The Regional Centre for Culture

Take a break from the city and discover the vibrant artistic hubs of the Regional Centre for Culture, where exciting events, festivals and dining experiences are just waiting to be discovered

Bendigo Art Gallery
Photograph: Visit Victoria

What do the four shires surrounding the buzzing Victorian centres of Bendigo, Daylesford, Castlemaine and Maryborough have in common? In 2018, they’re teaming up to form the Regional Centre for Culture. Over 12 big months, the RCC will host music festivals, shows, exhibitions and community events shining a light on talented locals, as well as celebrating the rich history and continuing presence of the Dja Dja Wurrung people, who are the traditional owners of the land. Each of the shires in the RCC has their own personality (are you all about the relaxing spas of Daylesford? Or keen to soak up the arty atmosphere of Castlemaine?), and we recommend exploring as much of the RCC as possible. We’ve put together your ultimate guide to an RCC adventure, including what to see and do, where to eat and where to stay.

Plan your RCC trip now

A guide to Bendigo and surrounds
Travel

A guide to Bendigo and surrounds

Venture just a few hours from Melbourne and you'll find a town packed with world-class arts and culture, thriving creative communities, historic landmarks and top-notch dining and drinking.

A guide to Castlemaine and surrounds
Travel

A guide to Castlemaine and surrounds

Castlemaine punches way above its weight when it comes to cultural festivals and activites – not to mention restaurants that are well worth the drive north.

A guide to Daylesford and surrounds
Travel

A guide to Daylesford and surrounds

There are the spas, of course; but then there are also contemplative art galleries, heritage train rides and a museum that tells the stories of the Dja Dja Wurrung people who are the traditional owners of the land.

A guide to Maryborough and surrounds
Travel

A guide to Maryborough and surrounds

The jewel of the Central Goldfields Shire is the chilled-out, picturesque and historically rich centre of Maryborough.

The best of the RCC

The best places to eat and drink in the RCC
Travel

The best places to eat and drink in the RCC

You'll need to keep your energy up during your RCC adventure, and luckily, these shires are home to some of the state's best dining experiences.

Where to stay in the RCC
Travel

Where to stay in the RCC

If you want the very best from your RCC stay, then look no further than these cosy digs and luxe bed and breakfasts.

Highlight events of the RCC

Poppet
Art

Poppet

If you've ever strolled through Rosalind Park in Bendigo you've no doubt seen the large poppet head. The structure has been sitting idly in the park since 1931, when it was moved from the Garden Gully United mine (one of Bendigo's richest mines). The old poppet is being brought into the 21st century for a brilliant, one-night-only performance. Artists from the township of Natimuk will transform the structure in Poppet, a show combining interactive projection art, aerial dancing, music and shadow puppetry.  Over the course of the all-ages event Poppet will take audiences through the structure's past, present and other notable moments. Rock up early to take part in the preshow events and make sure you bring a picnic rug or camp chair to sit on.   The free event starts at 7.30pm at Poppet Head lookout at Rosalind Park, Bendigo. 

‘Never-ending Journey’ weaving workshop and exhibition
Art

‘Never-ending Journey’ weaving workshop and exhibition

Master weaver Aunty Marilyne Nicholls is hosting a ten-week weaving workshop in Maryborough this winter. Participants in the workshop will learn the traditional weaving process and create at least one completed work. With only ten workshop places available, this is your chance to learn the art of weaving in a small, intimate group environment. The workshop costs only $100 for the entire ten-session course, and the completed works will go on show in the new exhibition Never-ending Journey which is on at Tren DuBourg Hall in Maryborough.  Never-ending Journey brings together the work of two artists: weaver and painter Aunty Marilyne Nicholls and printmaker and painter Nyrel Saunders. The show will feature prints, hangings, sculpture and video alongside historical mining equipment to explore the history and changes that have incured in the Central Goldfields region since the gold rush. Entry to the exhibition is free. 

Trumpit Up & Drone On
Music

Trumpit Up & Drone On

A participatory group concert on the banks of Lake Jubilee, featuring brass and pipe bands from across the region.

Circus Oz: Rolling Into Town
Things to do

Circus Oz: Rolling Into Town

Circus Oz is rolling into Maryborough for one day only for a free series of children’s workshops, music, entertainment and of course circus performances.

Demolish
Theatre

Demolish

Australia's landscape has changed drastically since European colonisation and continues to change even today. A new theatrical work by Russell: Evans will look take audiences on a journey through the lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung clans, which have been forever changed by the gold rush, agriculture and the continued development of roads and buildings. Demolish will explore the ongoing demolition of these lands through dance, physical theatre, projections, lighting and even heavy machinery. As this cycle of destruction continues, Demolish asks "what are we losing?" and "what do we gain?".  Demolish is a site-specific work taking place on the grounds of the former La Trobe University campus. Over time it has been home to Dja Dja Wurrung people, settlers, farmers and students. With a new housing development slated for the area, the themes in Demolish still resonate strongly with the site on which it is performed.  The performance has been created by goldfields artists Rebecca Russell and Ken Evans, who form the collaborative partnership Russell: Evans. Also taking part in Demolish is dance artist Janette Hoe; physical theatre artists Christy Flaws and Luke O'Connor; musicians Gillian Howell and Tony Hicks; video and projection artist Dotahn Caspi; lighting designer Philip Lethlean; sound designer Steph O'Hara; Clunes farmer Christine Rowe; and Dja Dja Wurrung elder Aunty Linda Ford.  There will be three performances of Demolish and tickets are available online.  Demolish has

Yapenya
Things to do

Yapenya

A performance ceremony featuring Dja Dja Wurrung locals to celebrate the five-year-anniversary of the signing of the Recognition Settlement Agreement.

