'For The Love Of Books'

Creative Clunes is a not-for-profit, incorporated organisation, that is included in the Australian Register of Cultural Organisations.

We have two flagship events, the annual Clunes Booktown Festival, and the bi-annual Clunes Ceramic Awards among other projects and artistic programs.

We have a Board of Management meeting monthly.

We respectfully acknowledge that all our events and meetings take place on the lands of the The Dja Dja Wurrung People, traditional custodians of the land on which we celebrate our love of stories.


Creative Clunes aims to connect, inspire and engage communities through books and story

Creative Clunes is a vibrant rural hub that supports making, telling and sharing stories in all art forms

Creative Clunes will develop a focused network through which writers and other arts practitioners are supported, seed ideas and collaborate. Through the exchange of stories, we build regional identity and wellbeing, empowering community to respond to environmental, social, cultural and economic challenges. 
We encourage stories to emerge from individuals or from collaborations, across artforms and in diverse media (from podcasting to quilting) and from folk of all ages, genders, abilities and backgrounds.

Collaborative, Equitable, Joyful, Responsive


In 2007, the first Booktown (Booktown for a Day) was held attracting over 6,000 visitors. Since then a two day festival, Clunes Booktown Festival has been held annually. Over 100 booktraders from around Australia bring stock to the town and set up shop for the weekend. Street entertainment, food and wine, music and writer’s talks add to the festivities.

In April 2012, Clunes gained International Organisation of Booktowns membership, becoming the 15th International Booktown and the only Booktown in Australia.

Our most recent Booktown, in March 2023, saw around 12,000 people come to Clunes and surrounding regions.

Clunes is located 36 km north of Ballarat (30 minutes by car), and 142 km north-west of Melbourne (90 minutes by car). It is the first accredited Booktown in the Southern Hemisphere and Victoria’s first gold town.

There are a number of cafes, a bakery, confectionary, photographer, gift and antique shops, along with an art gallery and an Australian natural fibres shop. We also have a gourmet greengrocer, butcher, delicatessen, restaurant and wine bar. The service station and the local supermarket are open 7 days a week and an ATM is available in the main street. The hotel serves evening meals Wednesday to Sunday.

It is a vibrant town of approximately 2000 people who collaborate to achieve the best of small town living. There are a number of active social and sporting groups and many facilities including a swimming pool, ovals, petanque piste, netball/basketball courts, tennis courts as well as a golf course.

Education is an important aspect of Clunes’ development with a primary school, regional campus of Wesley College and an adult learning centre at the Clunes Neighbourhood House, and a public library.

There is a strong connection with our rural community celebrated in the Annual Clunes and District Agricultural Show which has been running for over 150 years. The Show occurs on the third Saturday of November.

The town is located in an expanding and award-winning wine growing area. There are three wineries in close proximity to the town.

For its size there are a high proportion of published writers currently living in Clunes, including J.P. Pomare, Mark Ogge, Pam Adams, Dr Tess Brady, Andrew Masterson, Christine Rowe, Andrew Reeves and Keir Reeves.

Clunes is also home to a vast array of creative and artistic professionals such as the sculpture artist Tom Ripon, visual theatre collaborators Ken Evans and Rebecca Russell, potter June Johnstone, abstract artist Chris O’Donnell, and Christy Flaws and Luke O’Connor founders of physical theatre company Asking for Trouble.

The town has regularly been used as a backdrop for a number of films and TV series, most famously for the first in the Mad Max film franchise, as well as the recent HBO series of Picnic At Hanging Rock; the ABC TV series Tomorrow When The War Began, the Ned Kelly film starring Heath Ledger, STANS series Bloom and True History of the Kelly Gang , a British-Australian biographical western film which has its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2019.