The lovingly preserved goldfields town of Maldon has the distinction of being the ‘First Notable Town in Victoria’ and, in 1966, the first town in the state to be classified by the National Trust. The Maldon streets are literally full of operative. historic buildings and you should make a point of picking up the free Victor Centre pamphlets with descriptions and histories of the heritage stock. On the town fringe, the Maldon Historic Reserve, which conserves 2500ha of public land and forest around the town, was created to preserve the district gold mining relics including shafts, equipment, mullock and tailing heaps, cyanide vats, dams, tunnels and a dredge. Twenty kilometres north-west of Castlemaine, Maldon first experienced gold fever when 20,000 miners descended on the area when diggers really hit pay dirt in 1856 with the discovery of the incredibly rich Nuggetty Reef. Nearby Castlemaine is renowned for its beautiful gardens, especially Buda Historic Home and Garden. Built in 1861, Buda was the home of Hungarian born silversmith Ernest Leviny and the house and 2ha gardens contain original furnishings and crafts fashioned by the 19trh century owner.