BIG4 Castlemaine Gardens Holiday Park

Summer HoliDAZE!

Enjoy Golden Summer Days at BIG4 Castlemaine.

Castlemaine and Central Victoria have a special beauty in summer.  The warmth of the long sunshine days changes the colours and hues of the landscapes: there are faded greens, shades of browns and shimmering golds; the smell of eucalypt; crisp pale summer grasses; bright red and yellow roses in the town's gardens.  
Here at the park it's a wonderful time to sit back and simply enjoy: picnics under shady trees; a cooling swim; an early morning bushwalk; locally made gourmet ice cream for an afternoon treat; a pizza and movie night; sausages on the barbie; a lazy game of backyard cricket.  It's a time to relax and be with family and friends, especially after the year we've had. A time to create memories of the very best kind of summer holiday.
Here are just a few of our most favourite summer things to do, to help you start planning your summer escape right now.

Swimming

Swimming and summer go hand in hand. That's why we're so lucky to have Castlemaine's main outdoor pool right at our entrance. The 50-metre pool is open December to March and is perfect for a cooling swim after a day exploring the town and surrounding region. There's lovely seating under shady trees, ideal for relaxing or keeping an eye on the kids.  There are also outdoor swimming pools at nearby Chewton, Newstead and Harcourt, so you can enjoy a dip when you're out and about. And you can prove you're a local at heart by heading out to the "res" on Golden Point Road, just past Chewton, for a swim. A reservoir surrounded by beautiful bush, it's a popular place on a warm day! There's also swimming at Vaughn Springs and, a little further afield, at Cairn Curran Reservoir, about 10 kilometres west of Maldon. 

The Mill

This huge, extraordinary foodie and artisan precinct situated in a re-purposed 1870s woollen mill is just a stroll across the road from BIG4 Castlemaine. The Mill is your go-to for amazing meals, coffees, wines, beers and gourmet treats with vintage shopping, arts and crafts thrown in for good measure. Everything you want for holiday feasting is right here: fruit and veg, handcrafted sausages, smoked salmon, hams, and terrines, organic fresh cheese and dairy products, coffee, artisan breads, chocolates and ice cream. Just yum! So much on offer! Go have a look.

Gardens

The magnificent and historic 23-hectare  Castlemaine Botanical Gardens and Bushland Reserve is right next door to us. Enjoy walking and cycling, admire the lake, the birdlife and the garden beds with their summer roses, and let the kids loose in an award-winning play space.  Some days just take a picnic blanket and find a big shady tree to sit and daydream under.

Cafes

There's nothing nicer on a warm summer's day than sitting back in a funky cafe and letting someone else do the work. You'll be spoilt for choice in Castlemaine and surrounding towns - from brekkie classics to delicious lunch dishes featuring local produce, you'll quickly find a few favourites.  Refer to our dining guide when you book, or find more details in our Food and Wine Adventure feature on our website. 

Theatre Royal

This legend in the heart of Castlemaine  was built in 1855 and is the longest continuously running theatre on mainland Australia. Catch a latest release, enjoy the kids' summer blockbuster with the family, and stay on for a great pizza and a glass of first-rate local wine! Movie, food and gig guides can be found at www.theatreroyalcastlemaine.com.au.

Ice Cream

Of course Castlemaine makes its very own ice creams and of course it sells them from a shop window down at The Mill complex, just a few minutes' walk from us. Head to Ice Cream Social for a cooling and super-delicious afternoon treat, and be sure to bring a tub of your favourite back home to the park. 

Mt Alexander Regional Park

Located in North Harcourt, just 10 minutes drive away, this 1400 hectare park has stunning lookouts including the popular Dogs Rocks (fantastic rock-climbing!), walking tracks , and a picnic area. It's a great place to spot wildlife including  Eastern Grey Kangaroos and Black Wallabies and a range of birdlife.  Google Mt Alexander Regional Park for useful maps and more information.

Maldon

Head to this historic town just 15 minutes from Castlemaine and continue the outdoor, fresh-air adventures with the two-kilometre Anzac Hill walk and the Mt Tarrengower lookout, both delivering splendid scenery and views. Be sure to explore Maldon as well - there are heritage streetscapes and great cafes and pubs for a lunch. Make time to stop in at the famous Maldon Lolly Shop on High Street, open seven days from 10 am! Every old-fashioned sweet treat is on offer: fudge, liquorice, sherbets, boiled lollies, jellies and so much more. (Well, it is holidays after all!)  

Forest Creek Historic Gold Diggings, Chewton

This is an ideal starting point for exploring the  history of Castlemaine's vast Central Goldfields. A 400-metre track circles around an historic alluvial goldfield and detailed signboards along the way provide fascinating facts and information about the ancient Forest Creek river bed, the gold rush of the 1850's and 1860's, and the remnants  and relics of the structures and equipment left behind. Further information is available on the Parks Victoria website (look for castlemaine-diggings-national-heritage-park).

Castlemaine Maldon Trail

This 17.7 kilometre walking and cycling track runs alongside the historic Victorian Goldfields Railway and across scenic farm and bush lands and historic sites. It's certainly a different way of getting to Maldon! There are plenty of resting places along the way and you can arrange to return to Castlemaine on the steam train!  See www.bendigoregion.com.au/visit-castlemaine-maldon/castlemaine-to-maldon-trail for information.

Steam Train

If you don't want to walk or cycle to Maldon alongside the Victorian Goldfields Railway tracks, hop on the train! A journey on the beautiful and luxurious old steam train makes a very special family outing. (And remember, BIG4 Perks members enjoy discounted tickets).  www.vgr.com.au has all the details.

Vaughn Springs

Once a large gold rush township, this scenic destination about 20 minutes from Castlemaine is perfect for bushwalking and picnics. There's mineral spring taps to fill water bottles from, great climbing trees, picnic tables, swimming, and best of all as far as kids are concerned, a giant slide to play on!

Castlemaine Art Museum (CAM)

This gallery and museum on Lyttleton Street in the heart of Castlemaine is well worth a visit for an hour or two to have a look at the range of art and artefacts reflecting the history and social life of Castlemaine and the surrounding region. Great information and learning for the kids! Exhibition details and opening hours are available on the castlemaineartmuseum.org.au website.
There's a lot more to see and do - wineries to visit, Christmas markets to shop at, boutiques to browse and towns to explore! So come and chill out in Castlemaine this summer and see it all for yourself!  We're looking forward to welcoming you soon.

Video provided by Kingdeano Adventures
Contact - Summer HoliDAZE!

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