posted on 14 Dec 21 | by Bendigo Regional Tourism

Summer is here, and there's no better time to explore your own backyard...

From canoeing the glistening waters of the Loddon Valley region, or weekend drinks amongst the vines in Heathcote & surrounds, to developing your own fresh produce hamper from regional farmers markets in Talbot or Bendigo, treasure hunting in Maryborough, Inglewood, Castlemaine or Maldon, or getting away from it all with a picnic at an inviting swimming spot, here is your Summer Bucket list for the Bendigo Region.

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Castlemaine, Maldon and Surrounds

The Castlemaine and Maldon region continues to build its case as one of the premier food and beverage regions in Victoria. On the outskirts of Castlemaine, Panacea Estate in Welshmans Reef is a must visit on Saturdays. You can enjoy delicious cheese platters amongst the vines, with stunning panoramic scenery and tranquil lake as your backdrop.

At the popular Castlemaine Mill, there's a bevy of food & beverage options to suit all tastes - while you're there, don't forget to drop by Icecream Republic for a refreshing treat! Or just down the road in Maldon, French dining is at its best at Table et Terroir who offer premium French cuisine in the heart of Maldon.

For anyone seeking some R&R, why not head to the Expedition Pass Reservoir to relax with a picnic and refreshing swim in the stunning reservoir.

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Maryborough and Surrounds

Historic Dunolly is a must visit over Summer, especially on the second Sunday of every Month. Dunolly, famous for its golden history comes to life with markets, live music, events and businesses showcasing their wares.

Talbot is home to the iconic Talbot Farmers Farmers Market which draws people from all across the state. Set against the historic backdrop of Talbot (third Sunday of every month) is a must visit for anyone who appreciates fresh produce and local creativity.

Whilst in the Central Goldfields Region, why not seek some quiet respite in one of the many reserves and parks. Gold detecting equipment can be hired from Coiltek if you'd prefer to add to the adventure! 

Or, for those seeking other 'treasures', why not browse some of many vintage stores and op shops across across the region. A day's outing could be topped off with a swim, boating or fishing at Goldfields Reservoir.

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Loddon Valley

The natural wonders of the Loddon Valley glisten during Summer. For those seeking a cool change, the infinity pool in Bridgewater is a local favourite and the perfect place to swim and relax by the river. A trip to Bridgewater is not however complete without a special treat from award winning Bridgewater Bakery or a cold beverage at the Bridgewater Hotel

If you are after something a little different, grab a canoe from Boort Lakes Holiday Park and paddle Victoria’s second longest river at Serpentine Creek at Durham Ox, or camp and fish at the Newbridge Recreation Reserve and finish with a well earned drink at the Newbridge hotel. 

Central Victoria has some of the clearest skies in Australia, so why not organise your own micro-adventure to picturesque Mount Hope/Pyramid Hill and stargaze the breathtakingly clear skies.

Or for those who appreciate artisans and their wares, create your own artist trail and visit Arts of Olde (Bridgewater on Loddon), Octopus and Queen (Tarnagulla), Wedderburn Birds Eye View wall murals, Coach House Gallery and Museum and the Spanner Sculpture Gardens (Boort). 

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Bendigo and Heathcote Region

With Summer turned on, Bendigo and Heathcote are must visits for a refreshing ale or that delicious cocktail. Top venues over Summer include Handle Bar, Ms Batterhams, Nimbus Rooftop Bar, The Dispensary Bar & Diner, Cornella Brewery, Palling Bros. Brewery, Tooborac Hotel & Brewery and The Rifle Brigade.

If you are after making a splash, try Lake Eppalock for swimming, fishing, boating, paddling or for those looking to a little more action, jet skiing. Also check out the Long Gully Splash Park, it's a free, zero depth water splash park with a dry play area - great for the young ones! 

Throw on an art smock, BYO some drinks and nibbles and get on down to Pinot & Picasso Bendigo. During the summer you can paint alongside one-another and create your own little masterpiece whilst sipping your beverage of choice. Bookings essential.

Who doesn’t like a gelato? Keep cool and swing by Ms Batterhams to find the MQ Gelato Bar, Bendigo's first pop up Gelato Bar serving authentic handmade gelato (Most Fridays & Sundays 2pm-5pm). Or venture out to Lake Weeroona and taste some local favourites at Favourite Flavours.