HERITAGE BUILDINGS OF THE CBD
Due to the immense riches which poured into Castlemaine in the 1850s and early 1860s, substantial administrative, commercial and private buildings emerged far more quickly than in many other centres. Moreover, the town ceased to grow when the alluvial gold dwindled and so the older buildings were deemed adequate for the town. Consequently many of the CBD's structures date from that early period. Even those that have been transformed retain older elements such as post-supported verandahs and ground-floor shop facades. The Information Centre has brochures outlining a walk of the CBD's heritage buildings.
Centrally located, and the centrepiece of the Market Square, is the exceptional Castlemaine Market at the corner of Mostyn and Frederick Sts. Designed by town surveyor William Downe it reflects the influence of Christopher Wren and was built of stone and brick with cement rendering in 1861-62. At that time it was part of a complex of market buildings gathered about the square. A produce market was held here until 1967. It was also the venue for celebratory balls: in 1862 for the opening of the railway and in 1867 for the visiting Duke of Edinburgh.
This Classical Revival structure is a highly symmetrical design centring on a large and elegant portico capped by a pediment which incorporates a rising sun motif. On the roof line is a statue of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture (a symbol of fruitfulness). Within the portico is an arched doorway guarded by ornately cast wrought-iron gates. The low-set wings on either side extend sideways for a short distance then thrust forward as brick turrets. Upon these turrets sit cupolas atop ornamental structures that vaguely echo the temple motif of the central portico. The light, spacious interior is based upon a Roman basilica with a clerestory roof featuring unique curved wood trusses. The halls once housed 22 stalls which vendors accessed through side doors. The whole has been restored by the National Trust and will soon house the town's information centre.
Bank of Australasia and Goldsmith's Hotel
On the other side of the road from the Castlemaine Market (cnr Mostyn and Frederick Sts) is the ANZ Bank which has been a banking chamber since its construction in 1856 as the Bank of Australasia.
On the other side of Frederick St is a pharmacy which was originally Goldsmith's Hotel (1861).
Head east along Mostyn St and turn right into Hargraves St which was named after Edward Hargraves who was falsely credited with being the first discoverer of payable gold in Australia (see entry on Ophir). Hargraves visited the town late in 1852 as the town survey was being completed.
To the immediate left is the Theatre Royal. The original was built in 1855. Two years later it was burnt to the ground but it was immediately rebuilt. It has now been in continuous use since 1857 which makes it one of Victoria's oldest theatres. In 1856 noted Irish-born dancer and entertainer Lola Montez appeared at the theatre during a tour of Australia. The performances were recalled as much for her lectures to the audience, her large claims made for her importance to the destiny of Bavaria, some untruths about her origins and her antagonistic response to a minor fracas in the audience, as for her famous Spider Dance. The facade dates from the 1930s.
Continue along Hargraves St to the Commercial Hotel on the Forest St corner. The building dates from 1857 when it was constructed as Butterworth's Store. It became the Commercial Hotel in 1874.
Mostyn St East
Return along Hargraves St and turn right, back into Mostyn St. As you turn the corner, look to the right and you will see the original walls of the Theatre Royal.
Mostyn St was named after the commissioner in charge of the camp at Fryerstown who later became police commissioner for the district.
At the corner of Mostyn and Union Sts is the Albion Hotel with a fine wrought-iron lacework verandah and the coach entrance through to the rear courtyard. It is now a bed-and-breakfast. To the rear of the hotel was the heart of Chinatown where there were five Joss Houses and a Chinese Mission Chapel (1860).
On the other side of the road to the Albion, a little further along, is the former Mt Alexander Hotel (1864) which is now The Restorer's Barn.
The Trades Hall, adjacent, dates from c.1860. A dressmaker's sign on the side wall indicates an earlier function of the building.
Return west along Mostyn St. At the corner of Lyttleton Ave is the former Freemasons Tavern.
At the north-eastern corner of Mostyn and Hargraves Sts is the E.D. Williams Building. Originally a collection of single-storey shops it was redeveloped in the 1870s to accommodate the expanding merchandise and grocery business of Mr Williams.
On the north-western corner is a shop. The wall facing Hargraves St was part of the government survey office where the town's first municipal meetings were held in 1856.
Turn right into Hargraves St. To the right is Penney's Bakery (c.1880). Note the sign "Three Course Meals 1/3 d" on the second-storey facade.
