© 2009 Christina Fitzgerald
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Stuart Mill Cottage is a great place to relax, but if that's not your idea of fun, there's plenty to do. There are maps, guides, and leaflets in the cottage and at the Maldon Visitor Centre (93 High Street Road: open daily 9am-5pm).
History and heritage: Maldon is an old gold-mining town, possibly the best preserved in Australia. In 2006 it was awarded the 'most intact heritage streetscape' by the National Trust. 21 sites are listed on the Register of the National Estate. The curving main street, with its wide verandahs, offers an interesting variety of shops and restaurants while the other streets are full of quaint cottages and fine public buildings from Maldon's grand past.
Places to eat: there are restaurants in walking distance of the cottage in the main street of Maldon, and more in the neighbourhood. The Taste of Gold trail lists many of them and includes maps.
Wine-tasting: the Bendigo wine region is famous for its rich red wines and Maldon is at the heart of the area. Most of the wineries are small family-run operations and have tasting rooms and, in some cases, a restaurant. The Bendigo Winemakers Festival is held on Easter Sunday in Castlemaine's Botanic Gardens: a 15-minute drive from Maldon. Bendigo Heritage Uncorked is held every second weekend in October in Bendigo (a half-hour drive).
Art: Maldon and the neighbouring towns are home to many artists of all types and you could easily spend all your time visiting galleries. The Penny School Gallery, housed in one of Maldon's oldest buildings, is not in the main street, but is close to the cottage. The licensed café is open Wednesday to Sunday.
Festivals: Maldon is a good place to visit at any time, but some of its festivals could prove irresitible. There's something to suit most tastes:
Further afield, in neighbouring towns, there's even more going on. Check What's On at the Mt Alexander Shire website.