Ballarat / Bendigo Accommodation, Hotels, Tours & Information

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Places in Ballarat / Bendigo

Ballarat / Bendigo

The Goldfields region is alive with history, arts and culture. Visit Ballarat and learn about the gold rush era at the historic attraction, Sovereign Hill. Set on a former gold mining site, Sovereign Hill is a fabulous outdoor museum and re-creation of life in Ballarat in the 1850s.

Take a break from exploring the goldfields at a stylish local café or restaurant, showcasing the fine local produce of the region, or sample the local wines from the Goldfield’s three distinct wine regions. The region boasts outstanding galleries and gardens, and historic theatres.

Ballarat / Bendigo: Where To Go / Sightseeing

Old Castlemaine Gaol

Looming atop the western horizon in Castlemaine sits a symbol of justice for the Goldfields. The Old Castlemaine Gaol was first built in 1861 and has been through many changes during its 130 years of operation.

Many criminals have been held in the cells, including some infamous characters. Come join Old Castlemaine Gaol for a tour to find out about its lengthy history and the secrets that lie behind the walls.

The Governor's Cafe is located in the former governor's house and is open for breakfast and lunch, Thursday to Tuesday (closed Wednesday).

Guided tours of the gaol run Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 11:00am. Private tours available by request.

Please visit the website for more information and for up to date information on events.

36-48 Bowden Street
Castlemaine, VIC, 3450

Located 13.6K from Ballarat / Bendigo

Victorian Goldfields Railway

Victorian Goldfields Railway is an authentic steam railway linking the historic gold mining towns of Castlemaine and Maldon in Central Victoria. Enjoy a family day out or treat yourself and travel in the elegant first class carriages.

Family fun - take the kids for a memorable day out. Watch the world go by from your family compartment as the steam train huffs and puffs up the hills.

First Class - for a touch of class step back in time to an era of elegance to the Golden Age of rail travel when the journey was as important as the destination. Ride in Edwardian splendour or art deco style. Ride on the end viewing platform on the parlour car. Sit back and enjoy a drink from the fully equipped bar. It really is a unique rail experience.

Ride with the driver - for a small extra fare travel with the driver in the locomotive cab.

Catch the train for a return trip from Castlemaine or Maldon stations.

Gift certificates are available for all Victorian Goldfields Railway experiences.

Castlemaine is just 90 minutes hours from Melbourne on the Calder Freeway. Or for a wonderful day out, leave the car behind and use your Myki card to catch the V/Line train from Melbourne to Castlemaine where you simply change platforms to catch the steam train.

After a leisurely 45 min train ride you have two hours in Maldon to enjoy lunch at a pub or cafe and then relax on the train (maybe enjoying a drink form the bar in first class) as the Railway takes you back to Castlemaine.

Trains run Sunday, Wednesday and school holiday Saturday. Go to the website for more information about timetables, fares and FAQ's.

Railway Stations,
Kennedy Street Castlemaine,
Hornsby Street Maldon
Castlemaine, VIC, 3450

Located 13.7K from Ballarat / Bendigo

Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum

Founded in 1913, the Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum is renowned for its collection of Australian art and for its unique assembly of historical artefacts relating to the Mount Alexander Goldfields district in Victoria. Its art deco building, designed in 1931 by Peter Meldrum, is noted for its elegant design.

The collection is best known for major works from the late 1800's. Traditional landscape paintings are a feature of the holdings, including works by such artists as Louis Buvelot, Frederick McCubbin, Tom Roberts, E. Phillips Fox, Rupert Bunny, Max Meldrum, Margaret Preston, R.W. Sturgess, A.M.E. Bale and John Longstaff. Among the contemporary artists represented in the collection are William Frater, Arnold Shore, Russell Drysdale, Fred Williams, John Brack, Jeffrey Smart, John Dent and Wendy Stavrianos.

The collection also includes the largest holding of original artworks and photographs pertaining to the district surrounding Castlemaine. These items fulfil the Gallery and Museum's commitment to collect, conserve and communicate issues of historical relevance to the region. A selection of fine decorative arts including china, glassware and silver are among other attractions on permanent display.

14 Lyttleton Street
Castlemaine, VIC, 3450

Located 13.8K from Ballarat / Bendigo

Cascade Print Room

Located in the heart of Maldon, Cascade Print Room provide a professional picture framing service. They also sell limited edition etchings and a wide variety of diverse prints from local and Australian artists.

Cascade Print Room offer a free frame quoting service and specialise in archival and exhibition framing.

Cascade carry prints by artists including Jeff Gardner, Kareen Anchen, Bridget Farmer, David Frazer, Robert Maclaurin, Rhyll Plant, Kevin Foley, Anne Smith, Kyoko Imazu, Wendy Stavrianos, Craig Gough, Dean Bowen, Nicky Carey, Michael Leunig, Louise Davidson and others.

27 Main Street
Maldon, VIC, 3463

Located 14.2K from Ballarat / Bendigo

Buda Historic Home and Garden

Buda Historic Home and Garden is one of the great heritage assets of the Goldfields region. Buda was built in 1861 and from 1863 was the home of noted silversmith Ernest Leviny and his family.

Complete with the family's art and craft collections, furnishings and domestic effects, the gracious historic home surrounded by one of the most important large nineteenth century suburban gardens surviving in Victoria was home to the remarkably creative Leviny family for a period of 118 years.

