Touring the Goldfields, The Murray and the Grampians
About 960 kilometres, plus the Silo Art Trail
Dine in at renowned regional restaurants, explore the historic towns of the Goldfields and stretch your legs in the Grampians National Park, or at stunning Lake Tyrrell. This five-day getaway will take you through the Goldfields region, right up to the banks of the mighty Murray River, stopping at Echuca and Swan Hill. Cruise on to explore the regional town of Sea Lake and spend a night at pop-up luxury accommodation pod the Silo Art Hotel, before you begin your journey along the Silo Art Trail, Australia's largest outdoor gallery. Finish your journey in the Grampians, as you drop into the world-renowned wineries of Great Western to sample their award-winning wine.
Day one – Melbourne to Bendigo, via Castlemaine
Jump in your car and drive to Castlemaine. Stop in for a filling breakfast at Johnny Bakers Drive Thru, a local bakery serving up coffee, pastries, cakes and delicious pies. Travel up the road to Harcourt Produce and General Store, to load up on local produce. Grab a bottle of wine to share later with your designated driver.
Continue your journey to Bendigo, in the heart of Victoria's Goldfields. Along with its beautiful heritage streets and strong arts scene, Bendigo is a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, the first of its kind in Australia. Grab a coffee from El Gordo and take a wander through Chancery Lane, which offers an eclectic mix of fashion boutiques, eateries and street art.
Settle in for a delicious lunch at either Hoo Gah, a cool urban cafe on Mitchell Street, or micro roastery Old Green Bean.
Once you're sufficient filled and fueled up, walk over to Bendigo's Art Gallery, one of Victoria's finest regional art galleries, to check out the current, world-class exhibition. From there, head along View Street, to shop its range of boutique stores, offering antiques, vintage clothing, creative homewares, artisan products and indie labels. Or, take advantage of good weather and stroll down to Rosalind Park. Time your visit with spring to see 45,000 colourful tulips lining the park.
Urban exploring is thirsty work. Stop in at Ms Batterhams, a recently restored basement turned speakeasy lounge for a cocktail, or two. Alternatively, head back to Chancery Lane for a drink at the Dispensary, an intimate bar and diner reminiscent of European gastrobars.
Enjoy a delicious degustation at Masons of Bendigo, or order an expertly chargrilled steak at the Woodhouse. Call in advance to book, to avoid disappointment on the day.
Sufficiently fed and watered, head on back to Balgownie Estate, to spend a restful night's sleep in one of their luxury glamping tents.
HighlightsJohnny Bakers Drive ThruCafesJohnny Bakers Drive Thru is a bakery with an open kitchen serving great coffee, pastries, cakes and pies.It sits at the rear of a restored local hotel...The Woodhouse RestaurantRestaurantsSmell the delicious smokiness of Bendigo’s only redgum chargrill from the minute you step through the doors of The Woodhouse.Executive chef/owner Paul...Masons of BendigoRestaurantsGet a taste for central Victoria's finest produce, paddock-to-plate dining and local wines, beer and cider at sophisticated Masons of Bendigo.Chancery LaneShoppingAn eclectic mix of food, fashion and art has awakened one of Bendigo’s most endearing laneways.This little charmer was once known as Dispensary Lane in...Bendigo Art GalleryArt galleriesStop by the Bendigo Art Gallery and see works by contemporary Australian artists including Patricia Piccinini, Tracey Moffatt and Bill Henson.Rosalind ParkParks & gardensExplore the beautiful old gardens, historic conservatory, fernery, playground and 60 acres of open spaces in Rosalind Park, in the centre of Bendigo.El GordoCafesLive large with breakfast, lunch and serious coffee at El Gordo (the Fat One), Chancery Lane's Spanish and Southern European inspired cafe and art space.Balgownie Estate - BendigoWineriesOnly 10 minutes from Bendigo City Centre, sits Balgownie Estate - Bendigo . Balgownie Estate is Bendigo's oldest winery offering luxury glamping tents,...
Day two – Bendigo to Echuca-Moama
Wake up to the sight of the morning sun spreading out across Balgownie's verdant vineyards. Pack up and head back into Bendigo for brekky, at Harvest Food and Wine. Order a gourmet sandwich or croissant, and grab some snacks from their deli to enjoy on the road.
