1. Beleura House & Garden
Beleura is a state-listed 19th century heritage house, garden and recital centre and was the summer home of Sir George Tallis and his family. Sir George was involved with J.C. Williamson's theatre company from the late 1800s until 1937, as well as the planning of Dame Nellie Melba's opera season in 1911. Beleura's music pavilion houses the first ever nine-octave piano, and attracts some of Australia's finest musicians for concerts.
2. Buda Historic Home & Garden
For a visual feast visit Castlemaine's Buda Historic Home and Garden, the home of the noted silversmith Ernest Leviny and his family from 1863 until the 1970s. It contains the family's art and craft collections, furnishings and knick-knacks. The house is surrounded by pristine 19th-century gardens and a museum featuring works by prominent Australian artists including Margaret Preston, M. J. MacNally, Ursula Ridley Walker and Lionel Lindsay.
3. Byramine Homestead and Brewery
Byramine Homestead and Brewery was built in 1842 by the famous explorer Hamilton Hume. Its octagonal rooms aren't just for the climate, they were also for security, as the homestead was often under attack from bushrangers. Take a tour of the homestead and wander through the gardens, among the oldest elm trees in Victoria. You'll see why Byramine has been classified by the National Trust 'to be preserved at all costs'.
4. Cruden Farm
Less than an hour from Melbourne you'll find Cruden Farm, a beautiful public garden and working farm in Langwarrin. Wind down the windows as you enter via the main driveway, lined with more than 100 lemon-scented gum trees. Stroll across emerald lawns and take in the colours of flowering shrubs and perennials. The garden changes dramatically with each season, so this is one you'll want to come back to again and again.