Malmsbury Youth Justice Custodial Precinct is commutable from many Melbourne suburbs in less than an hour. If you’re looking for a change of pace in life then you may want to consider making a move closer to work.

The facility is set in north-western Victoria, a gorgeous, green part of the world famed for wild parkland and a thriving arts scene. Bushwalkers and birdwatchers have been drawn here for decades, and the tranquil setting has inspired a mass migration of Melbourne artists and musicians to the area’s charming gold-rush towns. The new flock has revitalised local pubs, cafés and galleries and helped forge a strong sense of community.

If going to a gig or a gallery isn’t your style, though, you’ve still got many other recreation options for after work and days off. You could catch a film or a Victorian Football League (VFL) game, grab a meal at one of the many renowned local restaurants, relax with a massage at a day spa or enjoy a winery taste testing.

Have a quick peek at some of the regional towns you could call home if you received a job offer at Malmsbury Youth Justice Custodial Precinct.


  • Estimated population: 10,000+
  • Drive to work: 10 minutes
  • Primary schools: 2
  • Secondary schools: 2

Seen as something of a keystone town due to its close proximity to Victoria’s major cities, Kyneton stands alone as a destination for historic architecture, art and op shopping. The town is easy to navigate, with most of the action going down on Piper Street. This long strip is full of antique dealers, grocers, cafes, galleries and more.

Crisp winter mornings in Kyneton are particularly wonderful – the combination of clear skies, country air and quality coffee bring locals out to eat on the street. If you prefer to cook for yourself, monthly farmers’ markets will keep your fruit bowl full of local produce.

Many country towns develop community through a calendar of events, and Kyneton is particularly strong on the festival front. Horse racing fans have the Kyneton Cup, green thumbs get the Daffodil & Arts Festival, hoarders have the Kyneton Antique Fair, and the Taste of Kyneton fest serves the epicureans. Local musicians are busy too with performances every weekend and the annual Kyneton Music Festival drawing big names from Melbourne and beyond.

''All around the Malmsbury area, it’s a really laid back country environment. There are a lot of community groups and plenty of activities you can do up here.' - Colin, Youth Justice Worker, Malmsbury Youth Justice Custodial Precinct


  • Estimated population: 900+
  • Drive to work: Two minutes
  • Primary schools: 1
  • Secondary schools: 0

A tiny town with a warm heart and hot pies. Long renowned for its bakery, Malmsbury has become a must-stop for day trippers wanting to stretch their legs amidst lovely scenery. The Malmsbury Botanic Gardens is a great place to read a book; while architecture and history buffs will admire the Malmsbury Viaduct, a unique bridge that was built in 1860.

Malmsbury might be your pick if you love the solitude of farm life but need the essentials and work to be a short walk away.


  • Estimated population: 11,000+
  • Drive to work: 25 minutes
  • Primary schools: 5
  • Secondary schools: 1

Castlemaine is a favourite of history lovers, art lovers, food lovers and lovers of life in general. The town has experienced impressive population growth, welcoming many new residents from Melbourne’s northern suburbs. They’ve brought their artistic talents and demands for a decent brunch along with them too. Locals can now take in great music and food all year round.

Despite the influx of tree-changers, Castlemaine has retained its country soul. While the region’s farmers still sip on the amber nectar at traditional pubs, they can now also catch up for a chat at the Castlemaine Brewing Company's Tap Room or the monthly craft and produce market.

Many parts of the town feel like they haven’t changed since the 19th century, with period homes forming a beautiful streetscape. Although Tasmania stakes the claim for hosting the oldest continually operating theatre in Australia, Castlemaine’s Theatre Royal holds that status down for the mainland. You can catch a new release film here any night of the week. Many renowned musicians on national tours stop by to play shows too.

For people looking to raise happy families in town, there are several primary school options as well as a respected dual-campus secondary school.


  • Estimated population: 10,000+
  • Drive to work: 25 minutes
  • Primary schools: 2
  • Secondary schools: 1

The word on Daylesford has been out for a while. A favourite of Melbourne Road trippers for its natural springs, majestic lake and stunning gardens. The town has evolved into part artist utopia and part weekend retreat. Galleries, markets and music venues compete for real estate with day spas and wine bars. It’s the locals who win out because they’ve always got something new to do.

Although it's a tourism hotspot, if you call Daylesford home, you will become part of a close-knit community that welcomes everyone. There are many housing options too: you could get cosy in an old-fashioned cottage, live in a flat, or secure a block of land and build your dream home.

When you want to relax, rejuvenation is never far away. The Daylesford and Hepburn Springs region accounts for much of Australia’s mineral water supply. Originally known as a magical remedy, the springs have remained a popular public bathing destination even after people realised that they may not be a cure-all.


  • Estimated Population: 120,000+
  • Drive to work: 50 minutes
  • Primary schools: 2
  • Secondary schools: 3
  • University campuses: 2

If you want a change of pace as well as the essentials of city life, then Bendigo is the place you’re after.

Incredible architecture from the town’s gold rush peak makes walking through Bendigo feels like you’ve stepped onto a historical film set.

Living here, you will become part of a growing city and have easy access to many of the services and recreational activities you can expect to find in Melbourne. You won’t have to travel far if you want to upskill, as the city hosts a La Trobe University campus with more than 5,000 students.

If you decide to live in the city’s southern suburbs, like Spring Gully, you will be able to get to work in less than 40 minutes by car.