Over the road is the former Union Bank (1859), now a two-storey private residence. On its northern side is French's Talbot Drug Store (1858), also two storeys.
Just beyond Lyttleton St is St Mary's Catholic Church (completed in 1866 with later additions), originally erected as the result of the efforts of Father Patrick Smyth who figured largely in the Eureka Stockade rebellion.
On the other side of the road is the police station which was constructed in 1855 as the State Savings Bank. Note the keystone in the arch of the facade. On its southern side is an old granite lock-up.
At the north-western corner of Hargraves and Lyttleton Sts is a private residence which was originally the gold warden's office.
Lyttleton St was named after a member of the goldfields police who later became inspector of police.
Adjacent the gold warden's office is the cement-rendered Classical Revival courthouse. Built in 1877 it features single-storey wings projecting from a two-storied central block with a pedimented gable and colonnade. It is now home to the historical society who conduct research and guided tours, tel: (03) 5472 1425.
Almost opposite the courthouse is the former Imperial Hotel (1861). Most striking to the eye are the mansard roof with its lovely dormer windows and decorative chimneys, and the two-storey verandah featuring highly ornate cast-iron lacework and supporting posts. The shaded facade consists of five bays and French doors. Also of note are the iron-ridge cresting and Classical pilasters.
Adjacent the courthouse is the former School of Mines (1889) and, on the Frederick St corner, is the monumental red-brick town hall (1898). On the other side of Frederick St is the old drill hall (1889), now a Sports Fitness Centre.
Head along Frederick St to Templeton St (named after the chief of the original town survey team. This area was the site of the first burial ground before the cemetery was moved to Campbells Creek in 1853.
At the corner of Frederick and Templeton Sts is the fire station which has been on this site since 1857. The two large buildings on the other side of Templeton St were built in 1885 as the citadel and barracks of the Salvation Army.
Adjacent the fire station, in Templeton St, is a red-brick building which was the barn for the police troopers' horses, housed in the downstairs section of the building.
The building on the south-eastern corner of Templeton and Barker was formerly the police station. The foundations and cells were incorporated into the reconstruction of the building in 1920 when it became the State Savings Bank. It is now solicitors' offices. There is an information plaque.
The building on the south-western corner was originally the Council Club Hotel and Tonk Bros Hardware (north-eastern corner) dates from the late 19th century.
Optional Extension to the Walk
Enthusiasts may wish to extend the walk by taking in some of the historical (and largely residential) buildings of Campbell and Doveton Sts. If you do not wish to do so just proceed past this section to the 'Barker St' entry.
Walk along Templeton St past the Baptist Church (established on this spot in 1861). At the end of the road is the wrought-iron lacework verandah of the former Midland Hotel which was established in the 1850s.
On the other side of Kennedy St are the red-brick railway station (1862) and the fine brickwork of the railway goods shed.
Head north along Kennedy St. Duck into Campbell St and have a look at 'Campbell House' at No.3 (1859). Return north along Kennedy St. Turn right into Doveton St. No.14 dates from 1860 and was used as a boarding house.
At the Barker St corner is the masonic hall (1873), originally a Bible Christian Church.
Turn right into Barker St. At the Campbell St corner is the Methodist Church. The oldest section of this building dates back to 1857. It is now used by the Seventh Day Adventists.
Campbell St is a Classified streetscape. Keep to the left-hand side of the road. At the Hargraves St corner is the Campbell Motor Lodge, originally a pair of Classical Revival houses built by a timber merchant named. Campbell who married the granddaughter of famous Scottish poet Robbie Burns.
Cross Hargraves St. No.47 dates from 1861 and no.49 from 1895. Cross over the road. No. 38 dates from 1860-64. Return along Campbell St. The two-storey residence at no.30 was built in 1874 and the cottage at no.10 Campbell St dates back to 1860.
Turn right into Barker St. To the left is a residence built in 1855 for E.W. Cole of 'Cole's Funny PictureBooks'. This returns you to the corner of Barker and Templeton Sts.
Barker St was named after William Barker, another pioneer pastoralist whose run included part of the land that is now Castlemaine.
The whole eastern side of Barker St, between Templeton St and Lyttleton St, has been classified by the National Trust. Adjacent the solicitors' offices is the library, built in 1857 as a mechanics' institute with additions in 1861, 1872 and 1893. Next to it is the Faulder Watson Hall which opened in 1895 and adjacent is the old telegraph office (1857). There is an information plaque.
