Spectacular regional and national parks surround the region. The natural beauty and heritage is magnificent.
The Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park harbours fascinating tales of the golden past and retains much of its gold-rush character. From the evocative remains of house sites and puddling machines, to the gold mines and gullies that yielded up fortunes.
There are many wonderful walking tracks in each of these parks but the most popular is The Goldfields Track. The Track, which runs between Bendigo and Ballarat via Daylesford, traverses 210km through a wide variety of walking terrain and offers spectacular views and historical relics. The Track runs through the Diggings and there are several entry and exit points at places like Mount Alexander, Chewton, Fryerstown and Vaughan.
In addition to the Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park, the area supports many forests, historic reserves, flora and fauna reserves and gardens. The townships of Castlemaine, Maldon, Taradale and Newstead all have neworks of established walking tracks. Mount Alexander Regional Park, Vaughan Mineral Springs Reserve and the Maldon Historic Reserve are just some of the highlights for walkers.
For mountain biking, there is the La Larr Ba Gauwa Park in Harcourt. It includes 34 kilometres of mountain bike trails that take advantage of the area's stunning views and unique rock features. The Park has 11 trails that cater to riders of all abilities from beginner to advanced.
Bike hire is available from the Castlemaine Visitor Information Centre, with both half day and full day hire options available every day of the year except Christmas Day.
Both the Castlemaine and Maldon Visitor Information Centres carry extensive information on walking and cycling options and self guided tours within the region.