Wine is the industry that flourishes today around Heathcote, in the middle of some beautiful countryside in central Victoria.
With a past graphically reflected in the old courthouse and attendant historical display, Heathcote, about 47km south of Bendigo, was built largely on gold.
Indeed, one of the regional features, the Pink Cliffs, were an indirect product of long gone mining operations. The mineral stains which give the cliffs their brilliant colour were exposed by a wash from the spoil expelled from the old gold sluices.
Lake Eppalock, 10km out of town is not only one of Victoria’s largest lakes, but it is also a popular venue for powerboat racing and for anglers targeting yellow belly, trout, redfin and Murray cod.
Heathcote is blessed by nature in that the town is surrounded by four of the finest box ironbark reserves in the land - the McIvor Range, the Argyle, the Mt Ida and the One Eye forests.
The forests are at their magnificent best when the wildflowers bloom in spring, but each has its own distinctive character and each is laced with walking tracks of varying degrees of difficulty. All of the tracks offer breathtaking views.