The Macedon Ranges are famous for their views, native forests, wildlife, historic monuments and, perhaps foremost, their substantial homes and garden flower displays in Spring. At the western end of the range, the 2427 hectare Macedon Regional Park dominates the skyline.
Things to Do
- A weekday visit should begin at the Visitor Information Centre, Nursery Road, Macedon.
- There are a number of scenic drives, including the road to the summit, memorial cross and to Hanging Rock.
- Hanging Rock was the setting for the novel and film "Picnic At Hanging Rock" and the annual New Year's Day picnic horse races have been held at its racecourse since 1880.
- The towns of Macedon and Mount Macedon are worth exploring for their exotic trees, gracious homes and gardens. Information on guided garden tours is available through the local Tourist Information Centre at Woodend.
- Within Macedon Regional Park there are a number of pleasant, shaded picnic grounds linked by the Macedon Ranges Walking Trail offering short or long walks.
- The recently constructed Forest Eco-tourism trail leads visitors to Sanatorium Lake, named after the former tuberculosis Sanatorium built in 1899, and closed in 1910 after it was destroyed by fire.
- Visitor Information Centre, parking, lookout points, walking tracks, picnic grounds with tables, seats, toilets and wood barbecues (BYO wood) are provided.
- Harbison Picnic Ground near the Memorial Cross car park also has a shelter.
- Top of the Range Tearooms. Open Weekdays 10:30am to 4pm, Weekends 10:00am to 5pm, Tel: (03) 5427 3466
The discovery of gold in the Bendigo area in 1851 led to the opening of inns, shops and smithies at Middle Gully, now Macedon township, to service travellers on their way to the diggings. European settlement in the Macedon Ranges began with timber-getting. In an attempt to make good the destruction from logging, government agents began managing the forests in the 1870s. A plant nursery was established and experiments conducted with exotic trees. From the 1860s wealthy businessmen began to flee the Melbourne summer for the cool air of Mount Macedon, building cottages and, later, mansions. It was not until 1970 that 1317 hectares was declared a forest park.
A number of severe bushfires have affected the Macedon area over the years, but despite the devastation, recovery has been sufficient to continue to entice thousands of visitors.
Wildlife is abundant. 157 varieties of birds have been sighted including shrike thrushes, currawongs, magpies, and kookaburras. Of the 20 mammal species recorded, the most commonly seen are Mountain Possums (Bobuck), Greater Gliders, Swamp Wallabies, Eastern Grey Kangaroos, echidnas, wombats and koalas.
The landscape is characterised by unusual land forms. Camel's Hump Rock formation, like Hanging Rock, is the weathered remains of a mamelon, a mass of sticky lava that oozed out of the earth's crust some six million years ago. Dry and wet Messmate gum forests, damp gullies and a variety of plant life complete the scene of Macedon's natural features, which change with elevation. The highest peaks within the park have characteristic Snow Gum communities.
How to Get There
Take the Mount Macedon Road from the Calder Highway exits at either New Gisborne or Woodend and follow the signs to Macedon Regional Park.
Open access at all times
Yet to be reviewed.