Strathfieldsaye is a rural/residential town 10 km south-east of Bendigo. It is situated on Sheepwash Creek, which is fed by run-off from forested ridges with relatively impermeable soils. The creek is consequently subject to rushes of water and is a cause of flooding.

Strathfieldsaye was probably named after the Hampshire estate awarded to the Duke of Wellington in 1817. It also inspired the name of Strathfieldsaye shire. The shire hall (1869) was beside the Duke of Wellington Hotel in Strathfieldsaye until a new hall and offices were built closer to Bendigo in the 1970s.

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