by foot or on bike. 2 Walker St, Castlemaine VIC 3450


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