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Queen's Birthday Weekend getaway inspiration for the Victorian Goldfields

Posted 29/05/2021 in Things to do

Melville Caves Lookout, Brenanah VIC

Looking for some fresh inspiration for your Queen's Birthday weekend getaway? We've got you covered! Whether you're looking for waterfalls to explore, wild landscapes to discover, breathtaking views or remarkable historical sites, the Victorian Goldfields has plenty of options for your next multi-day adventure. Check out the following collection to discover some new ideas for your Queen's Birthday weekend away!

Explore the wild landscapes of Melville Caves and the Kingower State Forest

View from Melville Caves lookout in the Kooyoora State Park, Brenanah VIC

Set up camp in the Melville Caves Campground and spend a weekend exploring bushranger territory at Melville Caves, where 19th century bushranger, Captain Melville, reportedly used the area as a hideout and vantage point as he preyed on gold escorts below. The caves are formed beneath huge boulders which are staggered across the mountainside, and the views from the top are simply breathtaking.

Located within the Kooyoora State Park, the area offers scenic views and a series of interesting walks which set out from the campground, the caves, and the day visit picnic area below. 

While staying at Melville Caves, be sure to also head over to the nearby Kingower State Forest for a look. You can check out the discovery site of the world-famous Hand of Faith Gold Nugget, spend an afternoon gold prospecting, and if you have a four wheel drive you can drive up Bald Hills and take in the spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, fields and bushland. Bald Hills is a great vantage point to spot the resident wedge-tailed eagles who live and hunt in the bushland below.

Embark on an adventure through the Mount Alexander Regional Park

View from Lang's Lookout in the Mount Alexander Regional Park, Harcourt North VIC

Embark on an adventure across the stunning rocky outcrops of the Mount Alexander Regional Park! Experience breathtaking views and gorgeous scenery as you trek among the enormous granite boulders and across forested slopes, visiting multiple lookouts along the way.

Visitors can set up camp at the well equipped Leanganook Campground and set out on the West Ridge Walking Track, a four kilometre walk which connects Leanganook Campground with Dog Rocks, Shepherd's Flat Lookout and Lang's Lookout. If you begin the walk from the campground and head to Lang's Lookout, the walk is mostly uphill, but if you arrange to be dropped off at Lang's Lookout and then head to the campground, you will have a mostly downhill walk. 

Be sure to also check out the Mount Alexander Silk Worm Farm Ruins, and head down to wander through the beautiful Oak Forest which sits at the foot of Mount Alexander. 

Visit the many stunning waterfalls around Daylesford

Trentham Falls, Trentham VIC

Daylesford makes a great place to visit for a weekend while heading out to explore the many gorgeous waterfalls in the surrounding region. There are plenty of fantastic accommodation options in Daylesford, or you can set up camp in the scenic crater of an extinct volcano at nearby Mount Franklin

These waterfalls are all located within half an hour from Daylesford: 
  • Sailors Falls, 8 mins from Daylesford, 18 mins from Mount Franklin Campground
  • The Blowhole, 12 mins from Daylesford, 15 mins from Mount Franklin Campground
  • Loddon Falls, 15 mins from Daylesford, 21 mins from Mount Franklin Campground
  • Trentham Falls, 19 mins from Daylesford, 27 mins from Mount Franklin Campground
And these waterfalls are all located within 50 minutes from Daylesford:
  • Colbrook Reservoir, 33 mins from Daylesford, 43 mins from Mount Franklin Campground
  • Turpins Falls (check for closures), 37 mins from Daylesford, 43 mins from Mount Franklin Campground
  • Stanley Park Waterfall, 44 mins from Daylesford, 50 mins from Mount Franklin Campground
  • Lal Lal Falls, Moorabool Falls, Granite Falls, 49 mins from Daylesford, 1 hr from Mount Franklin Campground

Spend the weekend gold prospecting, bushwalking and exploring goldfields history in Whipstick and Bendigo

Notley Campground, Whipstick VIC

Set up camp at Notley Campground in the Greater Bendigo National Park and spend the weekend bushwalking, gold prospecting, and exploring the region's historic sites. 

The Old Tom Mine is located within walking distance from the campground, and you can head further afield to check out the Shadbolts Picnic Area, which is set on a historical eucalyptus distillery site, and Flagstaff Hill. 

Gold prospecting is permitted throughout most of the Greater Bendigo National Park. Take a look at this prospecting map from Parks Victoria to see which parts of the National Park are okay for prospecting. 

While staying at Notley Campground, be sure to take a day to head into Bendigo where there is plenty more gold mining history to explore:

Explore the historical sites, ruins and relics of Waanyarra

Mortons Welcome Inn, Waanyarra VIC

The Waanyarra Recreation Site is an excellent free campground within the Dunolly State Forest, which makes a great base to set up and spend the weekend exploring the fascinating historical sites, ruins and relics of Waanyarra. A large information sign stands alongside the campground's picnic area providing details and history of the area, and the Waanyarra Walk begins from here and takes you on a 7 km (2 hour) return walk over gentle hills on a well formed track.

Further back along Waanyarra Cemetery Road is the Waanyarra Historic Cemetery, which is definitely worth taking a look at, and you will also find several lone graves along the roadside, and another earlier burial ground in the bush right near the cemetery. 

