Image: Forest Path | By Thirty Summers
Country Towns You Need To Visit
Looking for a weekend road trip or a potential permanent tree change? Are you interested in the arts, antiques and all things local? Then you need to visit Central Victoria. These former gold rush towns have plenty of stories to tell.
Image: Castlemaine in Central Victoria | By Thirty Summers
Jaara & Dja Dja Wurrong People
Central Victoria is Kulin Nation, this land belongs to the Dja Dja Wurrung or Jaara people. The land of the Dja Dja Wurrung takes in the catchment area for the Loddon, Campaspe and Avoca Rivers in the Riverine region of central/western Victoria. Bendigo is the largest city in Dja Dja Wurrung country. Other cities and towns are Castlemaine, Maldon, Clydesdale, Chewton, Wedderburn, St Arnaud, Maryborough, Boort, and Heathcote.
A complex system of 'totemism' is part of the Aboriginal lore that binds the people to the land, the individual to the tribe, the person to their own gender roles within the tribe and even to their future partner. Eagles (Bunjil), crows (waa) and bats are totemic animals that may never be killed or eaten by Jaara Jaara people. These animals are clan totems and form the basis of moiety arrangements designed to prevent inbreeding (so a member of the Crow moiety did not marry a Crow).
Totemism also created balance for all animals, simply because a single species could not be eaten by every member of the tribe and each person's hunting regime would vary so as to not over-hunt a single species.
The Djadjawurrung were bound to their land by their spiritual belief system deriving from the Dreaming, when mythic beings had created the world, the people and their culture. They were part of established trade networks which allowed goods and information to flow over substantial distances. The Tachylite deposits near Spring Hill and the Coliban River may have been important trade goods as stone artefacts from this material have been found around Victoria.
Hunting for large game was the man's role in providing for his family. Women (Larook) focused on gathering plant foods and smaller animals. The children learnt to track animals [echidnas, lizards and possums (bun-nar)] from a young age (2-3) along with where to find, collect and prepare plants that have edible parts [yam daisy (murnong), wattle seeds and native cherry]. These and other plant and animal food sources can be found throughout the bushland in this region.
Image: Castlemaine Township | By Lesley A Butler
Colloquially known as “Northcote North” this town has a thriving arts scene, cheaper housing prices and is only 90 minutes north of Melbourne. It's a magnet for artists, musicians and writers, relocating to scoop up there own piece of real estate gold.
This time of year is perfect for visiting with the beginnings of the beautiful autumn displays. The town is in prime holiday region with Daylesford, Hepburn Springs and Bendigo only a 30 minute away. And don't worry, you won't have to sacrifice your staple morning coffee, as there is plenty of that here too!
Image: Castlemaine Streets | By Thirty Summers
With a powerful sense of community this town is rocking. The surrounding landscape is full of high quality produce which feature in many of the towns cafes and restaurants. Castlemaine's creative hub The Mill is a must see, the restored woollen mill houses vintage stalls and upcycled goods, fresh produce, a bakery, coffee house, ice cream scoopery, and Shedshaker Brewing's tap room. It's got everything we love about Melbourne with a small town feel.
This place is full all things vintage, from it's cinema 'Theatre Royal' (which is the longest running on the mainland!), art galleries and museums, markets, shops full of rare retro finds, to the buildings and gold diggings themselves, this town is a treasure trove.
Image: Castlemaine Old Arches | By Alistair Kennedy
Images: Vegetables at the local Farmers Marl | By Alistair Kennedy
Image: Morning light trees Chewton | By Mark Button
Chewton is located only 10 minutes from Castlemaine and surrounded by the historic gold mining diggings. This town is a popular choice for those looking for an alternative choice to the larger towns in the area. This quiet open minded community has a large number of residents living in off-the-grid dwellings in the Chewton bushlands.
The town still has a number of historic buildings in it's Main Street, the Pyrenees Highway. They are a reminder of the wealth that the gold rush brought to this town in the 1800's. The Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage park has the remains of the Garfield Water Wheel which is a lasting relic of industry which developed in Chewton during these times.
Image: Chewton Town Hall | By Fridda1
The Chewton House is a new project in early production stages in our studio. Its based on the simplicity of our 'Marlo 03'. A functional and stylish design with heart. This home was unique in that it has a BAL rating of 40, which means special considerations have been under taken to ensure this home is compliant to regulations and has a higher tolerance against potential bushfires.
Materials such as timber look battens and corrugated steel have been selected to clad the building for the rural aesthetic and durability, two water tanks will also be stationed on the property for sustainability and bushfire requirements. The homes pergola and decking will maximise indoor outdoor living, shade protection and provide a growing platform for native plants.
This four bedroom home is rural simplicity at it's best, easily accommodating a family with room to spare. There is a master suite, complete with ensuite and built in robes, along with 3 other double bedrooms which also have plenty of storage. The open plan living, dining and kitchen area encourages family bonding with a large island benchtop which is centrally located between the zones. The entertainment deck is situated adjacent to the living, allowing for excellent interaction between the two spaces through large glazed doors.
With much more to come we are excited to continue this journey with our wonderful clients as we finalise interiors and move into the construction stage. Keep an eye out for further updates!
Clydesdale is a small town with plenty of land on offer. Part of the Shire of Hepburn, this area is located in the middle of spa country and antique hunting grounds. With a small population and close proximity to a wide variety of attractions (thanks to it's convenient location between both Daylesford and Castlemaine) the ample space and rural, rugged landscape is sure to delight.
Our Clydesdale House is the quintessential Aussie getaway, comprises two separate quarters – the main house and a guest pod - perfect for an Airbnb accommodation or visiting family. The home was designed to capture the views surrounding environment, with a simple yet elegant elongated shape with a curved edge on one end and expansive glazing to submerge it's occupants amongst the land, this home respects its rural setting.
Clydesdale House is an excellent example of how passive design can achieve a high degree of comfort in harsh conditions that country properties occasionally endure. The correctly oriented quarters enable cross ventilation to the positioning of the guest pod so it doubles as a shading device for the main house. By utilising sustainable materials and construction methods this ensures the home will have a long-term minimal environmental impact.
Image: Maldon Landscape | By Thirty Summers
With a population of 1,500 and vast array of historic buildings through it's main street Maldon has been perfectly preserved. Many of the impressive buildings have since been converted into cafes, galleries and antiques shops. This town is charming with a streetscape which looks like it hasn't changed since it's gold mining days. Maldon is surrounded by a historic reserve which contains forests and relics of it's mining days past.
The township and surrounding forests are abound with remnants of gold, beautiful seasonal wildflowers and comfortable historic and scenic walking trails. To see the region in it's full glory it is recommended to enjoy the views from Anzac Hill. Mount Tarrengower also has panoramic views of the surrounding region which best seen from the lookout tower at sunrise or sunset.
Image: Mount Tarrengower Lookout | By Ken O'Toole
Image: Maldon Old Sign | By Peter Bond
Maldon has a variety of activities to indulge in such as local markets, fairs and the Victorian Goldfields Railway. A popular annual Folk Festival is also held. This event runs for four days over the Melbourne Cup weekend, where local venues - including pubs, churches, cafes and halls also play host to an array of music acts.
For further home inspiration, check out our Smart Designs page to see even more options.
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