Join the rush to learn about Victoria's rich heritage

Discover the legacy of Victoria's gold rush when you visit the historic Goldfields region.

Visit Victoria’s Goldfields region to learn more about a major chapter of the state’s history and experience some of Australia’s best regional restaurants, wineries and art galleries as well gorgeous natural attractions.

History and heritage

The Victorian gold rushes of the 1850s and ’60s left a lasting legacy throughout the Goldfields, from the ornate architecture and historic gardens to the region's rich Chinese heritage.

See the magnificent architecture that gold built in Ballarat, Bendigo, Castlemaine and Maryborough, or stroll some of the country's finest examples of Victorian streetscapes in many of the region's villages, such as Maldon, Inglewood, Bridgewater, Dunolly, Tarnagulla and Talbot.

Experience "Christmas in July" at Ballarat's Sovereign Hill Winter Wonderlights program between 25 June and 18 July. It will feature dazzling light shows, full theatre program, great kids activities and more.

In Bendigo you can explore the hidden underground tunnels of a real gold mine that operated during the gold rush boom of the 1900s with a visit to Central Deborah Gold Mine.

Most towns offer self-guided walks so you can take in the history and heritage at your leisure. Follow trails in Bendigo, Ballarat and villages such as Castlemaine, Maldon, Maryborough, Dunolly, Boort, Inglewood, Tarnagulla and Heathcote. Drop into a local visitor information centre to pick up maps and where available, self-guided audio tours, or visit local tourism websites for more information.

Ballarat at night.

Historic Ballarat at night.

Food and wine

With Bendigo's designation as a City of Gastronomy, the city and surrounding region is bursting with top-class food and beverage experiences.

Fresh regional produce and creative cuisine, hatted restaurants and some of the finest wine in the state combine to create a contemporary food and wine scene that's become a favourite with locals and out-of-towners alike.

The Goldfields boasts three significant wine regions – Bendigo, Ballarat and Heathcote. Bendigo and Heathcote are famed for their robust shiraz and Italian varieties, while Ballarat is noted for elegant cool-climate wines.

While you're in the region, don't miss out on the many farmers markets. These events run monthly in Bendigo, Ballarat, Talbot and many other towns and villages within the area, showcasing its diverse product. Stock up on regional specialties such as bullboar sausages, locally pressed olive oil, craft beer, chocolate and delicious goats cheese.

Add to the list some crisp apples, juicy pears, cider and perry straight from the growers in Harcourt, home to Victoria's finest apples.

Experience the wide range of excellent dining options on offer, from city to town to country. Enjoy great coffee and sophisticated breakfasts in village cafes, dine out in hatted restaurants housed in heritage surrounds or skip to the countryside and enjoy lunch with a view at a local vineyard.

Art and culture

The historic Goldfields region offers a rich and varied cultural experience. 

Wander through popular regional galleries, which number among the oldest and largest in Australia, pop into local studios and art spaces and explore local museums and historic theatres.

Witness how art has become a driving force behind the region's vibrant and contemporary atmosphere. Visit renowned galleries, including the Bendigo and Ballarat Art Galleries, to see international exhibits and works by some of the country's finest painters, sculptors and artisans.

Get an insight into the work of local artists during a day on the art trail. Stop by private galleries, community art spaces and local retailers and pop into artists' studios in nearby villages.

Visit museums in Bendigo, Ballarat and Castlemaine to learn about Indigenous culture and hear stories about what life was like on the Goldfields. Discover the lasting heritage of Chinese culture in the region at the Golden Dragon Museum in Bendigo, and explore how the area has changed over the years.

Music, theatre and comedy are alive and flourishing in historic theatres and state-of-the-art production houses across the diverse Goldfields region. Catch local and international theatre productions, touring bands and comedians at popular venues. Seek out shows at the Ulumbarra Theatre, housed in the old Bendigo Gaol and the stunning Capitol Theatre, and at Her Majesty's and The Courthouse in Ballarat.

Visitors explore Bendigo Art Gallery.

Bendigo art gallery.

Nature and wildlife

Stroll through one of the local botanical gardens in Bendigo, Ballarat, Buninyong or Castlemaine. 

Still thriving 150 years after being created by early residents of the region, these gardens are a great place to unwind and recharge. 

If you're visiting the area in March, be sure to explore the Ballarat Botanical Gardens and see the renowned annual begonia display.

In spring, see Rosalind Park's tens of thousands of blooming tulips lining Bendigo's Pall Mall.

Head out of town to discover national and state parks with dazzling wildflowers, abundant wildlife and stunning scenery.

Take a scenic drive to Terrick Terrick National Park for a bushwalk or picnic. Time your visit with spring to see a colourful display of wildflowers.

Kooryoora State Park offers a range of outdoor adventures. Don't miss the Melville Caves at Kooryoora State Park, granite boulders thought to have been used as a hideout for bushranger Captain Melville.

Spend an afternoon on the shore of Ballarat's Lake Wendouree or Bendigo's Lake Weroona.

Make use of the scenic walking and cycling trails, enjoy a spot of bird watching, or paddle about in a kayak or canoe. 

Source: Visit Victoria

Plan you Victoria holiday with RACQ Travel (1300 888 449)