About Mt. Macedon
Mount Macedon is a quaint township located approximately 1 hour drive north-west of Melbourne. The town’s natural beauty is emphasized by sitting at the foot of a mountain rising over 1000m above sea level; also named Mt Macedon. With a small population of around 1500 people, the town has historically homed Melbourne’s elite and upper-class who used it as a summer escape throughout the post-goldrush era.
In the late 1880s, the top of Mt Macedon housed the Governor of Victoria whose summer mansion was approved and funded by the State parliament. Such a grand Government manor set precedence for the elegance of the surrounding area. Today, the township remains well known for its collection of 19th century gardens and accompanying mansions. These properties are highly regarded as one of the most precious collections in Australia. The area is especially popular for weekend visitors during Autumn and Spring due to the picturesque changing of tree colors. The region’s climate and geography makes it the perfect blend of outdoor activities, cosy retreats and wineries for your weekend escape.
What To Do
The scenery of the Macedon Ranges is consistently changing with the seasons. The most popular time of year to visit is Autumn, as the Mountain Ash and Oak trees turn orange and red and line the streets with color. The first part of your weekend visit should simply be spent exploring the picturesque avenues and admiring the extravagance of each mansion and famous gardens. In springtime you can expect an array of fresh flower beds too. If you’re after a relaxing getaway in the middle of winter to sit by the fire you might even be lucky to experience some snowfall.
Macedon Ranges Park has over 30km of connecting bush trails; perfect for outdoor lovers wanting access to a range of beginner to advanced hiking routes. Camels Hump trail provides a challenging and steep hike up the mountain, however the view from the top is undoubtedly worth it. For trail runners be sure to join the Macedon Ranges Trail Runners Group as a great way to explore the local routes and meet some fellow runners. Road cycling on the mountain is also a very popular activity during the warmer months. If you’re after a more leisurely paced walk, the family friendly Sanatorium Lake Eco-Loop is a must do. The park includes a number of wood-fueled and gas BBQ locations for those wanting to settle in for a BYO lunch.
The town is also well known for arts, culture and antiques. If this sounds like you then be sure to check out the collection at Mount Macedon Gallery. For something even more special The Stokes Collection at Forest Glade Gardens is the largest private arts collection in the Southern Hemisphere.
Hanging Rock is located a short drive from Mount Macedon and is the inspired location of the iconic novel and film still well known in Australian culture today. This former Volcano site offers stunning walks and is worth a visit. For animal lovers and something a little different, you can book the popular Hanging Rock Llama Trek.
Food & Drink
Now onto the important stuff – wine tasting. The region has an abundance of boutique wineries and cellar doors to choose from. Mount Macedon Winery is owned by Richmond AFL star Dylan Grimes and his wife Elisha and offers beautiful views and a popular cellar door. Mount Towrong Vineyard is a family operated winery situated 600m up the mountain with more stunning views. Their cellar door offers traditional Italian varieties with a rustic Italian food menu to accompany. Be sure to also try their award-winning locally distilled Mountain Gin too.
For something more low key and in the heart of town, the Trading Post café offers all your lunch favourites such as homemade pies, sausage rolls, quiches and locally sourced cheeses. At the Mount Macedon Hotel, you’ll find your deliciously oversized pub meals and on a sunny day the Beer Garden is the perfect spot. Another option would be to pack your own picnic and make use of the many outdoor lunch spots around town.
Where To Stay?
Macedon Ranges has plenty of accommodation options to suit all types of budgets. The most affordable option being Macedon Caravan park which comes equipped with all the facilities you need and is surrounded by nature. The area is also greatly known for its quaint and cosy cottage stays. These vary from self-contained lodges, B&Bs, and farmstays. Cherokee Mountain Retreat, Braeside Mt Macedon Country Retreat and Cameron Lodge Cottage & Gardens to name a few. Airbnb options are plentiful in the region too.