On the Lyttleton St corner is the decorative Classical Revival post office (1873-75). It is in the form of an Italian palazzo with a central clock tower, five arched bays and strongly contrasting colouration. This structure replaced a wooden post office which was built on this same spot in 1859 when the service was transferred from the gold commissioner's camp. Over the road is the Cumberland Hotel (1884).
Castlemaine Art Gallery and Museum
Head west along Lyttleton St to the Castlemaine Art Gallery and Museum which is considered one of the state's finest provincial galleries, featuring major Australian works of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The collection includes the paintings of Frederick McCubbin, Tom Roberts, Louis Buvelot, Russell Drysdale, Fred Williams, Margaret Preston and many more recent works. The gallery was founded in 1913 and the Art Deco facade was added in 1931.
The Historical Museum focuses on items relating to the history of the Mt Alexander shire. There are photographs, newspaper clippings and other artifacts.
The centre is open weekdays from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. On weekends it is from midday to 5.00 p.m., tel: (03) 5472 2292.
Churches and 'Ballara'
At the top of the hill is the former Presbyterian (now Uniting) Church (1894) with its fine stained-glass windows.
On the other side of the road is the former Congregational Church (1861-62). To its rear is the original Congregational Church (1855) which was the town's first brick church (1855). It became the Sunday School hall. Adjacent the new church is the presbytery (1857).
Return to Barker St and turn right. To the left is Fossey's. It was built in 1860 as the Ball and Welch Store. Home Hardware, over the road, also dates from 1860.
Turn right into Mostyn St. On the right-hand side of the road is a grey rendered building known as 'Ballara' which was constructed in 1861-64 as the home/office for Edward Fitzgerald of Castlemaine breweries.
Cross over the road, past the Boer War Memorial and continue on to Christ Church, an Anglican structure built of random-coursed sandstone from 1854 to 1858 on what was then known as Agitation Hill, as the diggers used this spot to hold protest meetings about the gold license system. This Gothic Revival design features distinctive windows and projecting gables. There are 1892 additions.
Return along Mostyn St and turn right into Barker St. On the corner is the Criterion Hotel. The original Criterion was a two-storey timber building erected in 1853. The present building dates from 1883. These are the longest-continually-licensed premises in the city.
Adjacent is the CBC Bank (1856) which replaced an earlier iron structure belonging to the Bank of Victoria. It is the first of four bank premises on this side of the road. Next are the Oriental Bank Chambers (1862), now legal chambers, then the two-storey Classical Revival Bank of NSW (1854). The facade consists of five bays with arched doorways at each end. It is now the Bank of Melbourne. Adjacent is the National Bank, built in 1860 as the Bedford Arms Hotel.
Cross the road and return to the Mostyn St corner which was once a major focus of the town. Stock were auctioned off here and it was something of a test of their worth to see how they fared at hauling a load up the hill on the western side of Barker St (it was originally much steeper). Public political meetings were also held at this corner under a large elm tree. Note the old drinking fountain in Victory Park (1919) which is designed for the benefit of horses and dogs, as well as people.
The following entries take in sites outside of the CBD. They are organised in the form of a driving tour.
Located by the corner of Forest St (part of the Pyrenees Highway) and Urquhart Sts, the Globe Garden Restaurant was built in 1868 as the French and English Hotel which replaced an earlier wooden hotel of the same name (1855). It was renamed the Globe Hotel and is now a restaurant.
Follow the Pyrenees Highway east out of town. Once across Patterson Bridge the road ascends Wesley Hill. Note the old red-brick miner's cottages on the roadside. To the right, at the top of the hill, is the Wesley Church (1852) which was the first place of worship on Forest Creek.
Pennyweight Flat Cemetery
800 metres beyond Patterson Bridge is a turnoff on the left into Murphy St. 500 metres along here turn left into Colles Rd which leads across Zeal Bridge to Moonlight Flat. The cemetery is 500 metres along this road, on a little green knoll. Probably established in 1851, Pennyweight Flat Children's Cemetery was one of the first cemeteries on the Forest Creek Goldfields. 200 people were buried here from 1852 to 1857, many of them children. Further along this road is Donkey Gully which yielded 1000 kg of gold.
