Inspire

6 Reasons Why Macedon Ranges Is Victoria’s Most Underrated Long Weekend Destination

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Tucked in a corner above Sunbury, nestled against Daylesford and bordering on Lerderderg National Park is Macedon Ranges – a magical pocket of country Victoria and a hot damn excellent weekend getaway. 

But where are the beaches? You might ask. But what’s there to do in the country? You might query. But is there any wifi? You will almost definitely enquire. To all of that I say, relax. Macedon Ranges has got you covered, fair traveller. 

From the kitsch and the quaint, to premium dining and decadent spa dates, Macedon Ranges can be done on a budget or in a blow out. But if you’re stuck for inspo, here’s a list of everything you should hit up on your next out of towner.

#1 The sourdough in Trentham

Think you’d had enough sourdough content for 2020? Fools! You haven’t breaded until you’ve tried the yeasty, leaveny, hot damn historic delight that is RedBeard Sourdough. This bakery is famous, nay it’s an icon, around town for good reason – they’ve been cranking hot loaves out of their wood-fired Scotch oven since 1891. That’s over a century of sourdough, mates. Why change when you’re onto a good thing? 

#2 The Turpin Falls swimming hole

 

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This swimming hole is an oasis in a seemingly endless sea of bone-dry grass paddocks. So, it’s basically magic. The huge watering hole, resplendent in whispering gums and chilled cascades, is hidden from prying eyes until you crest what feels like a random hill and it appears like a desert mirage. If you find a lamp and rub it, Dame Edna will probably pop out of a eucalypt to offer you three wishes. Anyway, this hole is best enjoyed on a lilo where you can float over to the falls with a bev in hand (although we don’t condone irresponsible drinking and floating). Colour me refreshed. 

#3 The thrifting trail

Thrifting, antiquing, Macklemore-ing – whatever you want to call it – the wider Macedon Ranges is packed with good vintage stuff. Whether you fancy a solid country Salvos session in Daylesford or want to pick up a genuine relic from ye olde Woodend, there’s a timeworn trinket to suit every traveller. Just bring the motivation to deep dive through some dusty crates and trawl the famous Mill Market to score yourself a prize. 

#4 The wine country

Did someone say cool climate? Did I hear top notch pizza? Was that ‘pinot noir’ whispered on the wind? Macedon Ranges is an underrated, and yet overachieving Australian wine region that pairs incredible local produce with inventive winemaking. It’s got a relatively high elevation which makes it the coldest wine region on the mainland, meaning it yields a diverse range of complex, beautifully fragrant drops. But don’t take our word for it, swing by the Hanging Rock Winery cellar door for a real life tasting. Best part? No crowds. 

The myth of Hanging Rock

Speaking of Hanging Rock, let’s talk picnics at the monolith. Sure, you can go there, wear a boaters hat and just yell ‘Miranda!’ into the abyss but you should also know that Hanging Rock is both ancient and super evocative. It’s an extinct volcano which gives it a unique geology, plus it’s a sacred site for its traditional owners, the Wurundjeri people. Beautiful and eerie and worth the 50-minute climb to the summit. 

The pub meals

 

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Pub night, but let’s make it country. Macedon Ranges has a downright ridiculous range of regular pubs and gastropubs and fancy pubs. So. Many. Pubs. If you’re frothing a pale ale then hit up the Holgate Brewhouse in Woodend. Then there’s Daylesford’s delicious Farmers Arms and Trentham’s magnificent courtyard at The Cosmopolitan. Honestly, a pub crawl of the Ranges would be an EVENT. 

(Lead Image: Visit Victoria / David Hannah)