Castlemaine is a town of 7,000 people situated 120km north-west of Melbourne. The town is very historic and was first settled during the gold rush of the 1840s. The town is surrounded by hills and the Great Dividing Range. Excursions can be made to the original gold diggings at Forest Creek and Herons Reef. Don't be disappointed if you are unable to find any gold. If you love animals you will find a visit to the Dingo Farm well worth the time. One of Victoria's great majestic homes, the Buda, is located in Castlemaine. Mineral springs are also available in the area.