Town by town snapshot Castlemaine

September 2, 2023 BY

This three-bedroom Castlemaine home sold recently for $750,000.

Castlemaine is about 20.2 square kilometres and has 26 parks covering nearly 22.3 per cent of total area.

The population in 2016 was 9993 and by the 2021 Census it was recorded at 11,352 showing a population growth 13.6 per cent in the area during that time.

The Castlemaine locality was originally named Forest Creek where a rich alluvial goldfield was discovered in 1851.

In the following year a town was surveyed and named Castlemaine after the estate of Viscount Castlemaine in Ireland.

The suggested name is variously recorded as coming from Lieutenant-Governor C. J. La Trobe, or from goldfields Commissioner Wright, both had visited or stayed at the estate.

Castlemaine township includes several suburban localities including Little Bendigo, Milkmaids Flat, Norwood Hill, Wesley Hill, and Winters Flat.

It is situated 117 kilometres north-west of Melbourne and 35 kilometres south of Bendigo at the junction of the Barkers and Forest creeks.

Castlemaine was on the route followed by Surveyor-General, Major Sir Thomas Mitchell in 1836.

Pastoral settlement followed ‘The Major’s Line’, the wheel ruts left by Mitchell’s party during the well-watered season of 1836.

Three shepherds and a bullock driver discovered gold in Specimen Gully, about five kilometres north-east of Castlemaine in September 1851.

Within a month the alluvial bed of Forest Creek was being worked and by the end of 1851 there were 8000 people working the gold fields and several alluvial creeks around Castlemaine.

In February 1852, the newly arrived goldfields Commissioner chose an area at the junction of the two creeks for his administrative headquarters, now called Camp Reserve.

By March 1852 there were an estimated 25,000 people on the Forest Creek diggings.

The first land sale was held the year after the township survey and Castlemaine was proclaimed a municipal district on 24 April 1855 and a borough on 2 October 1863.

Its further municipal progress was proclamation as a town on 30 January 1950 and as a city on 4 December 1965.

In the 1970s Castlemaine undertook a significant development of its cultural and tourism assets.

The first biennial Castlemaine State Festival was held in 1976, during early November, which coincides with the Spring-flowering time of several notable private gardens.

On 19 January 1995, it was united with Newstead and parts of Maldon and Metcalfe shires to form Mount Alexander Shire.

The 1995 Victorian Heritage Register contained 27 Castlemaine buildings, one of the foremost entries being the market established in 1861 or 1862, with its finely proportioned front consisting of a portico, archway entrance and flanking cupolas.

CoreLogic data indicate that the predominant age group in Castlemaine is 50 – 59 years with households a mix of childless couples, young families and retirees who are likely to be repaying on average $1408 per month on mortgages.

In general, people in Castlemaine work in a professional occupation.


Castlemaine was proclaimed a municipal district on 24 April 1855 and a borough on 2 October 1863.


Population: 11,352

Male: 49.3%

Female: 50.7%

Median age: 50

5-year population change: 13.6%

House median value: $672,000

Change in Median Price: (5yrs) is 58.8%

Median asking rent per week: $470

Average length of ownership: 12 years

Owner occupiers: 74%

Renters: 26%


House median sale price:

May 2023: $737,000

May 2022: $710,000

May 2021: $625,000

May 2020: $550,000

May 2019: $520,000


House sales per annum:

Period ending May 2023: 95

Period ending May 2022: 127


Land median sale price:

May 2023: $387,500

May 2022: $332,000


Land sales per annum:

Period ending May 2023: 12

Period ending May 2022: 21