Escape with VLine: A Day Trip to Bendigo and Castlemaine
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Escape with V/Line: A Day Trip to Bendigo and Castlemaine
Feel like exploring Victoria? How about a day trip that takes you to two fascinating destinations, costs less than ten dollars, and gets you back home the same day! Here's one of these amazing journeys from Southern Cross station on V/Line that lets you explore the very best of both Bendigo and Castlemaine.
Just the low low price of $6.70 on a weekend for a return trip. For those on a suitable concession, you get the same deal for only $3.35 - purchase them online at VLine Train Times and Tickets
(and of course, "prices and services subject to change")
A Morning in Bendigo
The train to Bendigo departs from Southern Cross at 7.01am, and gives you five enjoyable hours in this splendid town.
On arrival in beautiful Bendigo, it's best to start your day at the Bendigo Visitor Information Centre
at 51-67 Pall Mall in the old post office. This helpful centre is open every day from 9am to 5pm. It's a good place to grab some brochures and maps to plan out your morning.
A delightful option for morning tea or coffee nearby is The Boardwalk Bendigo
. Their menu includes a tempting range of sandwiches, salads, burgers and sweet treats on the waterfront of Lake Weerona. They are at 28 Nolan Street, and are open from 8am to 3.30pm on weekends (and from 7.30am on weekdays). It's a delightful place to watch the locals go by and settle into the charm of Bendigo. If you'd like to know more, give them a call on (03) 5443 9855.
Rosalind Park and Gardens
is also nearby and runs between Barnard Street and Pall Mall in the CBD. It is also bordered by several notable galleries and museums that include the grand Bendigo Art Gallery
. The park includes a conservatory, fernery, an extensive water feature, and amazing views of Bendigo from the Poppet Head lookout tower. This also lets you see the town in its entirety and get your bearings.
The Bendigo Botanic Gardens
at 557 Napier Street in White Hills are another gem, with scenic trails, a billabong, picnic tables, and a delightful cottage garden. White Hills is about five kilometres from the CBD, but the Route Number 5 bus only takes ten minutes to get there. The gardens are open from 7.30am to 6pm daily (and to 9pm in daylight savings time).
All that fresh air and walking probably made you hungry again, and if you're up for some spicy and delicious Thai Street Food and cuisine, then look no further than Bunja
at 32 Pall Mall Bendigo. They are open from 11am to 2.30pm weekdays (and then from 5pm to late Mondays to Saturdays), in a beautiful setting across from the park. Bunja offers a huge selection of entrees, soups, curries, stir fries, noodles, rice, and salads, at amazingly affordable prices. You can contact them on (03) 5441 8566 to hear more about their daily specials and find out more.
It's already been a packed day, but it's only just started. Head back to Bendigo Railway Station by 1.26pm, and after only a short journey, you get to enjoy four hours in historical Castlemaine.
An Afternoon in Castlemaine
To get a sense of the grand architecture and streetscapes, head down from Castlemaine Station to Templeton Street and take a right toward the grand Castlemaine Town Hall
at 25 Lyttleton Street. This is one of the many ornate and beautiful buildings that line the CBD streets of Castlemaine.
You already have so much to celebrate, and now that you are in the heart of the shopping district, it's a chance to grab some of the finest local and premium wines offered through the Castlemaine Central Wine Store
. This delightful shop is only a few doors down at 34 Lyttleton Street, and is open 10.30am everyday (except Sunday) and closes at 5.30pm Monday to Thursday, 6pm on Fridays, and at 2pm on Saturdays. They can be reached on (03) 5470 6487 or through email on [email protected]
. You'll find an astonishing range of locally produced wines and ciders, to take home or gift wrap.
Take your time and stroll through the rest of the shopping centre, to the delightful Castlemaine Botanic Gardens
. This extensive area includes a rotunda, small lake, public toilets, established trees, and a pretty fountain. This scenic setting provides the ideal place to wind down and reflect on your delightful day, before heading back to the Castlemaine train station (about 20 minutes walk).
Home for Dinner
This itinerary should give you ample time to board the 5.49pm train
to Southern Cross, and after a relaxing journey, you'll be home in magical Melbourne by 7.24pm.
Every point of the compass is a delight with so much to see this weekend. Bendigo and Castlemaine are just one of the many unbelievably cheap and fun journeys. For five more ideas, click here
. All you need to do is pick your destination, pre-book a ticket here
, and enjoy the ride.
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