Without a doubt, Mt Macedon is just as beautiful in Winter as it is in Autumn and Spring. The greenery and smell of fresh air is something you don’t often see everyday. The lovely country town is less than an hours drive from Melbourne, being 66 km away from the CBD. Drive along the Calder freeway and you’re there. My girlfriend and I picked a week during our Uni break to get away from everything and explore the in’s and outs of Mount Macedon and the surrounding area. Here is a little recap of our stay.
We decided to Airbnb our stay in the nearby town of Macedon, it was cheaper and closer to the essentials. I would highly recommend the place where we stayed, it was modern and contained everything we could possibly think of! It was a well furnished apartment with an amazing front garden. The place was not too far away from the main strip of shops and a 15 to 30 minute drive from the many places we were to visit.
The first town we explored was Macedon which contained some amazing restaurants and cafes. We ate at Ida Red, a wood fire pizza place with a touch of Japanese. The interior decoration was warming and had a lovely atmosphere. (Do definitely try their vegetarian pizza). Another place we ate at was Mr Cafe. They had a wide range of breakfast options and we couldn’t resist having their eggs benedict with their apple hollandaise sauce. Both eateries were well priced. Just across the road was a small IGA, PSA: they have Ben and Jerry’s. The night we ate at Ida red, we went to buy some Ben and Jerry’s for our desert, however they had closed. We were determined to get our ice-cream and drove the distance to Kyneton to get our ice-cream, disappointingly it was a dollar more expensive than the smaller Macedon IGA. The town itself is very easily accessible.
A view you have to see, unless it’s foggy. We had to visit Camels Hump twice, first time we went up when it was really foggy and we could barely see past 10m in front of us, would not recommend unless you want some moody misty photos. The second time we went up was for sunset, the trek up is easy and is done within 15 minutes. The view blew our minds, you could see other country towns, hanging rock and all. There even is a plaque which points to other famous landmarks you could possibly see. The sunset view is gorgeous and I would highly recommend visiting Camels Hump as a sunset location.
One of the major attractions of Mount Macedon includes this 21m tall cross commemorating those who gave their lives to the first world war, 1914-1918. There are many looks out to view nearby towns and on a clear day you can spot the Melbourne CBD in the distance as well as the Dandenong ranges. At Sky-high, the plague points towards Mount Macedon. The gardens leading up to the cross are gorgeous, even in winter, and looking out into the distance, all you can see are fields of green and forestland. It is an incredible look-out and a perfect walk. Be wary during winter, the road can be covered by frost as well as fog.
Forest Glade Gardens
When I was younger, I visited this garden during Autumn and it was absolutely stunning, the colours and atmosphere was lively. As this garden is open all year round, we decided to explore the garden and see what has changed and I got to say, it keeps getting better. The greenery was incredible and there were still plants shedding their leaves. We were the only two visitors in the garden during our visit, which gave the garden a sense of peace and tranquility. The sculptures and different gardens within the garden are a sight to behold. Everywhere you looked, you could see the different landscaping techniques and styles and the wide range of plants. It was a delight to photograph in this garden and I strongly recommend anyone who has an interest in photography to come visit, prime lenses would be the recommendation to capture the crispness of the flowers. The $10 entry fee is definitely worth it.
Situated within a 10 minute drive from Mt. Macedon, the infamous Hanging Rock and its mysteries lay bulging out of the flat land. To many, Hanging Rock would be best known and recognised for the story and film adaption; Picnic at Hanging Rock. Inside the park contains many different rock formations, which all follow a trail. The walk is rather steep and it is recommended to take breaks when ascending to the top. Be mindful the rocks can be slippery when wet and there are no safety barriers if you happen to slide off the edge. The view from the top is incredible, you have a complete 360 degree view, barely being intruded by other rocks or trees. Furthermore, there is a cafe and race-course nearby which adds tourism to the rock. I recently learned about the deal Frontier touring have with the Macedon shire council, which means they are to host 4 shows a year at Hanging Rock. In 2017, the announced tours include Ed Sheeran, Bruce Springsteen and Midnight Oil. There is a entry fee that is based off the vehicle you enter in, a car being $5.
Do not shy away from the dirt road and death warning signs, this is a hidden freshwater swimming hole gem! The billabong is larger than an Olympic swimming pool and is a very popular diving location. Be warned of the water level as there have been several injuries. Unfortunately it was winter and we didn’t go for a swim, however I would definitely revisit this waterfall in the summer. It was a great picnic location and was completely secluded. The waterfall itself has plenty of water flowing. Be mindful the car park is small and has been reported to be very crowded during the summer months. Fortunately we were the only ones there.
In order to maximize your experience here, avoid the signs at your own risk. The path has been blocked off due to unstable cliffs, however when we visited, everyone was walking along the path. There is a viewing platform a short walk from the car park, but it barely captures the essence of the waterfall with trees hindering your view. Once you walk down the trail, you see the wonderful nature of this waterfall, it is absolutely stunning. We walked to the bottom of the waterfall for some photos and also down the creek. The waterfall is so much more impressive from the bottom and along the creek. The flowing water and the greenery along the creek made my jaw drop. With the sun just peaking through the clouds, a rainbow can be seen at the waterfall, making the entire experience majestic. I would recommend shoes that have grip, unless you want to slide down your bottom. The location is easily found and is definitely worth a visit.
My girlfriend and I had an incredible time at Mount Macedon, exploring the various landmarks and eateries. We would definitely recommend spending at least two days to capture the beauty of the place. In order to capture the beauty of the town, the locals we spoke to work in Melbourne but are willing to spend an hour or two to travel to and fro as they don’t want to leave the peace and serenity of Mount Macedon. Every place you visit is unique and will be an unforgettable experience.