Sunday Drives: We're off to the Macedon Ranges
The Macedon area is home to some of the most family-friendly spots just outside Melbourne, and fantastic for a weekend poke up the mountain to see what's going on.
With an area encompassing Macedon, Gisborne, Woodend, and Romsey, you're sure to find something to see, do, eat or somewhere to play for the day to get away from the city for a bit.
How to Get There
The Macedon Ranges are only 45 minutes north of the CBD along the Calder Freeway. Follow the Citylink signs ‘to Bendigo via the Tullamarine Freeway’, and follow the signs to Bendigo until you reach Gisborne, then head to your destination!
What to see in Macedon
You could definitely just take in the lush forests, granite-strewn pastoral landscapes and spectacular scenery of the Macedon area, but for artsy fun, why not check out Lancefield’s Mad Gallery, or the Macedon Ranges Arts Collective’s gallery?
Check out the diverse flora and fauna and more than 400 species of native plants and 200 species of birds recorded at the Macedon Regional Park, and head to the top of Mt Macedon to see the Memorial Cross commemorating all those who served in wars and conflicts at the summit. Don't miss the nearby Major Mitchell Lookout for spectacular views.
Some of Victoria’s finest gardens are hidden behind the walls of the surrounding mansions, many National Trust-listed. You can find here which are open to the public and when, and are well worth a look - Forest Glade, Duneira, Bringalbit, Tieve Tara are open to the public for much of the year.
See the beautiful standing stones at Centennial Park.
Have a look at the remarkable blue of the Sanatorium Lake, man-made to funnel water to a proposed sanatorium for tuberculosis patients many years ago.
Or for the history buffs, find the second-oldest structure in the surrounding area, the Trigonometry Cairn. It has been used as the central point for all surveys during settlement.
What to do in Macedon
Walk the Sanatorium Lake Walking Trail (2.6km) to discover the different vegetation zones of the stunning lake and forest surrounds.
Keen bushwalkers can take on the Macedon Ranges Walking Trail, a 30km circuit linking Camels Hump – where there are amazing views of Hanging Rock and the surrounding countryside – and Mount Towrong with the mountain villages of Mount Macedon and Macedon.
Up on the summit of Mount Macedon, there are six picnic grounds along the ridge of the range, all easily accessed by the roads and walking tracks that link the area. Nearby, Sanatorium Lake picnic ground combines a beautiful lakeside setting with a number of walking tracks.
More than 85% of Australia’s natural mineral springs are found in the wider Daylesford and Macedon Ranges region, you could head to any of the pumps in the area for the freshest, most delicious water you'll ever taste.
Get your science on and head to Anti-Gravity Hill to see water flowing uphill... you have to see it to believe it!
Where to eat in Macedon
- Top of the Range Tea Rooms nearby offers lunch, morning and afternoon teas
- Pack a picnic and eat at the summit of Mount Macedon, Sanitorium Lake Picnic Grounds, Centennial Park, or at the Hanging Rock Reserve
- Head to Mr Macedon for excellent pancakes, coffee and breakfast
- The Mount Macedon Trading Post is both general store and cafe
- For wood fired pizzas, try Olive Jones or Ida Red
- It's super kid-friendly at the Red Door Cafe
- Or for something a little different, the Mount Macedon Winery is lovely.
Main image credit: Visit Macedon Ranges
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