Events in the RCC

Daylesford Sunday Market
Things to do

Daylesford Sunday Market

If you find yourself in Daylesford for a weekend (as those in Melbourne are prone to be), make sure you check out the town’s weekly Sunday markets. Held by Daylesford’s railway station, the markets have everything from secondhand books to spare car parts. There’s also plenty of fresh local produce available and car parking aplenty.

Creswick Market
Things to do

Creswick Market

The relaxed Creswick Market happens on the third Saturday of every month. An easy 20-minute drive from either Ballarat or Daylesford, the Creswick Market has everything from local arts and crafts to handmade delicacies, fresh produce, jewellery and clothes. To keep the littlies entertained there’s kids' entertainment and a playground, and for you there’s live music and more than 90 stalls to peruse. Dogs welcome.

Talbot Farmers' Market
Things to do

Talbot Farmers' Market

The wee central goldfields town of Talbot hosts its monthly farmers' market on the third Sunday of each month. You might not have heard about much about it, but Talbot was actually one of the first regional towns in Victoria to start running farmers' markets all the way back in 2004. More than a decade on and the market still has its charm. The 80-plus stalls are held in the town’s heritage precinct, and you’ll be able to pick up everything from terrific local produce to artisan bread, cheese, meat and oils. There are also plants, seedlings and fresh flowers as well as live chooks to add to your flock. For the best selection of fresh food arrive early – it sells fast.

Bosom Buddies at Ulumbarra Theatre
Theatre

Bosom Buddies at Ulumbarra Theatre

In May Ulumbarra Theatre will host Bosom Buddies, a show by Todd McKenney and Nancye Hayes that is one part stageshow and one part Q and A session. It's on for one night only at the theatre (Tuesday May 8), and tickets start at $60. 

Heathcote Bush Market
Things to do

Heathcote Bush Market

Head into Heathcote on the first Saturday of every month for the Heathcote Bush Market. The small township on the Northern Highway (it makes a great pit stop on the way to Bendigo) has a gold mining past but foodie future with an increasing number of producers and viticulturists setting up shop in the region. The monthly market is your chance to sample some of Heathcote’s tastiest products. In addition to edible offerings you’ll also find tools, plants, cosmetics, clothing, jewellery, homewares and bric-a-brac. Held at Barrack Reserve on the town’s main drag, the Heathcote Bush Market is hard to miss – just look for the blue and yellow visitor’s centre sign.

Maldon Market: Hand Made, Home Grown
Things to do

Maldon Market: Hand Made, Home Grown

Gold isn’t the only treasure you can find in Maldon. On the second Sunday of every month the small ex-goldfields town hosts the Maldon Market, a hub for all things handmade and home grown. Stroll through the market stalls to discover farm fresh produce from the Maldon region as well as goodies from local makers and producers. Each monthly market also features music, entertainment and a sausage sizzle, with money raised going towards local community groups.

Newstead CFA Community Market
Things to do

Newstead CFA Community Market

On the third Saturday of March, May, September and November, the regional town of Newstead (a 15 minute drive from Castlemaine) hosts a community market to help raise funds for the Country Fire Authority. As well as supporting the men and women protecting us from bushfires, the markets are also a great way to pick up handmade goods from local creatives. At the long-running market you can find books, plants, clothes, tools, craft and produce straight out of the backyard. As with most markets in Australia the highlight will be the barbecue, which in this case will be run by the CFA. Pick up cold drink, a sausage sanga or maybe a homemade cake or slice to go with a coffee. CFA members will also be there on the day to answer any and all fire-related questions. Entry to the markets is free and if you want to host a stall it will only cost you $10. This event is part of the Regional Centre for Culture; a year-long celebration of the four buzzing Victorian centres of Bendigo, Daylesford, Castlemaine and Maryborough. Find out more about all the events happening in the Regional Centre for Culture in 2018.

Mirusia and Paris Underground at Capital Theatre
Theatre

Mirusia and Paris Underground at Capital Theatre

This May the Capital will host several standout shows including a performance by Australian-Dutch soprano Mirusia. Having spent a decade with André Rieu's orchestra in the Netherlands, the singer has returned to Australia to forge a solo career. The Capital will also be hosting the Paris Underground cabaret where you can catch tap dancers, aerialists, magicians and singers. 

FoRT at the Engine Room
Theatre

FoRT at the Engine Room

During May the Engine Room will host FoRT, a playful show for childen that uses everyday objects to create fantastical imaginary worlds. You and your tiny tots can catch the clowning around Tuesday May 29 or Wednesday May 30 at 10.30am. 

Daylesford Sunday Market
Things to do

Daylesford Sunday Market

If you find yourself in Daylesford for a weekend (as those in Melbourne are prone to be), make sure you check out the town’s weekly Sunday markets. Held by Daylesford’s railway station, the markets have everything from secondhand books to spare car parts. There’s also plenty of fresh local produce available and car parking aplenty.

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