Satellite town with historic attractions and wineries
Sunbury is located 214 metres above sea-level and 41 km north-west of Melbourne on Jacksons Creek, in an area given over to agriculture, grazing and dairying, although, since the mid-1960s, Sunbury has increasingly become a dormitory satellite for those who work in Melbourne.

The area was once occupied by the Wurundjeri people. The first European settler was George Evans who established the Emu Bottom sheep station in 1836. His homestead, built that year, still forms the basis for the present Emu Bottom homestead, making it probably the oldest extant homestead in Victoria.

The Sunbury Hotel, named after Sunbury-on-Thames in Middlesex, was built in 1851 on the gold route to Bendigo in an area then known as Koora Kooracup. The townsite was surveyed later that year. The railway line arrived in 1859 and local government was granted in 1866. At that time Sunbury was something of a wine-producing centre with eight vineyards, including Goona Warra and Craiglee which have both been re-established in recent years.

The Dilkara Arts Festival is held at the Boilerhouse Arts Centre in February, the Sunbury Fair in March, the Arts Society Exhibition in May, the Sip-n-Sup Wine Festival on the last Sunday in August, the Agricultural Show in August and a craft market on the first Saturday of the month from February to December at the corner of Gap Rd and Elizabeth Drive.

Things to see:

Tourist Information
The old courthouse (1885) at 43 Macedon St is now the local tourist information centre, tel: (03) 9744 2291.

'Rupertswood' is a two-storey 50-room mansion featuring mixed elements such as an unusual 30-metre tower replete with Gothic detailing, outstanding stained-glass windows, a courtyard and a ballroom.

The mansion was built in 1874 for landowner, stud-breeder and philanthropist Sir William Clarke whose father, reputed to be the richest man in the country, introduced the Leicester breed of sheep into Australia. The whole is set amidst extensive gardens on the run chosen for William Clarke Sr by the Jackson brothers who accompanied George Evans on his search for sheep pasturage in 1836. The estate once had its own railway siding and Sir William maintained the Rupertswood Battery of Horse Artillery on the estate for many years. The lodge and gates are exceptionally elaborate. These buildings are located in Macedon St and they are now a function centre. Guided group tours are available but only if pre-booked, tel: (03) 9744 2467. There are also open days once a year, although the date varies, tel: (03) 9740 5020.

Adjacent the mansion is the oval upon which, it could be argued, the first Ashes cricket match occurred. The history of the Ashes records that when Australia won against England at the Oval in 1882 The London Times announced the death of English cricket and declared that 'The body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia'. When an English team was touring Australia shortly after this announcement one of the tour matches was held on the Rupertswood Oval. When Australia won Lady Janet Clarke had one of her servants burn a bail - or some bails - and presented the ashes to the English captain, Ivo Bligh, in a velvet bag. In the 1920s, Bligh's widow presented them to the MCC who placed them in an urn where they are still kept at Lords as The Ashes.

Craiglee Vineyard is situated in a large bluestone building which was erected in 1868 as part of the original winery which was established in 1863 on the banks of Jacksons Creek (it was re-established in 1976). The cellar door offers shiraz, chardonnay and sparkling burgundy and it is open Sundays from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. or by appointment, tel: (03) 9744 4489 or (0412) 941 927. Craiglee is located in Sunbury Rd.

Goona Warra
Opposite Craiglee, on Sunbury Rd, is Goona Warra, an historic vineyard founded in 1863 by the early Victorian premier, James Goodall Francis The vineyard  was replanted in 1983 and now produces chardonnay, semillon, pinot noir and cabernet franc. The magnificent bluestone winery with Cellar and Great Hall, has been restored to house Cellar Door, Sunday Lunch (with seasonal a la carte menu) and weddings and private functions by appointment. It is open daily from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m., Saturdays from 12 noon tel: (03) 9740 7766.

11 km south-east, en route from Sunbury to Melbourne, is Bulla. When you get to the large roundabout turn right. Wildwood Winery, established in 1983, is in St Johns Lane (off Wildwood Road). It produces cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, viognier, shiraz, pinot noir, merlot and cabernet franc and is open from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. daily, tel: (03) 9307 1118. There is a picnic area with barbecue facilities.

