Roadtrip: Maldon & Castlemaine

We spent a weekend at the lovely Shopkeeper's House in Maldon, Victoria, and - thanks to some crazy timetabling of our weeks - decided to take it nice and slow.

And, I must say taking it nice and slow is pretty much intrinsic as far as a stay in Maldon is concerned. It's a very quiet and friendly town, with all the small-town charm. There are a couple of short walking trails (though it was winter so we reaalllllly struggled), but I think the highlight is the historic vintage steam train to Castlemaine. Yes - you read that right - HISTORIC. VINTAGE. STEAM. TRAIN.

 

Accommodation: Shopkeeper's House

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The Shopkeeper's House is one of the growing stable of boutique accommodations managed by Flophouse from Kyneton. (I'm still in the process of restoring my old posts to the website, but you might remember we last stayed in the Harpsichord House, which was as comfy as it was photogenic...)

The Shopkeeper's House sits right next to the Maldon rail station, and on the weekend morning the sound of the train wisping away in a cloud of steam almost convinced us we were taken back in time... except no, we were in most comfortable lodgings with a very fancy gas log heater so even though it's frickin' freezing outside it's nice and toasty indoors...

 

All aboard the train to Castlemaine

Even for a non-train enthusiast, I think the steam train to Castlemaine was probably the highlight of the stay. It is a truly unique experience, and at worse just a little kitschy, but it's fun to step into something resembling the set of Harry Potter's ride to Hogwarts. Just don't watch the ad for the Victorian Goldfields Railway on YouTube - it doesn't do it any justice - and take my word for it and book yourself a first class ticket...

Told you it was wispy.

Told you it was wispy.

 

Honourary mention: The Mill, Castlemaine

We didn't have much time to spend in Castlemaine, which by all accounts is a large town with much happening - but having arrived by train and needing to travel on foot, we chose wisely and headed to The Mill, a new, very trendy co-op space combining cafes, craft breweries, art galleries... and vintage markets (?!).