Having developed round a coaching stopover for diggers travelling to and from the Castlemaine and Bendigo goldfields, it is ironic that the modern, pleasant town of Gisborne has been made a backwater by a realignment of the Calder Highway.
Not that the traffic bypass has lessened Gisborne charm, typified by the Dromkeen Homestead Museum of children’s literature. The heritage homestead’s collection includes original work by Norman Lindsay, Dorothy Wall, Elizabeth Durack and Peg Maltby and a number of first editions. The impressive list of first editions includes Lindsay's timeless favourite, The Magic Pudding, May Gibbs' equally celebrated Snugglepot and Cuddlepie and the Dorothy Wall favourite, Blinky Bill.
Flanking Jacksons Creek, the Botanic Gardens includes a New Zealand corner which reflects the relationship with the sister town of Gisborne in the Shaky Isles.This is also serious wine country and the regional vineyards include Mt Gisborne Wines, just outside town, Mt Aitken Estates, 6km to the south and Mt Charlie Winery to the north-east.