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Travel guide Goldfields

Australian Modern Masterpieces

Contact: 03 5320 5858 or artgal@ballarat.vic.gov.au
A veritable who’s who of Australia’s 20th century art world will be the focus of an exceptional exhibition at The Art Gallery of Ballarat this spring. Read more

A trip to Maldon
By Kylie Jane Degeling

  A trip to Maldon is a treat for any history buff. Listed as Australia’s ‘First Notable Town’ by The National Trust in 1966, this old gold mining town has beautifully preserved buildings dating back to the 19th century and a genuine steam train. At one time in history, the town had some of the world’s richest quartz reefs, with wealthy fortune-hunters flocking to the area where they built luxurious homes and businesses at the height of the boom. Today, the miners have gone, along with the quartz and gold – but in 2006 The National Trust referred to Maldon as “…the most intact historic streetscape in Victoria.” It is truly a picturesque preservation of Australian history.   Fans of Australian literature and movies will be intere... Read more

Sink back into a time when life was gentler.
By Ian + Helen Edwards

Some things are unique... like Claremont Coach House Just a coach ride away from the bustle of the goldfields Claremont remembers a gentler time two centuries ago. Breakfast on the upstairs deck while you wonder if you really heard the soft neighing of ghostly horses who kept you company while you were dreaming. Wander through the spacious grounds of the stately home, the frogs are going crazy since the lake filled in the last rains. Enjoy historic, fully self-contained accommodation in the spacious and comfortable two-bedroom Coach House. The Coach House is picturesquely sited in the tranquillity and privacy of the 12 acre 'Claremont' property, surrounded by trees, bird life, and browsing kangaroos. The hand-made brick building was constructed in c.1857, but with modern amenities provid... Read more

Spotlight on- Ambrose Cottage
By Hannah Kothe

This quaint 1850s miner's cottage is in the historic former mining town of Castlemaine in central Victoria, which lies between Ballarat and Bendigo, and is the ideal destination for a couple in search of respite and relaxation. Castlemaine, is at the confluence of the Barkers, Campbells and Forest Creeeks almost 120 km north-west of Melbourne, and is famed as much for its rich mining history as for the popular beer - Castlemaine XXXX, which takes it name from the town. The town's streetscape is a testament to the wealth of the bygone gold-mining era, with buildings such as the Castlemaine market, several hotels and the Theatre Royal being excellent examples of the town's fine heritage buildings. The local botanical gardens established in 1856 are recognised as some of the state's best. ... Read more

Heavenly Heathcote
By Kylie Jane Degeling

Three thousand people in Australia have found a piece of heaven they can call home in the heart of Victoria. The residents of Heathcote know that they have it all – the beauty and majesty of outdoor wonders like Pink Cliffs Reserves, the divine pleasures of the palate in the form of numerous boutique wineries, the historical intrigue of the gold rush era and the warm feeling found in a small, friendly country town. Visitors to Heathcote will discover they can unwind from the stresses of everyday life, and indulge in the many pleasures the locals enjoy each day. Couples will find this town to be an ideal romantic getaway, while families and friends will have fun exploring the historic buildings and surrounding parks. Things to do: Wine and dine: Seriously – you can’t vi... Read more

Editor's Choice - Lochinver Homestead and Cottages
By Lisa Monk

The Victorian goldfields are a treasure trove and we are not just talking about gold.  They are liberally sprinkled with other precious finds, such as Lochinver Homestead, a magnificent 1860s property nestled in 1000 acres of fine farmland in the glorious Carisbrook region, rich in history and things to see and do. The area abounds with attractions, such as driving through Maldon – the setting for the highly regarded film ‘Romulus, My Father’, visiting Kyriong, a traditional farm with resident emus, and you don’t need to be a trainspotter to marvel at Maryborough Railway Station with its café and antique shops … so much to do, so little time! Not if you stay at Lochinver – as this historic homestead is a place of peace and relaxation and t... Read more

Victorian Goldfields
By Kylie Jane Degeling

People flocked to Victoria for several decades following the discovery of gold in 1851. Tens of thousands of hopefuls mined their claims; some finding riches beyond their imagination while others could only look on in frustration. Although enormous quantities were found - particularly in Mt Alexander where 4 million ounces of alluvial gold were collected - some people found themselves turning up only tiny flakes. With the prosperity of gold breathing excitement into the area and actually tripling the population of Australia, many industrious people saw the opportunity to really strike it rich - by providing services to the miners. They arrived ready to build hotels, homes, restaurants and stores, sell or rent their wares for a premium and farm or cook to provide food for the wealthy and... Read more

Editor's Choice - Hut on the Hill
By Lisa Monk

While HUT ON THE HILL is a lovely rustic name, it doesn’t do justice to the fabulous accommodation you will find.  This gorgeous self-contained cottage is real 41/2 star accommodation, with 5 star energy rating!  David and Astrid have created a haven away from city noise, traffic and stress.  Just over 100 kms from Melbourne, yet a world away from everyday living. Honeymoon or holiday – romance or retreat … HUT ON THE HILL is the perfect choice. The cottage is designed so that the spectacular views of the McHarg Ranges can be enjoyed from almost every aspect … the bed, by the fire or from the spa.  The accommodation boasts a king and queen bedroom, cosy wood fire, heated spa bath, reverse-cycle air-conditioning (or fans, for those who prefer t... Read more

Top Five Accessible Travel Destinations
By Bruce Mumford

When you’re disabled it’s a lot easier - and cheaper - to stay at home. But after our family came home from a trip away, I realised the memories would be there with our boys for the rest of their lives.  It’s certainly not easy (when you’re disabled what is?) but it is worth it. My favourite Australian  destinations are: 1. Darling Harbour, Sydney I never visited Darling Harbour when growing up in Sydney.  But our family came up here and stayed 3 nights last year and had a wonderful time!  It was great being a tourist in what was once my own backyard.  After seeing a fair bit of overseas, I still think Sydney stacks up pretty well. The terrific thing about Darling Harbour is that it’s so much like Tasmania; a lot to do in such a sm... Read more

Ballarat Victoria
By Ballarat Visitor Information Centre

Switch on your sense of adventure, rekindle your love of history, fine tune your appreciation of the natural world, and take a trip to Ballarat, where you will discover a city with a rich cultural heritage and vibrant lifestyle. Ballarat is situated 110 kilometres north west of Melbourne, and is a fantastic day trip, short break or longer stay destination.  Built on the wealth of gold, Ballarat is a monument to the pioneering adventurers who left their distant homelands in search of prosperity in the gold rush of the 1850’s. Also referred to as the ‘Garden City’ and the ‘City of Statues’, Ballarat offers a wealth of attractions and activities. Step back in time to the 1850’s and be caught up in the thrill of gold fever at Sovereign Hill.  A l... Read more

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