|Population||2,793 (2016 census)|
|LGA(s)||City of Greater Bendigo|
Heathcote pronunciation (help·info) is a town in central Victoria, Australia, situated on the Northern Highway 110 kilometres north of Melbourne and 40 kilometres south-east of Bendigo via the McIvor Highway. Heathcote's local government area is the City of Greater Bendigo and it is part of the federal electorate of Bendigo and the state electorate of Euroa. At the 2016 census, Heathcote had a population of 2,793.
The first European known to have visited the district was Major Thomas Mitchell in 1836. By 1851 about 400 Europeans lived on some 16 pastoral properties in the area.
Late in 1852 gold was discovered at McIvor Creek. Within six months some 40,000 miners were camped in the vicinity. It proved to be one of the richest finds during the Australian gold rushes, but the gold was so easily found that it was soon largely exhausted and by the end of the year a large proportion of the miners had already left for other recent finds (although deeper deposits continued to be mined for many years). This was not before the Victorian government gazetted the township of Heathcote on the site and ordered the construction of several official buildings. The post office opened on 1 July 1853 as McIvor Creek but six months later, on 1 January 1854, was renamed Heathcote.
With the decline of gold mining the region took on an increased importance as a pastoral district.
Heathcote was served by railway from 1889 to 1968.
The most famous incident during the gold rush era was the Melbourne Private Escort Robbery on 20 July 1853. This took place very close to where one of Australia's worst aviation disasters occurred in 1945.
The town hosts an agricultural show on Melbourne Cup day, each November.
Food & Wine
A weekend early in October is dedicated to the Heathcote Wine and Food Festival held at the show grounds. This is a dynamic event that has grown rapidly since its inception in 1994.
 The town is the centre of the recognised Heathcote wine region, notable for its Shiraz wines. In 2010 the Heathcote Winery won a gold medal at the Queensland Wine Show. In 2013, the Sanguine Estate Shiraz 2012 was awarded the category winner, a gold medal and a top 10 position in World’s Greatest Syrah & Shiraz Challenge.
The town has several sporting teams;
Basketball: One of the most celebrated sports teams in Heathcote, the Heathcote Panthers Basketball Club with both junior and senior teams ranging from the under 10's and under 12's in both boys and girls under 14's and under 16's boys and also both an adult mens and ladies team.
Heathcote managed to capture back to back premierships in 2009/10. Heathcote continued to thrive over the next two seasons playing off in the Grand Final until a mass exodus of players.
Despite the reluctance of many to play alongside such a divisive character, the Saints maintained their century-long streak of at least one win per season.
Cricket: The Heathcote Cricket Club competes in the Northern United Cricket Association and celebrated back to back premiership success in seasons 2012/13 & 2013/14, due to local Superstar and the regions playboy Dion Meerman.
Golf: Golfers play at the Heathcote Golf Course, a quality 18 hole championship course.
Motor Racing/Athletics & Horse Racing: Heathcote has a harness track (2040m) that also acts as a speedway.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Heathcote (Vic.)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 2008-04-11
- The Heathcote Junction to Bendigo and Associated Railways Turton, Keith Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, April, 1970 pp69-88
- "Emeu Inn Restaurant, B&B and Wine Centre". Visit Victoria. Tourism Victoria. Archived from the original on 2006-10-25. Retrieved 2007-03-28.
- "Heathcote, Victoria". Wine Regions. Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-03-28.
- "More Gold Medals for Heathcote". Heathcote Region. City of Greater Bendigo. Retrieved 2013-02-21.
- http://www.heathcotewinegrowers.com.au/news/2013/09/07/sanguine-estate-shiraz-awarded-category-winner-gold-medal-and-top-10-position-world%E2%80%99. Missing or empty
- Bendigo Advertiser, Heathcote, retrieved 2010-09-05.
- The McIvor Times, Heathcote, retrieved 2013-03-13.
- Golf Select, Heathcote, retrieved 2009-05-11
- J. O. Randell, McIvor, A History of the Shire and the Township of Heathcote, published by the author, East Melbourne, 1985.