Guide to the Victorian Goldfields Region

In the early days of settlement, Victoria’s fortunes were transformed by the discovery of gold which led to a period of extreme prosperity when wealth flooded the local towns and villages. Today, the legacy of the gold rush lives on in thequaint Victorian streetscapes of regional cities Bendigo and Ballarat, as well as the pretty towns ofMaldon andCastlemaine.


Bendigo is one of regional Victoria’s most vibrant cities. It’s home to an enviable arts scene, as well as a burgeoning food and wine scene, each of which lives alongside a rich history, with stunning period architecture and landscaped gardens. A visit to Bendigo offers visitors the chance to experience contemporary Australian cuisine in restaurants that rival those of Victoria’s larger cities.

Bendigo also punches above its weight when it comes to galleries and museums. The city is home to one of the oldest and largest regional galleries in Australia, which first opened in 1887. Today, the gallery features Australian Art from the 1850s to the present day, as well as pieces from the Bendigo goldfields and 19th century European paintings, sculptures and decorative arts.

There is no better way to see the sights of Bendigo than aboard the city’s beautifully refurbished vintage talking tram. It’s the best way to get your bearings and see the city's key landmarks and monuments.


Ballarat is Victoria's largest inland city, home to a contemporary arts hub, lively events, gourmet food, breweries and exemplary wine, set against a quaint heritage architecture.

As a city, Ballarat has long been a destination for foodies. For the quintessential Ballarat food experience, head for The Provincial Hotel's beautiful dining room, Lola. Here you’ll find a seasonal menu championing locally sourced ingredients alongside a top class wine list.

To experience more wine from the surrounding region, kick back with a glass at Mitchell Harris Wine Bar. For the beer enthusiasts, head for the Hop Temple or book a table at the award-winning Underbar.

For gold rush history, head for Sovereign Hill where you can pan for gold and experience the hustle and bustle of an 1850s gold mining village.


The town of Maldon is located in the heart of Victoria’s historical gold mining region between Castlemaine and Bendigo. It’s a place that offers visitors a chance to step back in time, walk the streets, and experience the buildings as they were 100 years ago.

Maldon has been perfectly preserved since its mining days and has been recognised by the National Trust as a town of national importance. Its list of historic buildings is impressive and varied, including the railway station (built in 1884), the Grand Hotel (1888), the old post office (1870) and a number of beautiful churches. Most of the historic buildings are located in the town centre around Main Street, High Street, Camp Street and Church Street.

Many of the historic buildings now house cafes, galleries and antique shops, all on a streetscape that looks like it hasn't changed for well over a hundred years.


Castlemaine is a bustling town with plenty to offer visitors, from en eclectic arts scene, to a rich gold rush history, and a burgeoning food and wine scene. On a stroll around the streets you’ll come across all manner of local art studios and small galleries where you’ll find sculpture, ceramics, jewellery, paintings and textiles. You’ll be hard-pressed not to buy something. For a slice of culture and history, check out the Theatre Royal, Australia’s oldest continually operating theatre