2024 Castlemaine & District Festival of Gardens – save the dates

Private gardens put on a show in central Victoria this November

Explore stunning private gardens during the Castlemaine and District Festival of Gardens this November. A curated selection of 24 gardens will open their gates to the public for nine days during Melbourne Cup week, from Saturday 2nd until Sunday 10th November.

A number of properties are located in Castlemaine itself; while others can be found a short drive away, in outer-lying areas of the Mount Alexander Shire. How many you visit is entirely up to you, as this is a self-guided experience.

The theme of the festival, The Art of Gardening, celebrates the creativity of gardeners who have turned their patch of soil into environmental masterpieces. Like artists, gardeners employ all the essential elements of art in their creations: colour, line, shape, form, tone and texture while adding in a good number of the principles as well: contrast, balance, emphasis, proportion, repetition, rhythm, pattern and unity.

Visitors will be inspired as they meander around a diverse selection of gardens, with their creators on hand to share their knowledge. Several properties offer plants and handcrafted items for sale, providing an opportunity to take home a memento of your visit.

The festival showcases grand country gardens, historic gardens, verge gardens, sculpture gardens, town gardens of many varieties and a purpose-built accessible garden. Regular visitors will be delighted to see a number of gardens which have been part of the festival for many years, together with thirteen exciting new gardens to discover.

A souvenir festival program will be available for purchase from August, when you will also find an overview of the gardens on the website www.festivalofgardens.org. In the mean time you can stay up to date by following the festival on Facebook @CastlemaineDistrictFestivalOfGardens and Instagram @festivalofgardens or by signing up for the occasional e-newsletter from the website.

Entry to each garden costs $5 per adult, children free. Payment is by cash, direct to the gardener at the gate.

Castlemaine is approximately 120 kilometres north-west of Melbourne: a 90-minute drive from Melbourne city centre and a short drive from Bendigo and Daylesford. It can also be reached by train on the Bendigo line. Bus groups are welcome at most properties. For those travelling from further afield, there are numerous accommodation options in the region and the Castlemaine Visitor Information Centre offers a booking service.