Return along the highway, turn right into Urquhart St then right into Lyttleton St. To the left is a geological phenomenon known as an anticlinal fold. It was revealed by road construction work in 1874. There is a descriptive plaque.
Burke and Wills Monument
A little further along Lyttleton St turn right into Wills St. At its end is a Burke and Wills monument, established in 1862 when news of the explorers' deaths was the talk of their country. There are excellent views over the city from this point.
Drive to the end of Lyttleton St and turn left into Kalimna Rd which leads through Kalimna Park which combines natural and regenerated bushland where wildflowers are common in spring. There are nature trails, as well as a golf course and rotunda.
Follow Kalimna Rd which eventually bends to the left, becoming Hunter St. At no.42 is 'Buda, a private home which was built in 1861 in the Indian bungalow style by Colonel John Smith, an army colonel who had served in India. He named it 'Delhi Villa'. In 1863 it was purchased by silversmith, jeweller and watchmaker Ernest Leviny who journeyed to Australia in 1853 to mine gold. He made improvements to the building, giving it its current name in honour of Budapest in Hungary, his birthplace. It was extended in 1890.
The house features the Leviny family's collection of silver, art and crafts (including the enamelling, wood-carving, embroidery, photography and painting of Ernest Leviny's daughters which reflect their Hungarian heritage), works by other distinguished Australian artists, furnishings and domestic effects accumulated over a period of 120 years. The house features stucco moulding, a clerestory and projecting bay-windowed wings and a broken pediment over the porch. The excellent historic garden covers 4.5 acres. Given a Category One in the 1980 Study of Historic Gardens the citation notes that 'More than any other garden in Victoria, this has retained the very elusive character of the nineteenth century...its clipped cypress hedge is probably the largest in Victoria'. The ornate aviary was made at Thompson's Foundry in Castlemaine.
In the 1980s it was bequeathed to the Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum. It is open from 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. daily. There is a cafe and guided tours are available by appointment only, tel: (03) 5472 1032.
Some More Historic Buildings
Turn left into Urquhart St then right into Bull St. Numbers 37, 39, 31 and 33 (1865) and 15 (1893) are all of interest.
Turn off Bull St into Barker St. To the right is Castlemaine North Primary School which is housed in a brick structure will belcote dating back to 1873.
Turn right into Hunter St then left into Hargraves St. On the Hall St corner is 'Barrington', built in 1866 for Judge Leech.
'Kaweka' and Kaweka Wildflower Reserve
A little further north on Hargraves St, to the right, is Kaweka Wildflower Reserve. There are a number of walking tracks . It was named after 'Kaweka' (1896), a private residence adjacent the reserve in Hargraves St (between Turner and Halford Sts) which was built for foundry owner and former mayor of Wellington, John Thompson.
Turn left into Halforth St, left into Barker St then right into Parker St. To the right is Thompson's Foundry which has been operating on this site since 1875. Cross the railway line and Parker becomes Walker St. To the immediate left is the former Woollen Mill (1875) which became a carpet factory after a major fire in 1981.
Castlemaine Botanical Gardens
Opposite are the town's Botanical Gardens which were established in 1856 on the site of some exhausted diggings on Barkers Creek. They are now recognised as one of Victoria's oldest public gardens. They were planned and supplied with the assistance of Baron von Mueller who was responsible for the laying out of the Botanical Gardens in Melbourne.
A number of the trees are so old and so important they have been listed on the National Trust's register. Of particular interest is a large English oak which was planted by the Duke of Edinburgh during a visit in 1867. The tree bears a plaque commemorating the event. It is now one of the oldest planted trees in the state. There is also an Indian bean tree which is the largest-known in the state. The Catalpa tree between the ornate main gates in Downes Rd (wrought locally in 1875 by the newly-opened Thompson's Foundry) and Lake Joanna which is quite beautiful when it blooms in spring. A rare Chinese weeping cypress grows in the northern section from seeds obtained by the Baron from China. Other plantings include elms, oaks, cedars, pines, eucalypts, kurrajongs, silky oaks, Bunya pines and an avenue of lime trees in the north-west corner.
At the corner of Walker St and Cornish St is the Bridge Hotel. The building, originally a store, dates from 1866. Cornish St leads to the Mt Alexander Hospital which was started in 1860 as the Benevolent Asylum.
