For well over 100 years Melburnians have been weekending amid the imposing mansions and glorious gardens of Mount Macedon in Victoria's Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges region.
Mount Macedon is best known for its lookout adorned with a memorial cross to commemorate those who served in the world wars. The spectacular vistas from the summit take in Melbourne and beyond. The view is just reward for a strenuous hike to the top. Hanging Rock and the northern rural landscape can be seen from Camels Hump, a rocky outcrop formed by a small steep-sided volcano.
Meandering the streets of Macedon offers glimpses of the renowned gardens and stately homes. Some of the area's most immaculately preserved gardens are private, so time your visit for regular Open Gardens Scheme open days for the chance to peek behind fences. The Gallery Mt Macedon allows you to browse the town's creative side.
Making do with public parks and reserves won't disappoint, with manicured gardens accompanying the town's more rugged environs. Smell the roses at the historic State Nursery at Macedon and take the Forest Eco-Tourism Walking Trail at Sanatorium Lake. Macedon Regional Park offers up panoramic views, scenic drives, picnic facilities, walking trails, cultural and historic sites of interest and a diversity of flora and fauna.
Mount Macedon's location allows you to take advantage of the region's superb food and wine reputation. Pick up fresh local produce from farm gates and provedores and meet winemakers and taste wines at cellar doors, including Hanging Rock (be sure to sample the iconic Macedon Cuvee), Curly Flat, Cobaw Ridge, Bindi and Granite Hills.
There is excellent cycling around Mount Macedon. November's Mt Macedon Challenge is an annual highlight.
Mount Macedon is 65 kilometres from Melbourne and less than an hour's drive on the Calder Freeway.