castlemaine boutique accommodation

Melbourne to Castlemaine Day Trip: Scenic Stops and Hidden Gems in Victoria’s Goldfields

If you are craving a break from the city, Victoria’s friendly towns offer scenic adventures and a fascinating culture just outside of Melbourne. A trip from Melbourne to Castlemaine is one of the best ways to experience the Goldfield region in its entirety. Not only will you bump into Victoria’s hidden gems, but you can also stop along the way to take a breather and connect with the beckoning Mother Nature.

Whether you are into landscapes and nature or art and culture, this one-day trip through the beautiful backyard of Melbourne makes for a perfect escape, either solo or with friends and loved ones.

How Long from Melbourne to Castlemaine

Distance from Melbourne to Castlemaine

If it’s your first time travelling out of the city, you must be wondering, how far is Castlemaine from Melbourne? Well, the distance from Melbourne to Castlemaine is around 129 kilometres, which should take you about 1 hour and 20 minutes by road, but this will always vary depending on the traffic conditions.

When travelling by car, it will take you close to 1 hour and 30 minutes from Melbourne to Castlemaine via Calder Freeway and Midland Highway.
Can You Visit Castlemaine from Melbourne by Train?

As you would have guessed, there are many ways in which you can travel from Melbourne to Castlemaine. Besides boarding a bus or driving yourself, you can also travel by train using the VLine Train. It will take you around 1 hour 30 minutes to travel from Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station to Castlemaine. This is perhaps the most convenient option as it is free of traffic, plus the VLine trains operate multiple times a day, seven days a week.

Places to Visit on the Way to Castlemaine

With several things to do in Castlemaine, here are some of the places you’ll stop over to enjoy the views, shop, interact with locals, and even capture those fun moments.

Woodlands Historic Park

Twenty-two kilometres north of Melbourne, on your way to Castlemaine, is the Woodlands Historic Park, known for its indigenous canoe trees and native grassland. The park sits on an 820-ha piece of land that’s part of the Aboriginal heritage.

Woodlands Historic Park

Woodlands Park preserves wildlife and cultural artifacts and honours the land’s pre-European settlement heritage. During your visit, you’ll encounter native Australian species like echidnas, crimson rosellas, wallabies, kangaroos, and the majestic wedge-tailed eagles.

With a network of trails, it invites walking and cycling enthusiasts, offering a refreshing escape. As you spend a leisurely 30 minutes, you can capture the beauty through photographs and immerse yourself in the moment.

Kyneton Town

Located along the Calder Freeway on your way to Castlemaine, Kyneton Town is a popular tourist attraction that receives local and international visitors throughout the year.

Some of the main attractions in this town include the historic botanic gardens, established in the mid-1800s, and scenic walks along the Campaspe River. The town is also known for its vibrant farmers’ markets and year-round festivals, making it a favourite day trip destination.

For hikers and campers, Kyneton serves as a gateway to nearby attractions like Trentham Falls, Hanging Rock in Newham, Black Hill Reserve, and Turpin Falls, to mention a few. If you love art and cultural experiences, this town will interest you the most. It’s also home to many artist studios, galleries, and quaint bookstores.

Daylesford

A 90-minute drive from Melbourne is the rural town of Daylesford, known for its therapeutic mineral springs. Hepburn Bathhouse and Spa, located 3 kilometres from the town, is one of the main attractions, offering a premier mineral springs bathing experience. There’s also the Mill Market, where you can shop for books, antiques, and clothes.

Daylesford

For art lovers, there’s the Convent Gallery on Wombat Hill, a 19th-century convent showcasing national and international fine art. This town has a lot to offer, but you can only explore so much on a one-day Melbourne to Castlemaine trip.

Top Places to visit in Castlemaine

The Mill in Castlemaine

This is a former woollen mill that dates back to the 1870s. Conveniently located at 1-9 Walker Street and open seven days a week, The Mill in Castlemaine is an all-in-one attraction, making it a highlight on your day trip itinerary.

It currently hosts over 40 artisan makers and a delightful array of food shops. If you are in for a bite or drink, there are several options for you, including Viennese Coffee House, craft breweries, cheese producers, and ice cream makers.

The building also showcases unique artisan shops, including furniture makers, perfumery, bath socks, and ethical florists. You can also explore the vintage bazaar for treasures ranging from clothes to handmade goods. For fitness enthusiasts, the wellness studio offers Pilates and strength training sessions.

The Old Castlemaine Gaol

bromley collection at Old Castlemaine gaol

Old Castlemaine Goal is a picturesque structure built in the mid-19th century. It was constructed using Harcourt granite and local sandstone and serves as a reminder of Castlemaine’s prominence during the Victorian gold rush.

Located on top of a hill, it offers breathtaking views of the Gold Rush town. It was originally used to house offenders from the gold fields and later served as a medium-security prison until the 1990s. Today, it’s home to the Bromley Collection Museum, which houses an intriguing collection of art and pottery, breathing life into its historic walls.

Where to Stay in Castlemaine?

Your day trip from Melbourne to Castlemaine is not complete without a mention of the available accommodation options. Whether or not you plan on extending your stay, the best guesthouse will make for a fun and unforgettable experience.

Castlemaine Group Accommodation

One of the best accommodation providers in the area is Castlemaine Boutique Accommodation, which offers a wide range of carefully selected properties for that comfortable and luxurious experience. Among the house options you can choose from are modern apartments, historical homes, and restored Victorian manors.

Depending on your needs, you are sure to find homes that can accommodate from one guest to groups of up to 90 people. Each residence features private gardens, free Wi-Fi, and secure parking.

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