Old Castlemaine Gaol
Now follow Cornish St to its southern end, turn right into Finch St and take the immediate left into Bowden St. Just past Edward St is the Old Castlemaine Gaol. Built of sandstone quarried nearby in 1860-61, it was decommissioned in 1990. The design consists of a central hall and radiating cell blocks. Today there is a fully-licensed restaurant and the old dungeon kitchen, still in its original condition, has been transformed into a bar which serves local wines. There are conference facilities and you can even spend the night in a cell if you desire as they offer affordable bunk-bed accommodation. Fully guided tours are conducted, tel: (03) 5770 5311.
Camp Reserve and Broadoaks
Drive along Edward St and turn right into Gingell St. To the left, near the Forest St corner, is Camp Reserve. Gold Commissioner Wright set up a large government camp here soon after the goldrush began. It employed 300 people and provided the impetus for the development of the town. Army units used the reserve as a parade ground. The entrance gates are in Forest St. There is a granite memorial cairn with an explanatory inscription.
'Broadoaks' is an early Gothic Revival residence located at 31 Gingell St, facing the reserve. It was the home of famed and ill-fated explorer Robert O'Hara Burke who was superintendent of police at Castlemaine from 1858 to 1860.
Victoria's Oldest Goldfields Building?
Goldsmiths Crescent runs south off Forest St, opposite Gingell St. Down here, to the right, is an historic red gum. The police used to chain prisoners to the tree when the local lock-up was crowded.
Opposite, set back from the street at 7 Goldsmiths Crescent is a single-storey, red-brick house with a timber verandah which was originally a courthouse (1852). The original shingles are still in evidence beneath the newer corrugated-iron roof. It is thought to be the oldest surviving building on any of the Victorian goldfields.
At the end of the crescent turn left into Yandell St which immediately reaches a T-intersection with Gaulton St. No. 24 was built in the 1860s as two cottages which have since been carefully merged. They were associated with a brewery that has since been demolished.
Walk south along Gaulton St. There is a bridge over Forest Creek. The original on this site was Castlemaine's first bridge. On a little knoll to the right, as one approaches Sheriff's Bridge, is a large red-brick house with white trimmings which served originally as the sheriff's house (1850s). It was one of three brick buildings erected for officials of the government camp which extended as far south as this point.
Cross the bridge, turn right into the highway. After 500 metres turn right into Elizabeth St. After 700 metres turn right into Ray St. At no. 60 Ray St is 'Ferndale Manor', a two-storey house with Georgian and Classical elements built in 1856 for magistrate George Isaacs.
Turn left into Farnsworth St. The Elizabethan home at no. 39 dates from 1866-69. Just past it, to the left, is the red-brick powder magazine (1856). Erected on a stone plinth it features buttresses and a vaulted brick ceiling under an iron roof. The sandstone cottage (1866) at no. 47 originally housed the caretaker.
Flour Mill and Greenhill Ave
Turn right into Forest St then right into Barker St. To the right, before the bridge, is a large red-brick building with sandstone corners which was built as a flour mill and used as a foundry during the construction of the railway. It was later used as a distillery by the Fitzgerald brothers as part of their Castlemaine Brewers' operations.
Continue across the bridge and take the first left into Greenhill Avenue. The streetscape is generally of interest here. There are miners' cottages and more substantial residences. At no.24, is 'Talerdigg', a single-storey Classical Revival brick villa built in 1869 and extended in 1881 and 1890. It features bay windows, a capacious encircling verandah, ornate iron lacework and fine gardens. Further on, beside the creek, is Castlemaine's oldest cottage. There was once a Joss House in this street but it has, unfortunately, been demolished.
Return along Greenhill Ave and turn left into the Midland Highway. You will soon cross over the railway arch (1862), bound for Campbells Creek. Once a separate village it is now effectively a suburb of Castlemaine.
Pastoralist William Campbell established the Strathloddon run in the area in 1840. After gold was discovered in 1851 a canvas-tent shanty town emerged . By 1853 it was estimated that 3000 people were living along Campbells Creek. There were numerous hotels, a brewery, houses of worship belonging to the Primitive Methodists and Presbyterians and a denominational school. By 1858 the roads had improved and stone and brick dwellings and stores had appeared. There was a huge corrugated iron store, a wooden wheelwright's shop, a drapery, a general store, the Phoenix Brewery, several hotels and some substantial brick dwellings.