Close by on Mortons Lane is Morton's Welcome Inn, a long abandoned stone building constructed in 1850 by convict Michael Morton, which served as a family home, provisions store and public bar for the local miners. A beautiful old Stone Crossing c1860 is just a little further down the road from the inn.

Mountain views, bushwalking and fishing in Bealiba

Views from atop Mount Bealiba, Bealiba VIC

The Bealiba Reservoir Recreation Area is a great water-side campground, surrounded by scenic forest and set beneath the beautiful Mount Bealiba

Mount Bealiba is a scenic lookout which offers stunning views over the surrounding mountains, forests and fields. The summit is adorned with impressive boulders, fallen logs and gnarled trees, giving the place a wild and untamed atmosphere. This is a fantastic place for children to explore, with so many rocks and logs to clamber over, and even a little cave beneath a cluster of boulders on the far side.

Settle in for a weekend of fishing and bushwalking around the reservoir, and be sure to head up the mountain at dusk as Mount Bealiba is an amazing place to watch the sun set!

Explore waterfalls and historical sites at Lal Lal near Ballarat

Granite Falls, Lal Lal VIC

Lal Lal is a beautiful little hamlet which hosts three gorgeous waterfalls, a charming historical railway station, and scenic forests filled with fascinating remnants of the area's rich mining history. Located just twenty minutes from Ballarat, Lal Lal makes a fantastic spot to spend the weekend exploring!

Set up camp at the Iron Mine and Blast Furnace and check out the site's informative walking tracks, blast furnace and remnants of iron mining, before heading out to explore Lal Lal's three gorgeous waterfalls - Lal Lal Falls, Moorabool Falls and Granite Falls.

While you're there, be sure to also go check out Lal Lal's beautiful old bluestone railway station as well as the heartbreaking Grave of the Shepherd's Daughter.

Discover fascinating ruins and relics of the gold rush in CASTLEMAINE AND SURROUNDS

1867 Miner's Cottage at Herons Reef Gold Diggings

During the gold rush, thousands upon thousands of people rushed to this area (then known as the Mount Alexander Diggings) seeking to strike their fortune on one of the richest shallow alluvial goldfields in the world! The region remains a popular destination for gold prospecting to this day, and is filled with fascinating ruins and remnants from the gold rush throughout the remarkable Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park. 

Set up camp at one of the many free campgrounds around Castlemaine and spend the weekend exploring the region's many fascinating ruins, relics and historical sites, including: 

Explore gold rush history, historic sites and box-ironbark forests around Maryborough

Discover all the amazing things to see and do around Maryborough VIC

Situated in the heart of the Victorian Goldfields, Maryborough is filled with grand 19th century architecture and surrounded by box-ironbark forests, gold mining history and a variety of beautiful historic townships. As well as visiting local cafes, restaurants, markets and nearby wineries, visitors can explore the region's gold rush history and pastoral roots through the area's many museums, galleries and historic sites.

This comprehensive online guide presents all the amazing things to see and do around Maryborough, including the region's best campgrounds, historical sites, and attractions.

Also of interest

Best campgrounds in the Victorian Goldfields

With many fantastic campgrounds located close to historical sites, natural treasures and scenic walks, camping is a great way to explore the Victorian Goldfields. Take a look through the following list to discover some of the best campgrounds throughout the region!

20 abandoned mines to explore in the Victorian Goldfields

The Victorian Goldfields is filled with fascinating ruins and relics, where abandoned mines, diggings, boilers, machinery foundations and gold puddlers are scattered in abundance throughout the region. We've gathered together this list of abandoned mine sites where you can safely explore and learn a bit about this remarkable aspect of our local heritage. 

20 remarkable places in the Victorian Goldfields

Over the past few years we've visited over 550 places across the Victorian Goldfields, taking photos and sharing them on Goldfields Guide for others to explore. My favourite spot changes all the time, as it seems every few weeks I come across something even more remarkable! I have gathered some of these favourites together to make this list, and believe me, it was definitely hard to narrow down just twenty amazing places. Take a look, I hope a few of these will inspire your next adventure in the Victorian Goldfields!

Local gold prospecting guides for the Victorian Goldfields

Are you looking to try your luck gold detecting, panning or sluicing in the Victorian Goldfields? People have been prospecting for gold in the Victorian Goldfields since the 19th century gold rush saw the entire state turned upside down with gold fever! Many of the world's largest alluvial gold nuggets were found in the area, and modern day prospectors continue to make significant gold discoveries throughout the region today. These handy online gold prospecting guides provide useful information on local spots for detecting, panning and sluicing, maps for the area, local gold shops and detector hire, free campgrounds nearby, and interesting gold mining history. 

Beautiful lookouts in the Victorian Goldfields

From iconic poppet head lookout towers to panoramic hillside views, there are so many stunning lookouts across the Victorian Goldfields. Discover new places where you can look down over waterfalls, mine sites and beautiful gold rush towns, as well as appreciate the gorgeous surrounding mountain ranges, forests and fields. We've gathered this huge collection of our favourite lookouts throughout the region! Check them out and get some fresh inspiration for your next day out.




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