Published on 24th May 2017
by Linsey Rendell

This regional gold-rush-era town is now a hub of produce makers, artists, markets, fine food and drink. Here's our guide to Castlemaine.

In mid-1851 one of the largest alluvial gold deposits in the world was discovered beneath the fertile soils of Dja Dja Wurrung country in Central Victoria. Soon 25,000 diggers were living in the area, and the town of Castlemaine swiftly transitioned from a valley of native bushland to a gold-rush tent city, and then Euro-grid town. Many of these 19th-century buildings are still standing today.

The surrounding fields, orchards and vineyards now brim with high quality produce, so many of the town’s cafes and restaurants champion local produce. Similarly, in the past six years the town has grown from harbouring just a handful of espresso machines to dozens.

Colloquially known as “Northcote North”, Castlemaine has lured and nurtured a slew of creatives over the years. They are drawn by the town’s supportive community of artists, musicians, designers and makers, and its leafy landscape. Vintage items and antiques have a stronghold too, and there are pastries and pastas to soak up the many locally made drinks.

Castlemaine is a 90-minute drive north-west of Melbourne up the Calder Freeway, and about the same if you take the V/Line from Southern Cross Station.

Welcome to Castlemaine

EAT

From plentiful pastries, to seasonal lunch fare and hearty dinners by a fireplace, Castlemaine oversupplies on the delicious food front.

Peddling Pastry

Shop

Start your day with pastries and a remarkable cup of coffee.

29 1 Halford Street Castlemaine 3450
Wednesday
8:30am - 2:00pm

Johnny Baker

Shop

It’s first in, best fed at this drive-through patisserie.

359 Barker Street Castlemaine 3450
Wednesday
6:30am - 4:00pm

Fig

Cafe

Mum-style cooking next to the fireplace.

31 Templeton Street Castlemaine 3450
Wednesday
8:30am - 4:00pm

Public Inn

Restaurant

Euro-bistro eats and a fun wine concept.

26a Templeton Street Castlemaine 3450
Wednesday
6:00pm - 11:00pm

DRINK

Round out local wine and cider tastings with a cleansing ale at one of the town’s many drinking establishments.

Margot Wine Bar

Bar

Your favourite lounge room wine bar in the country.

14 Hargraves Street Castlemaine 3450
Wednesday
4:00pm - 11:00pm

The Bridge Hotel

Bar

Noteworthy live music and Collingwood-esque pub grub.

21 Walker Street Castlemaine 3450
Wednesday
12:00pm - 11:00pm

Das Kaffeehaus

Cafe

There’s lots to sip at this creative precinct.

6 Walker Street Castlemaine 3450
Wednesday
7:00am - 4:00pm

Boomtown Winery Co-op

Bar

A community-driven winery and cellar door.

The Mill 9 Walker Street Castlemaine 3450
Closed Today

Shedshaker Brewing

Bar

The town’s one and only brewery.

9 Walker Street Castlemaine 3450
Wednesday
12:00pm - 6:00pm

DO

Musicians, artists, makers and producers all gather under reinvigorated historic roofs in this creative community.

STAY

From a quiet bush retreat, to a vintage bed and breakfast above a recording studio, there’s plenty of intriguing sleeping quarters around town. Check out even more places to stay in Castlemaine.

The Diggers Store

Accommodation

A cosy B&B; in a converted 1850s stable.

61 Main Road Campbells Creek 3451
Wednesday
7:00am - 9:00pm

Riversdale Retreat

Accommodation

A private bushland retreat in quaint Chewton.

Address supplied at time of booking Chewton 3451
Wednesday
9:00am - 5:00pm

Itinerary

Winter Getaway in Castlemaine

Comforts abound in this hub of agricultural and creative talent. A winter-ready town, Castlemaine provides numerous opportunities to huddle up by a fireplace – with cake at a cafe, whisky at a bar or at your lodgings.