Say goodbye to Bendigo and travel on to Echuca. Learn about the town's local history at the Port of Echuca Discovery Centre, located on the banks of the mighty Murray River. Drop into Johnny & Lyle's for lunch. Named after the two business owner' fathers, this cafe sources fresh ingredients for its menu and roasts its own coffee on site.
Arrive at Murray River Paddlesteamers at 1:15pm, to board the PS Emmylou for a two hour cruise along the river. Enjoy a drink from the fully licensed bar, as you take in the surrounding sights.
Stretch out your sea legs with a forest walk through Banyule State Forest, and grab a bottle of the perfect plonk at St Anne's Winery cellar door in the Port of Echuca.
Cap off the day with dinner at The Mill. Built in 1881, this former flour mill now operates as a restaurant bar, and serves up a distinctly Australian menu. Opt for the kangaroo fillet, or order the Murray cod, and round things out with Vegemite flavoured macarons for dessert.
Roll on to your accommodation. Moama on the Murray offer self-contained villas with views out to nearby lakes and bushland. You can continue your glamping adventure at Talo Retreat, where you'll spend the night in an eco-friendly yurt, surrounded by native flora and fauna.
HighlightsPort of Echuca Discovery CentreHistory & heritageThe Port of Echuca Discovery Centre invites you to come walk the path of Echuca's river pioneers. A visit will allow you to explore the legend of Australia's...Murray River Paddlesteamers EchucaTour operatorMurray River Paddlesteamers operate from the Port of Echuca located just 2.5 hours drive from Melbourne's CBD. The company operates the iconic PS Emmylou,...Moama on Murray ResortResortsMoama on Murray Resort is set on 82 acres of native Australian bushland and surrounded by the magnificent mighty Murray River. The resort offers one,...The Mill EchucaRestaurantsIn the heart of Echuca, this iconic landmark offers the perfect, unique, and exclusive restaurant to enjoy beautiful dining with family and friends.The...Talo RetreatRetreats & lodgesTalo Retreat has been created within a natural clearing amongs 82 acres of bushland that forms Moama on Murray Resort and offers a unique 'glamping' experience...
Day three – Echuca-Moama to Sea Lake, via Swan Hill
Start your day with breakfast at plant-based cafe The Sweet Meadow, and have a final walk around Echuca's city centre before you hop back in your car.
Head towards Swan Hill, a border-town nestled on the banks of the Murray. Fuel up on coffee and a homemade treat at Boo's Place Cafe & Provedore. Continue on to open-air museum Pioneer Settlement, for an insight into life on the Murray in the 19th and early 20th century. Stock up on lollies from the General Store, watch blacksmiths hard at work, or settle in for a Devonshire Tea at The Paragon Cafe.
Take lunch right next door at Spoons Restaurant. Watch the river float by from inside their ambient dining room, or grab a table outside on their expansive deck.
Continue on to the town of Sea Lake. Make sure you catch a glimpse and maybe a photo or two of the Giant Murray Cod as you leave Swan Hill.
Grab an early dinner at the Royal Hotel, before jumping on a sunset Sea Lake Tyrrell Tour. The 120,000 year old salt lake's reflective surface offers amazing views at any time of the day or night. Paired with an epic Wimmera-Mallee sunset, it makes for a truly spectacular sight.
Head back to Sea Lake to check in to Lake Tyrrell Accommodation or Sea Lake Motel — or try to snaffle a spot in the luxurious and creative pop-up Silo Art Hotel between 11 June and 12 July 2021.
