SITTING on the outskirts of Ballarat, Warrenheip has redefined city fringe communities.
Instead of being residential, it's a popular tourist destination with scenic views, the Mill Markets, mini-golf sitting at the bottom of Mount Warrenheip with Kryal Castle.
Keith and Joyce Ryall, builders of Kryal Castle, saw the area for its potential back in the 70s and have watched the surrounds develop.
Joyce Ryall remembers how 30 years ago, even after the castle was built even though there was more people visiting the area it was still predominantly paddocks.
"A lot of new people have come with the school, there's a lot of younger families here now," Mrs Ryall said.
It wasn't an immediate decision for the Ryalls to build the castle at the base of Mount Warrenheip, it was after they had assessed and looked in other areas including Creswick and Daylesford they decided the location was the best.
After opening the castle, the Ryalls decided they wanted to live in the area too after being so closely connected.
"About 15 years ago we decided to build our own home outside of the castle and we came up on top of the hill and said what better view and though what a gorgeous spot so we built our own home," she said.
"We just thought we'll make our own lifestyle here.
"We get to see the mountain in every season - with snow and when its dry, it used to have beautiful ferns before the drought and the walk up the mountain was incredible - I notice now its starting to come back nice and green again."
Municipality: Moorabool Shire
First settled: 1860s
Main industries: Potato farming, tourism
Claim to fame: Kryal Castle
Five fast facts:
1. Warrenheip opened its own railway station in 1873.
2. The name Warrenheip comes from the Wathaurong word Warrengeep, meaning "emu's feathers". It is believed that it gained this title after the fern-like vegetation that used to cover the mountain.
3. Mount Warrenheip is a volcanic cone, that is estimated to have become inactive about 100,000 years ago.
4. Austrian Artist Eugene von Guerand painted a scene from the area around Mount Warrenheip in 1854, in a piece titled Warrenheip Hills near Ballarat. It was one of his first Australian paintings, after giving up his hunt for gold. The artwork is now found in the National Gallery of Victoria.
5. Warrenheip Primary School, that operates in the area today, first opened in 1876.
Five things to do:
1. If you like antique shopping and finding a bargain, Warrenheip has a fantastic Mill Market with lots of great finds located on the highway.
2. There is a great mini golf course in Warrenheip which is family friendly, and only a short drive from Ballarat so makes for a good weekend afternoon activity.
3. The Brewery Tap Hotel is a worthwhile venture for all - whether you like a beer or not. There are lots of historic photographs and memorabilia on the walls. The pub serves the local brew Ballarat Bitter for those that would like a drink.
4. Mount Warrenheip has some beautiful walking tracks to wander up and hopefully you'll spot a wallaby or koala.
5. Just around the corner from the town is Kryal Castle at the foot of Mount Warrenheip. This castle has a medieval theme