I recently spent some time in Castlemaine, a small historic goldmining town in Central Victoria. With a population of approximately 8000 people, this deceptively small regional centre is driven by a vibrant community of diverse locals. I was constantly surprised by the vast variety of attractions this town has to offer those who visit:
Great food - I took this photo when I was doing some study at my favourite cafe called 'Apple Annie's Bakery'. Whatever your budget, Castlemaine has an abundance of cafes and restaurants that will not dissapoint. On the cheaper end of the scale (where I tend to linger), there's the 'Railway Hotel' with brilliant food at very reasonable prices. If you're happy to spend a little more money, I also dined at 'The Public Inn' and left with extremely satisfied tastebuds!!
Botanical Gardens - I was so surprised when I came across the gardens in Castlemaine, with tree lined paths, a lake filled with ducks and swans, and vibrant displays of flowers, it is a hub of activity from children in the playground, to bootcamp classes and groups of runners or walkers.
Mineral Springs - Castlemaine is located in the midst of a number of mineral springs. This photo was taken at Glenluce mineral springs, approximately 10km south of Castlemaine, and features the original mineral springs hand-pump.
Wineries - Surrounding Castlemaine are a quite a few impressive wineries, which make for a lovely afternoon of touring and tasting.
Bushland Walking Tracks - Kalimna Park is a large bush reserve within the township of Castlemaine. There is a network of walking tracks etched throughout the reserve, and a tourist road that runs around the perimiter...featuring some very steep hills, it was a perfect location for my hill training.
Shopping - Castlemaine offers a very unique shopping experience, from recyled vintage, fashion boutiques, to art galleries. This bookshop named 'Soldier and Scholar' certainly took me by surprise. I couldn't believe how many books were crammed into this small space! I really enjoyed spending some time persuing the shelves of this shop.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the attractions on offer at Castlemaine. If you ever find yourself driving through the town, I highly recommend that you stop for an hour or so to see it for yourself. I'm sure you wouldn't be dissapointed!