As the weather warms up, regional Victoria also heats up with plenty of adventures. Planning an itinerary is the best way to ensure you make the most of your time, so you can see beautiful natural landmarks, historic towns and national parklands. There are also art galleries, regional cultural events, bustling food markets and historic precincts to explore. We’ve planned out the perfect three-day itinerary to ensure you can take in all that regional Victoria has to offer during November.
Friday November 16
First up head to the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park, where you can spy native wildlife and flora. You can also seek out the Goldfields Track – a point-to-point 210km track – that takes you through both historic towns and tranquil forests; or the 60-kilometre Bendigo Bushland Trail. You can also visit Castlemaine’s Botanical Gardens, which has trust-listed trees, a sprawling playground and plenty of bushland.
After all this exploring you’ll be hungry so head to Barker Street for noodles, or if you feel like getting a little fancy try Bistro Lola. You can also try a local craft beer at Shedshaker Brewing Company before heading to a show at the Theatre Royal or Phee Broadway Theatre.
Saturday November 17
Start out with a fresh water swim at the Golden Point Reservoir before getting breakfast at an excellent local café, like Fig, Saffs or Togs. Make sure you save some room so you can graze on pastries and cakes at the Wesley Hill Market, then head from Castlemaine to Maldon and on to Newstead while stopping into antique shops.
Then set your navigator to Bendigo to join in on YAPENYA, an evening celebration of the traditional owners of central Victoria. Taking place at Rosalind Park, the inaugural event will explore dreaming stories, ceremonies and ancestral spirits, all through song and dance. While in Bendigo you can also catch RCC art initiatives at the Arnold Street Gallery, Dudley House and the Soldiers Memorial Institute Military Museum.
Sunday November 18
If you’re a bit of a rev head you’ll want to head to the largest motoring gathering in the Southern Hemisphere, the Bendigo Swap Meet. After, head southwest to Booktown on Sundays in Clunes, or stock up on fresh produce at the regionally renowned Talbot Farmers Market.
On your drive back east stop off at Smeaton’s Anderson’s Mill and the Tuki Trout Farm. The drive will take in scenic vistas, sprawling grassy plains and volcanic hills, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to spot the rolling, canary-yellow fields of canola. Continue to explore the region’s ‘spa country’ in Hepburn Springs and Daylesford, where you find luxurious day spa and B’n’Bs, alongside great restaurants and galleries.