I'm a Victorian freelance writer & photographer living in the Macedon Ranges north of Melbourne.
Queen's Birthday Wine Weekend
Can you imagine a better way to spend the Queen's Birthday Long Weekend than in a quintessential Australian country town, which just happens to be celebrating all that's good about that town, its people and its produce?
Heathcote On Show does just that, showcasing the rebirth of this historic little town which came into being on the back of the 19th Century Victorian gold rush, teetered on the edge of extinction when the gold ran out, reinvented itself as a centre for various agricultural pursuits and today lends its name to the Heathcote Wine Region, renowned as one of the world's great producers of, among other wines, Shiraz.
Right in the heart of town Heathcote Winery will be at the forefront of the Heathcote on Show festivities. Photo: Copyright Ian Gill / Footloose Media
Over the Queen's Birthday Long Weekend Heathcote On Show will present a huge array of events including wine tastings, craft breweries, masterclasses, food & entertainment and 26 cellar doors open throughout the region.
Participating wineries include Heathcote Winery, Merindoc, Mia Valley Estate, Ida View Estate and Sanguine Estate, far too many to list in full here so be sure to check the website www.heathcoteonshow.com.au for a complete list of participants and easy to follow maps of the Heathcote Wine Region.
Heathcote Wine Hub has an amazing display of local wines and expert help on hand to assist you with your purchases. Photo: Copyright Ian Gill / Footloose Media
Visitors to Heathcote On Show will have the opportunity to win a dozen bottles of local wine simply by completing a short visitors survey and returning it to the Visitor Information Centre.
Buses will operate between Bendigo and Heathcote on both Saturday and Sunday. Tickets cost $25. For bookings contact the Bendigo Visitor Centre at 51 – 67 Pall Mall, Bendigo or telephone 1800 813 153.
You know you're in wine country when the local kids play gym takes the shape of a monster wine barrel. Photo: Copyright Ian Gill / Footloose Media
Shuttle bus services will operate three different routes to participating Cellar Doors on Sunday departing from Heathcote Visitor Information Centre. Tickets cost $25 and are valid for a single day only. Bookings, route details and ticketing are available from Bendigo Visitor Centre at 51 – 67 Pall Mall, Bendigo or telephone 1800 813 153.
Visitors to Heathcote On Show won't go hungry with High Street, reputed to be the longest main street in regional Victoria, boasting a variety of restaurants, cafes, pubs and tasting venues, all serving up great food & drink.
So if you're at a loose-end or undecided about what to do this Queen's Birthday Long Weekend, you could do much worse than take the family to Heathcote and enjoy some first-class country hospitality sampling some of the world-class produce the region has to offer.
The Heathcote Wine Hub is just one of several tasting rooms located on Heathcote's main street. Photo: Copyright Ian Gill / Footloose Media
Getting There …..
Heathcote is 123 Kilometres north of Melbourne, a comfortable drive of just less than 2 hours via the Hume Freeway and Northern Highway or via the Calder Freeway to Kyneton and then the Kyneton – Heathcote Road.
An interesting alternative route is via Lancefield and the Burke & Wills Track through the Cobaw Hills wine district.
Don't miss Heathcote On Show over the Queen's Birthday Long Weekend Saturday 8th to Monday 10th June. Photo: Copyright Ian Gill / Footloose Media