Also displayed are works by many prominent Australian artists including Margaret Preston, M J McNally, Ursula Ridley Walker and Lionel Lindsay. The Gift shop on site has a range of Buda exclusive merchandise featuring Leviny designs and other original pieces for visitors to purchase and take home.

With three acres of enchanting gardens to explore, there is much to see and do. The plant nursery offers for sale a wide range of heritage trees, shrubs, roses and ground covers ideally suited to Australian conditions. Or you can purchase some local produce, delightful craft items, and souvenirs from Buda's Gift shop.

The delightful Garden Room function venue, set beautifully amongst the gardens and available for hire, has the capacity to seat up to 65 people and has spectacular views of the Castlemaine township.

View the website for more details and explore other special events that happen throughout the year.

Visitors can be assured of a very warm welcome to Buda Historic Home and Garden at any time of the year.

42 Hunter Street
Castlemaine, VIC, 3450

Located 14.8K from Ballarat / Bendigo

Ballarat / Bendigo: Events

Race The Train

Beat the train or beat your mates. Race the Train is a mountain bike race against the historic Victorian Goldfields Railway steam train between Castlemaine and Maldon.

Race the Train will start at the Old Castlemaine Gaol overlooking the Castlemaine train station and finish in Maldon 17 kilometres down the line. It will provide competitive cyclists an opportunity to race the train, and each other, with the lure of line honors as well as a cash prize pool for category winners who beat the train in the process.

But if racing is not your thing, you can still get involved by participating in the Ride, a family-friendly, non-competitive, scenic trail ride alongside the broad-gauge train line. Or better still, buy a ticket to travel on the train and watch the action unfold from the comfort of the carriages!

Both the Race and the Ride will travel along the dirt tracks and trails that run alongside or in close proximity to the historic broad gauge train line that connects Castlemaine and Maldon. This is an off-road ride on dirt tracks with only 10 per cent of the course on sealed roads.

Event Dates
      13th Nov

36-48 Bowden Street
Castlemaine, VIC, 3450

Located 13.6K from Ballarat / Bendigo

Maldon Folk Festival

The Maldon Folk Festival is located in Central Victoria and has been held annually for forty three years.

Each year a long weekend of quality entertainment at affordable prices, to suit all age groups, is provided.

Experience the legendary festival atmosphere, showcasing an abundance of music, dance and theatre in the historic, National Trust Classified Maldon township.

Event Dates
      28th Oct
      29th Oct
      30th Oct
      31st Oct

42 High Street
Maldon, VIC, 3463

Located 14.3K from Ballarat / Bendigo

Maldon Market: Handmade, Home grown

The Maldon Market is a monthly growers and makers market that brings together the very best hand made products and hand grown produce from the creative and fertile heart of Victoria, as well as emerging Melbourne talent.

From soap to soup, fruit to furniture, plants to pants, jewellery to jumpers, the Maldon Market has something for everyone.

The market features: gourmet take away food and great coffee; live music; kids entertainment and playground; beautiful gardens to relax in; historic township to explore; hand made arts, crafts, jewellery, clothes, home grown fruit, vegetables, plants and other produce.

Event Dates
      10th Jul
      11th Jul
      14th Aug
      11th Sep
      9th Oct
      13th Nov
      11th Dec

Fountain Street and Shire Gardens
Maldon, VIC, 3463

Located 14.5K from Ballarat / Bendigo

Ballarat / Bendigo: Travel Tips

Castlemaine Visitor Information Centre

Located in the Castlemaine Market Building, circa 1862, the Castlemaine Visitor Information Centre is a great place to begin your exploration of this diverse region.

The Castlemaine Visitor Information Centre offers all the latest information on attractions, accommodation, tours, services and is open every day of the year except Christmas Day. The friendly staff and volunteers are always more than happy to provide local knowledge, informative brochures and also book accommodation or tours if needed.

Regardless of whether it is your first visit to the region or you are a regular, a visit to the Market Building is well worth your while. The magnificent nave of the building is used for exhibitions throughout the year. Highlights include artisan exhibitions that showcase the latest offerings from our talented local artisans, local community displays and national exhibitions.

The Visitor Centre also showcases the depth of the local talent with a strong emphasis on locally produced merchandise for sale.

A range of modern bikes are available for hire at $30 for a full day or $20 for half the day.

View videos of both the history and contemporary stories of the region on big screen displays.

Explore the area by hiring an MP3 Player from the centre and take a self guided tour. The tours feature local musicians, actors and characters and are great entertainment for all the family. Choose from walking tours around Castlemaine and the Eureka Reef goldfield, or take the driving tour that tells the stories of the gold towns of the area. The tours recount the fascinating history of the area and you are guaranteed to find out something that you didn't know before!

44 Mostyn Street
Castlemaine, VIC, 3450

Located 13.9K from Ballarat / Bendigo

Maldon Visitor Information Centre

The Maldon Visitor Information Centre is your first port of call to learn more about a town steeped in history. The National Trust declared Maldon Australia's first Notable Town in 1966. Maldon was once among the world's richest quartz reefs, attracting a population which built grand houses and a very busy commercial centre. Today Maldon is a charming mix of contemporary experiences set in an historic streetscape.

The Visitor Information Centre provides friendly informative guidance about local attractions, icons and accommodation, open every day except Christmas day.

View videos of both the history and contemporary stories of the region on their big screen display.

93 High Street
Maldon, VIC, 3463

Located 14.3K from Ballarat / Bendigo

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