HighlightsThe Sweet MeadowCafesNourish your body at this vegan cafe in Echuca. Choose from a seasonally inspired menu of plant-based meals, superfood smoothies and raw desserts.Boo's Place Cafe & ProvedoreCafesBoo's Place Cafe & Provedore is a beautiful little cafe in Swan Hill, owned by passionate local chef Rebecca Hart and her team.They serve breakfast, lunch...Pioneer SettlementHistory & heritageTake a journey back in time and experience Australian history up close at the Pioneer Settlement, located on the banks of the Marraboor River.Spoons RiversideRestaurantsSettle in for top-notch seasonal and local produce, regional wines and a charming Little Murray River backdrop – yes, that includes paddle steamers.Lake TyrrellLakes & waterwaysLooking for an authentic outback adventure with a difference? This 120,000 year old lake is one of the best places in Australia for star navigation.Royal Hotel Sea LakePubsAfter being purchased by a group of locals, The Royal Hotel Sea Lake has been beautifully restored back to its former glory.Come for a drink in the main...Silo Art HotelHotelsBook your stay in one of two designer popup hotel pods on the Silo Art Trail. It's the perfect base camp for you to explore the region's epic art and landscapes.
Day four – Sea Lake to Halls Gap, via the Silo Art Trail
(Approx. 700km, allow around 7 hours to complete the trail )
Enjoy a complimentary breakfast at the Silo Art Hotel, before you pack up and head off to see the rest of the Silo Art Trail.
Begin at Sea Lake's own silo art, the newest addition to the trail. Travel from town to town, to see the giant, vibrant murals in Nullawil, Patchewollock, Lascelles, Rosebery, Brim, Kaniva, Goroke, Sheep Hills and Rupanyup. Keep an eye out for more street art by internationally-renowned artists, splashed across the buildings and walls of these towns.
Take a break in your journey at the Beulah Victoria Hotel, to order a traditional and hearty pub counter meal.
Head on towards the Grampians National Park. Drop into independent microbrewery Paper Scissors Rock Brew Co for dinner and craft beer on tap, before checking into your accommodation for the night. Sleep peacefully in the heart of the Grampians at Halls Gap Lakeside, or relax into luxury in one of DULC's funky cabins.
HighlightsSilo Art TrailRoad trips & itinerariesCelebrate the rich heritage of western Victoria with a journey along the Silo Art Trail, the country's biggest outdoor gallery, stretching over 200km.Grampians National ParkNational parks & reservesDiscover grand and rugged mountain ranges, spectacular wildflowers and a wealth of Aboriginal rock art sites in the Grampians National Park.Paper Scissors Rock Brew Co.BreweriesPaper Scissors Rock Brew Co is an exciting Grampians-based independent microbrewery located in the town centre of Halls Gap, with kitchen and regular live...DULCRetreats & lodgesSleep in luxury at these funky designer cabins, featuring spa baths and coffee machines, all nestled amid the beautiful landscape of the Grampians.Halls Gap Lakeside Tourist ParkCaravan & holiday parksHalls Gap Lakeside Tourist Park is located in the heart of the Grampians, three hours from Melbourne and only two and a half hours from the Great Ocean...
Day five – Halls Gap to Melbourne, via Great Western
Wake up bright and early for a morning hike to Pinnacle Lookout, to take in the spectacular scenery of the Grampians.
Wander back down to your car and drive on to Livefast Lifestyle Cafe, for a delicious, well-earned brunch-time meal.
Start to wind back towards Melbourne, stopping in Great Western along the way. This pretty little town is known for its world-renowned wineries, award-winning bottles and underground cellars. Its age-old vines produce some of the best wine in the world, notably shiraz of both the still and sparkling variety.
Try a sample for yourself at the cellar doors of Best's Great Western, Grampians Estate and the region's winemaking pioneers, Seppelt.
HighlightsThe PinnacleWalking & hikingChoose from two different routes up to The Pinnacle lookout and keep an eye out for native wildlife including koalas, kangaroos and echidnas.Livefast Lifestyle CafeCafesLivefast Lifestyle Cafe was established in October 2010, and has since been providing you with the best coffee, local produce and craft beer.Livefast Lifestyle...Best's Wines Great WesternWineriesFounded in 1866 in the Great Western wine region of Victoria, Best's Great Western is one of Australia's oldest continually family-owned and operated wineries...Seppelt Wines - Great WesternWineriesA visit to the Grampians is not complete without a trip to the region’s original winemaking pioneers at Seppelt Great Western.Open seven days a week, experience...Grampians EstateWineriesVisit the cellar door for tastings, tutorials and premium award-winning wines including the Streeton Reserve Shiraz and the Rutherford Sparkling Shiraz.