Olde Winilba Vineyard
At 150 Vineyard Rd in Sunbury is Olde Winilba which was the first vineyard established in the Sunbury region in the early 1860s. It is based around an historic bluestone winery where you can purchase riesling, chardonnay, semillon, semillon sauvignon blanc, cabernet, shiraz, cabernet shiraz, pinot noir and pinot shiraz. There is also a restaurant. The complex is open weekends and public holidays from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. or by appointment, tel: (03) 9740 9703 or (03) 9740 1537.

Diggers Rest Vineyard
Nearby, in Vineyard Rd, is Diggers Rest Vineyard, established in 1987. It produces shiraz, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir and is open from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. weekends and public holidays, tel: (03) 9740 1660.

If you head north of Sunbury along the Sunbury-Riddells Creek Road for about 5 km and turn left into Dalrymple Rd you will find, at no.250, Ray-Monde which was established in 1988. It specialises in a pinot noir and is open Sundays by appointment, tel: (03) 5427 2777.

Longview Creek
8 km north of Sunbury along the Riddells Creek Rd turn right into Palmer Rd. 2 km along Palmer Rd, at no.150, is Longview Creek which produces chenin blanc, charango, chardonnay, pinot noir and shiraz. The cellar door is open from 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. on Sunday only, tel: (03) 9744 1050. Picnic and barbecue facilities are available and a ploughman's platter by arrangement.

Mt Charlie Winery
13 km north of Sunbury, via the Riddells Creek Rd, is Riddells Creek. Turn right here headed north-east towards Monegeeta. About 4 or 5 km along is Mt Charlie Rd which heads off to the left. It leads to Mt Charlie Winery, on the southern slopes of the Macedon Ranges, which produces chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and a cabernet-shiraz-merlot. It is open by appointment, tel: (03) 9344 5846 or (03) 5428 6946.

Emu Bottom
'Emu Bottom' homestead is a vernacular stone structure begun in 1836 by the original European settler George Evans, making it probably the state's oldest homestead still in existence. This L-shaped structure was restored around 1970 but badly damaged by fire in 1980 and restored once again. It is located in Racecourse Rd and is now a function centre although it is open for Sunday lunches and for Saturday evening meals for those who have booked, tel: (03) 9744 1222.

'Priorswood', at 96-104 Station St, was built of polychrome brickwork and slate in 1878 for the Anglican Church. It features Gothic elements such as the ornate chimneys and gables.

The twin-span bluestone arch bridge over Jackson's Creek, on the former Sunbury Rd, was built c.1870.

Sunbury Tourist Information Centre
43 Macedon St
Sunbury VIC 3429
Telephone: (03) 9744 2291

Midtown Motel
27 Station St
Sunbury VIC 3429
Telephone: (03) 9744 5666
Rating: **

Ballcourt Hotel
Macedon St
Sunbury VIC 3429
Telephone: (03) 9744 1310

Olive Tree Hotel
Evans St
Sunbury VIC 3429
Telephone: (03) 9740 8033

Royal Hotel
Evans St
Sunbury VIC 3429
Telephone: (03) 9744 1550

The Bluegum Suite Guesthouse
6 O'Malley Crt
Sunbury VIC 3429
Telephone: (03) 9744 3172

Capo's Cucina & Bar
Brook St
Sunbury VIC 3429
Telephone: (03) 9740 5097

Emu Bottom Homestead Restaurant
Racecourse Rd
Sunbury VIC 3429
Telephone: (03) 9744 1222

Flag Of India
O¹Shannassy St
Sunbury VIC 3429
Telephone: (03) 9740 7366

Golden Emperor Chinese Restaurant
Evans St
Sunbury VIC 3429
Telephone: (03) 9744 6007

Kim Ling Chinese Restaurant
O'Shannassy St
Sunbury VIC 3429
Telephone: (03) 9744 5272

Pizzeria Arena
O'Shannassy St
Sunbury VIC 3429
Telephone: (03) 9744 4817

Rupertswood Tearooms
Macedon St
Sunbury VIC 3429
Telephone: (03) 9740 6611

Steer & Anchor Licensed Restaurant
Evans St
Sunbury VIC 3429
Telephone: (03) 9744 6019

Thai Hut Restaurant
Brook St
Sunbury VIC 3429
Telephone: (03) 9744 7337