Macedon Ranges: Planning The Perfect Weekend Getaway
Victoria’s Macedon Ranges is a beautiful region known for its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and diverse range of activities and attractions. We were lucky enough to spend a weekend here recently exploring, luxuriating, and witnessing two of our closest friends get married!
I highly recommend working in the Macedon Ranges if you’re planning your own trip to Victoria. So with that said, here is a travel guide to help you make the most of your visit.
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How to get to Macedon Ranges
We drove directly from Adelaide, which took us about 8 hours including a couple of short stops. This route heads along the A8 (South-Eastern Freeway/Dukes Highway/Western Freeway) before turning off at Dimboola and heading towards Bendigo, then south to Macedon Ranges.
However, the more common way is to drive from Melbourne. This drive will take you just over an hour. Alternatively, you can catch a V/Line train from Melbourne. Possible stops are Gisborne, Macedon, Woodend, and Kyneton – and then take a taxi to your desired location. The train is surprisingly cheap, however my recommendation would be that you’ll need a car to get around when sightseeing.
We like Europcar, as we always find they have great rates. They’re super easy to pick up at Melbourne Airport, and you can earn frequent flyer points.
When to Visit the Macedon Ranges
I think the better question is “when shouldn’t you visit the Macedon Ranges?” (and of course, the answer is never!). However, there are some things you should be aware of timing and weather-wise when planning your trip.
December to March can be very hot. Our visit in late January was a muggy 35 degrees celcius! However, it was still cool at night and in the morning, so it was only really mid afternoon when it got uncomfortable. It’s also a few degrees cooler than Melbourne due to the elevation, which offers some respite.
Autumn (April – May) is particularly beautiful as the abundant foliage turns bright orange and red and the weather cools down. Winter (July – early September) can be very cold and wet, with the very occasional snowfall. To me, this is the most romantic time – snuggle up by the fire with your loved one, or soak in hot mineral baths.
Spring is particularly photogenic with the blooming wisteria (my favourite!) and rhododendrons.
As with any regional centre, check school holiday dates and book well in advance if your dates align.
Where to stay in the Macedon Ranges
There are so many beautiful places to stay that it can be hard to choose!
For a romantic couples getaway, we like Hanging Rock Views in Woodend (review coming soon!) or the Macedon Ranges Hotel and Spa in Macedon. Hepburn Spa Retreat in Hepburn Springs is perfect for a wellness getaway for two. The Peppers Mineral Springs Hotel, also in Hepburn Springs, is also delightful.
If you’re travelling in a group, you’ll find plenty of options to suit. For example, this delightful cottage in Woodend, or The Manse on Ebden in Kyneton.
Things to do in the Macedon Ranges
Practice self-care at a Daylesford spa
Daylesford and Hepburn Springs are famous for their rejuvenating mineral springs.This is reflected in the number and quality of day spas here.
While you’ll find some really luxurious offerings here, such as The Spa at Lake House, and Hepburn Spa Retreat, there are plenty of smaller, holistic and ayurvedic options too such as Maiaveda Holistic Health Retreat.
Go Wine Tasting
The Macedon Ranges region is renowned for its vineyards and wineries, with many offering tastings and tours of their facilities. We particularly enjoyed trying the wines at Hanging Rock Winery in Woodend, and Musk Lane Winery in Kyneton. Some other great options are Mount Macedon Winery in Woodend, Mount Towrong Vineyard in Mount Macedon, and Gisborne Peak Winery in Gisborne.
If you’re hoping to enjoy lunch, Mount Macedon Winery and Gisborne Peak Winery have fantastic restaurants.
Eat and Drink
The local produce is a massive feature of the Macedon Ranges. This includes fresh produce, meat, and dairy products, as well as a range of gourmet foods, such as olive oil and artisanal cheeses.
Cloud 9 Farm is a wonderful experience. Cloud 9 offers vineyard tours and the chance to enjoy a tasting of their divine cheeses.
If you venture to Daylesford, make sure you check out Winespeake. Part of Eastern Peake Winery, Winespeake is their cellar and deli. Here, you will find all sorts of amazing Macedon Ranges produce.
We also enjoyed brunch at Fox In The Chamber in Woodend, and dinner at the Kyneton Hotel in Kyneton.
Go Walking or Hiking (and Climb Hanging Rock)
The Macedon Ranges is home to some of the most breathtaking walking trails in Australia. We particularly like the renowned Mount Macedon Summit Walk, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Do make sure you read the hiking guide to ensure fitness levels and correct navigation.
The area is also home to a number of stunning gardens, such as the Forest Glade Gardens and Gisborne Botanic Gardens. You should also visit Hanging Rock Reserve, which features a beautiful rock formation and a range of walking trails. This is where the famous book and movie Picnic at Hanging Rock is set.
Entry to the Hanging Rock Reserve is $10 per car. It’s about a 45-minute to the summit, but it’s fairly steep so make sure you’re prepared.
So when are YOU visiting?
We really hope you make it to the Macedon Ranges soon, but as always, don’t hesitate to drop us a line at email@example.com if you have any questions!
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