The village of Branxholme in a rich farming region producing beef and wool 314km west of Melbourne is notable for two homesteads and their gardens which reflect the grand architecture and local lifestyle of the 19th century.
Arrandoovong Gardens, which radiate from a two-storey bluestone home featuring magnificent, iron-lace double verandahs, are a mix of domestic and pleasure gardens.
The Inveray Garden, networked with stone-edged paths, sets off a homestead built in 1867.
It is a 25km drive north-east from Branxholme to the major regional centre of Hamilton. The pleasant prosperous town of Hamilton has long been known as the Wool Capital of the World.
You can learn all there is to know about the golden fleece at The Big Woolbales. Hamilton is also graced by one of Australia's finest regional art galleries, which is noted for the quality of its international collection.
The town also boasts very attractive Botanic Gardens, designed by William Guilfoyle, who laid out Melbourne's Royal Botanic Gardens. The Hamilton gardens are distinguished by rare botanic species, a superbly restored rotunda, a small zoo and playground and the ornate Thomson Fountain.