The town's information centre is located at the corner of High and Barrack Sts. It is open from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. daily, tel: (03) 5433 3121.
McIvor Range Reserve
From the information centre you can walk along Barrack St past Lions Park and the swimming pool, over McIvor Creek (a good fishing spot). Take the signposted right turn past Queens Meadow (where you will find a caravan park in a forest setting) and the Valley of the Liquidambers to the reserve.
Within Range Reserve is the old powder magazine which was built in 1864 to store gunpowder used in gold mining and quarrying. The fine stonework is a notable feature and it is considered a rare example of its type.
A track leads past the powder magazine to Viewing Rock, a rocky outcrop which offers expansive views of the town and area. A more direct but arduous route is past the Scout Hall.
Another track in the reserve leads to Devil's Cave, occupied by prospectors as far back as 1864. It leads up a gentle incline through a forest. The route is signposted from the Valley of the Liquidambers. There are some good views of the town en route and wildflowers in season.
Camp Hill Gaol
The town's original gaol was built in 1853 but a breakout in 1859 led the commissioner of police to order a new structure and Camp Hill Gaol (1861) was the result. It is located opposite the corner of Barrack and Hospital Sts.
Adjacent is the hospital. The original section was built of sandstone in 1859.
Pink Cliffs Rd runs off Hospital St. It leads past deep canyons and gorges which were created by sluice mining in the gold days. The colours of the cliffs range from bright pink to yellow and golden ochre. There are a number of paths through the reserve and a picnic area.
Mount Ida Lookout
At the northern edge of town the Northern Highway branches off to the right, heading north to Elmore. Along here is a signpost directing you along a good gravel road to the Mt Ida Lookout (450 m) which offers excellent views of the district.
Where the Northern Highway branches off, the main road continues north-west to Bendigo as the McIvor Highway which leads right by the eastern shore of Lake Eppalock, the state's fourth-largest reservoir with a dam wall measuring 700 m long and 50 m high. Eppalock was built for irrigation and flood-control purposes and has been developed as a recreation area. The Moorabbee Foreshore Rd offers fine views of the Derrinal Pool which is popular with anglers, swimmers, yachting enthusiasts and power-boaters. There is a boat ramp as well as toilets and dressing sheds.
On the Mia Mia-Lancefield Rd, west of town, is a memorial which commemorates the occasion in 1910 when the Duigan brothers built and flew the first Australian-made aircraft.
Heathcote Winery, established in 1978, is located at the northern end of town (185 High St). It produces viognier, chardonnay, shiraz and the Seventh Horse Range and is housed in an old Cobb & Co coaching house and miner's store (c.1850s). The cellar door is open from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. Thursday to Sunday, tel: (03) 5433 2595.
Head north along the highway for another 5 km then turn left into Drummonds Lane. Along here is Jasper Hill which was established in 1975. It produces shiraz and riesling and is open on weekends from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m., between August and October, when the wines are released. At other times ring before making a visit, tel: (03) 5433 2528.
Wild Duck Creek Estate
Wild Duck Creek Estate is located 5 km west of town in Spring Flat Rd. It produces a cabernet bordeaux blend, a shiraz and a merlot and the cellar door is open from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. on weekends and, with prior arrangement, on weekdays, tel: (03) 5433 3133.
Eppalock Ridge Vineyards, established in 1976, is located west of Heathcote near Lake Eppalock in North Redesdale Rd (on the Coliban River). It produces rich, full-flavoured red wines and is open from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. daily but be sure to ring first (a) to make sure they know you're coming and (b) to obtain directions, tel: (03) 5425 3135.
Osicka Wines, established in 1955, is noted for its award-winning reds and port. It is 24 km east off the Heathcote-Nagambie Rd and is open from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. every day but Sunday when the hours are 12.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m., tel: (03) 5794 9235.
Munari Wines, established in 1992, is 13 km north of Heathcote at the corner of the Northern Highway and Schoolhouse Lane. It produces shiraz, a cabernet blend, chardonnay, riesling and traminer. The cellar door is open from 10.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. weekends and, by appointment, on weekdays, tel: (03) 5433 3366.
Further north, at 290 Cornella Road, Toolleen, is Barnadown Run which produces six varieties of red and white wine. It is open weekends from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and, by appointment, from Tuesday to Friday, tel: (015) 321 404.