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Friday, December 13, 2013

A World of Vintage Treasures and Collectibles Awaits Visitors to the Bendigo Region this Summer

Just over two hours' drive from Melbourne, in Bendigo and its surrounding Goldfields villages, awaits a mecca for lovers of collecting, with retro and vintage shopping and artisan boutiques to be found.

The heritage streetscapes of shady vine-covered verandas peppered with alfresco café furniture and racks of vintage wear are the perfect place to while away a summer's afternoon. This summer, visitors can commence a day of vintage retail therapy with a visit to Modern Love at the Bendigo Art Gallery (until 2 February); a showcase of the world's most influential designers from the past 40 years and the ultimate retail reconnaissance.

The historic city of Bendigo and its surrounding villages offer a refreshing cultural and contemporary scene, with quirky shops, romantic stores, quality dining, creative, passionate producers and artisans. A visit to Bendigo would not be complete without visiting the art, design and antique boutiques of View Street. Housed in a classic Victorian building, SB Libris is a traditional book bindery with shelves brimming with beautiful, leather bound books and stationary. Just a few doors away is the View Street Bazaar, a store brimming with an eclectic collection of antique, art deco and retro curios from all corners of the globe, and a little further along View Street is Julie's Clothing Boutique & Antique Gallery; a treasure box for lovers of designer vintage clothing, shoes, bags and jewellery. A short drive out of town is the famous Bendigo Pottery, Australia's oldest working pottery maker  which also houses a gallery with works from local potters, artists and sculptors and an antiques and collectibles centre with over 30 independent stall holders.

557162A scenic half hour drive from Bendigo awaits Castlemaine, a beautifully preserved historic village; home to a dizzying array of quality vintage and retro boutiques. Makers, sewers and collectors of treasures will love Habadash, an emporium of buttons, stunning laces, trims, ribbons, fabrics, jewels and rarities that will enhance any antique and vintage collection while The Restorers Barn, housed in an original 1856 furniture store, boasts a huge collection of retro architectural fittings and collectibles. Meanwhile, bibliophiles can immerse themselves in the wonders of the written word at Book Heaven where there's 90,000 second hand books, records, comics and collectables to choose from.

557165A 15 minute drive from Castlemaine is Maldon, a character-filled village with a historic streetscape and an abundance of treasures to be found. The original Victorian-era hotel, The Grand Maldon, houses not only an impressive range of old wares and gifts but self contained apartment-style accommodation in the property's original stables.  The Cascade Print Room Gallery in the heart of Maldon proudly showcases a unique collection of artist-made prints and the works of some of Central Victoria's best known visual artists. 

Visitors planning to visit Maldon over the summer months should be sure to time their trip to coincide with the not-to-be-missed Maldon Antique & Collectibles Fair (Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 February 2014) with a football ground full of rare and valuables treasures to choose from.

Nestled on the banks of the Loddon River, just a few minutes drive from Maldon, is the vibrant town of Newstead. Well worth a visit is Antares Iron Art Gallery, a beautiful art garden and open air gallery established by landscape gardener, stoneworker and sculptor, Roger McKindley and featuring a constantly evolving collection of artistic creations.

557168At the heart of nearby Maryborough is the majestic 1874 Maryborough Railway Station, a building which today houses a stunning collection of antiques and collectibles at Station Antiques as well as the Maryborough Station Café. Down the road on Nolan Street, Amaroo (82 Nolan Street) stocks a dazzling array of porcelain, antiques and vintage homewares and around the corner the Central Goldfields Art Gallery is housed in the historic 1861 fire station and features an ever changing display of works by local and regional artists.

A little further up the road is Inglewood where secret women's business is thriving. The village's five antique and collectable stores including Inglewood Emporium and Fusspots at Inglewood are all run by ladies, a sisterhood that is helping bring vintage-lovers flocking to historic Brooke Street. An afternoon dipping into the mother-of-all fancy dress boxes in Inglewood is a must for vintage and retro fashionistas.

Instagram: @GoldfieldsVictoria #goldfieldsvictoria
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