The forecast is for a long, hot and dry summer. Combine that with the long holiday break and the question is ‘what do we do’. Here’s a suggestion. Bundle the kids, mum and dad, grandma and grandpa and old Mr. Whoziwhatsit who lives down the street and head to Castlemaine. It’s not far to travel no matter where you live, it is after all the centre of Victoria. Yes, it draws on its gold history and beautiful historic architecture and there are amazing sites around that you can ramble and explore, but there is more, so much more to do in this town. Food, wine, cider, organic meats, fruits and vegetables, cheeses, its all there to either consume on your trip or to take home – did we mention the coffee? Castlemaine also boasts one of the best regional Art Galleries that has as its point of difference the fact that it only exhibits Australian artworks, with Buda Historic Home and Garden and the Theatre Royal, the oldest surviving cinema in Australia icon landmarks. This is a town that positively abounds with artists, around 400 in fact who work and exhibit in the region. If you time your trip carefully, you can catch the monthly farmers market and artist’s market and a visit to Castlemaine is not complete without a visit to The Mill. This is the old Castlemaine Woollen Mill, built in 1875, which has been transformed into a place for food and artisan manufacturing. Just out of town is the stunning butterfly house at ASQ Skydancers garden and café and a bit further along the road is Harcourt – think apples, think Harcourt. Castlemaine is a destination to be explored at any time, but during summer, it is stunning.