In the second half of the 1850s a huge Chinese camp, estimated at over 3000 people (some sources say 6000), had emerged along Campbells Creek, between this point and Guildford. They gathered together for safety as hostility to the Chinese was overt and overwhelming and there were numerous local conflicts, some of considerable proportions. Calico tents were the main domiciles, lining narrow thoroughfares dotted with joss temples, tea-houses, tailors, apothecaries, gambling establishments, opium dens, herbalists, barbers etc. The Chinese tended to work, not so much as individuals, but in a type of co-operative, utilising a system of open-cast alluvial mining. Bucket dredging was employed early in the 20th century to extract the last remnants of gold. Orchards, vineyards, breweries and farms sustained the settlement after the goldrush era.
At the foot of Redfearn's Hill are two small gables cottages. 'Vermont Villa' (no.131), to the right, dates from 1861, and, on the other side of the road, 'Jubilee Cottage' (c.1860).
A little further along, on the left, is the former Standard Hotel which was built in 1854 as the Bath Arms. Its name was changed when it was purchased by the Standard Brewery in 1869. It is now Smith's Bazaar (47 Main Rd), tel: (03) 5472 4555 .
Just beyond, also to the left (at 61 Main Rd), is the two-storey verandahed facade of the Vine Hotel. It was rebuilt in 1876 after a fire damaged the original building which was constructed in 1857. The name was changed to the Vine Hotel in 1864 after the grape vines which grew on the property. It is now the Diggers' Store B & B, tel:(03) 5470 6500.
On the other side of the road is a gracious Federation house behind a picket fence. It originally belonged to the owner of the Campbells Creek's brewery which once stood behind the impressive home.
A little further along the highway are two former churches - the first (Methodist) dates from 1862 and is now a private Christian college while the second church is now an antique shop.
On the other side of the road, at no.90, is a wattle-and-daub building which was once a cordial factory.
On the same side of the road, a little further south, is the Rechabites Temperance Hall which bears a sign to that effect on its facade. Continuing south, just past the swimming pool, is the small old weatherboard shire hall.
The second right after Smith's Bazaar leads across the creek to a road which runs parallel to the highway. Here you will see the picturesque Castlemaine cemetery which was removed to this spot in 1853. On a slight knoll at the cemetery are a Chinese burning tower and lodge.
Back on the main road, and a little further south, are the Five Flags Hotel (1855) and the Five Flags Store which is older still. This area was known as Five Flags because of the many nationalities that worked the goldfields hereabouts.
Dry Diggings Track
The Dry Diggings Track is a 55-km walking route which winds its way around the old goldfields between Castlemaine and Daylesford, taking in Fryerstown, Vaughan, Mt Franklin and Hepburn Springs. It takes in many of the area's goldmining relics, as well as its plant communities and fauna types. A comprehensive guide map has been drawn up. Ring the Castlemaine Visitors' Centre for details, tel: (03) 5470 6200. This track represents one section of Victoria's Great Dividing Trail, a series of co-ordinated walks across the ranges and Central Highlands.
Diggings Heritage Project
A project which is being developed locally, and which will be ready to operate in the near future, is the Diggings Heritage Project. It is based upon a comprehensive guidebook to the region's goldmining heritage which outlines a network of four drive-walk heritage trails. They will incorporate historic buildings, goldmining gullies, bush graves, old miner's huts, rusting relics and a number of sites that are otherwise inaccessible to the public, including the Forest Creek Goldmine (1850s) and the old poppet head, shaft, winding house, changing rooms and crushers of the Wattle Gully Mine. Essentially a carload of people will pay a fee for the passbook, a quality souvenir brochure and the keys to various sealed attractions. Ring (03) 5472 3222 or (03) 5472 1110 for more information or an update on its readiness.
At Barkers Creek (5 km north-east of Castlemaine) a cairn marks the spot of the Specimen Gully gold find which sparked the 1851 rush to the Castlemaine district. The former Old England Hotel dates from c.1864.
The Dingo Farm, signposted from the highway between Castlemaine and Chewton, is open daily from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. It offers visitors a chance to get beyond the bad publicity surrounding Australia's only native dog. Effectively a dingo stud, the farm is aimed at keeping pure genetic strains going. The pups are sold (for high prices), tel: (03) 5472 3266.