Macedon Ranges Autumn Festival 2021
There’s so much more to the Macedon Ranges in autumn than Macedon and oak-lined avenues. Every village you visit, every country road you trip down, is home to an abundance of colourful deciduous autumn trees, flowers, rustic bakeries, farmgate produce, and Instagram-worthy photo opps.
Get ready to immerse yourself in a bounty of autumn colours and autumn-inspired food, drink and artistic experiences the Macedon Ranges is so well known for.
Here’s a handy guide on how to immerse yourself in autumn, village-by-village. You may also want to check out these suggested autumn drives and itineraries for more inspiration.
Malmsbury in autumn
Malmsbury is a quaint little village that’s stunning in the height of autumn. It’s also an easy day trip from Melbourne or Bendigo.
Here you can picnic, ride or stroll through the Malmsbury Botanic Gardens, with views to the historic bluestone Malmsbury Viaduct.
Eat and drink
Enjoy a delicious pie or vanilla slice from Malmsbury Bakery, where you can dine alfresco under the grapevines in a historic courtyard.
If wine is your passion, drop into nearby Birthday Villa, or bring your own hot pot and snuggle in front of the fire with a bottle of wine at nearby Zig Zag Winery cellar door
You might want to time your visit with the wonderful Malmsbury Village Farmers’ Market on Sunday 28 March and Sunday 25 April.
Serious cyclists will love the advanced 87km Malmsbury Mixer gravel and road ride that is worthy of an autumn bikeation. Or enjoy a gentle stroll or cycle in the botanic gardens or adjacent Malmsbury Common Reserve.
Romsey in autumn
Romsey is a small village highly worth a visit in autumn. Mature Claret ash trees line the main street of town and put on a richly-coloured autumn show from around mid to late April. Combine this scene with fine examples of historic Australian architecture and you’ll be in instagram-heaven.
Locals absolutely love their gardens here, so a simple stroll or cycle around its streets is a joy.
Eat and drink
Relax at Hesket Estate with a wine tasting at their cellar door, open on the first weekend of every month.
Or head to the delectable Botanica Estate each weekend and ramble their established garden brimming with deciduous trees and autumn roses. Then relax at the cellar door with a glass of superb sparkling wine and tasting plates featuring Botanica’s own grass-fed Wagyu beef.
Cyclists will love the 16km Federation Trail loop, a shared bike and pedestrian route between Romsey and Lancefield along a picturesque oak-lined path.
Macedon in autumn
Macedon, at the base of Mt Macedon, is a magical village to visit during autumn, with its mass of vibrant leaves on show. It’s also the gateway to hiking trails in Macedon Regional Park, cycling and vineyard cellar doors.
One of the most popular locations to visit in autumn is Honour Avenue. This famous avenue boasts 154 Pin Oaks forming a fairy-like arch of leaves. From late March to late April, the leaves begin a slow transition from yellow to vibrant red to burnt sienna.
Centennial Park, located at one end of Honour Avenue, is also a popular spot for picnics.
Eat and drink
If a good country pub meal and live music is your thing, make sure to visit the Macedon Railway Hotel.
Mr. Macedon cafe is also a popular local spot for brunch and lunch, as is The Macedon Lounge. For a classic country bakery, check out The Lazy Baker.
Hit the hiking trails further up Mt Macedon, with a variety of walks through Macedon Regional Park.
Mt Macedon in autumn
Mt Macedon is close to Melbourne yet feels worlds away. It’s the perfect destination for bushwalks and trail running, wildlife spotting, garden picnics and wine tasting.
The stunning open garden experience at Forest Glade Gardens is a highlight for many visiting Mount Macedon village.
While you’re up that way, drop by Dicksonia Rare Plants Nursery, or check out local artist’s work at the Mt Macedon Art Gallery.
Eat and drink
Create your own picnic or enjoy brunch at the quaint mountain village cafe, Mt Macedon Trading Post.
Nearby is the popular Mount Towrong Vineyard, known for its Italian-style wine and cuisines, as well as Mountain Gin tastings. Or book a lunch at the restaurant, or spread a picnic blanket on the grounds of Mount Macedon Winery.
If fresh air and exercise are what you’re after, go for a hike in Macedon Regional Park. Camels Hump will reward you with sublime views and Sanatorium Lake is perfect for spotting an amazing variety of wild fungi, and is a great bushwalk for families.
If you’re a keen road cyclist, challenge yourself to the Straws Lane Thriller 40km loop that takes you from Woodend up the slopes of Mt Macedon.
Kyneton in autumn
Kyneton is the perfect autumn getaway if you love nature, great food and wine, gardens, plant nurseries and shopping.
Here you can amble along the Campaspe River Walk under ancient oaks, poplars and elms, or simply stroll the town’s historic streets and enjoy all the beautiful front yards bursting with colour.
Art lovers will be amazed at the number of independent art galleries dotted throughout the town. Or take a drive through the countryside for a ramble on the grounds of historic Bringalbit open gardens. The views driving there are as breathtaking as the gardens, where peacocks roam and Highland cows greet you at the entrance.
Eat and drink
Kyneton is the home to Australia’s Best Pie. Not just ‘Best in Category’, but best overall number one pie in Australia. Folk flock to Country Cob Bakery to taste their mouth-watering pastries, although you’ll also find many more pastry delights at the likes of Piper St Food Co., Grist and The Starving Artist.
The Kyneton Farmers’ Markets, held under the gaze of one of the most historic bluestone churches in town, is a must-do on the third Saturday each month.
Cyclists will love the 27km Historic Village Loop between Kyneton and the quaint village of Malmsbury, with its picture-worthy botanic garden and bluestone viaduct bridge resplendent in autumn.
Or stretch your legs on a bushwalk at Black Hill Reserve., conveniently located nearby Kyneton Ridge Estate winery.
Gisborne in autumn
When autumn takes hold there’s plenty of colour to be found in Gisborne. Stroll or cycle in Gisborne Botanic Gardens and the reserves that hug Jacksons Creek for a big splash of autumn leaves. This town may only be 45 minutes from Melbourne, but its surrounding rural landscapes make you feel like you’re well and truly out of the big smoke.
Eat and drink
Make sure to visit Villa Pileggi Olive Farm for locally grown, organic olive oil (open every second Saturday of the month).
Cyclists will love the 48km Barringo Beauty road loop from Gisborne that passes through stunning autumn landscapes.
Woodend in autumn
Woodend is central to many local attractions such as Hanging Rock and nearby Macedon’s Honour Avenue.
Eat and drink
Kids and adults alike flock to the amazing Woodend Ice-cream Co., even in the middle of winter.
You may also want to time your visit with the wonderful Woodend Farmers’ Markets on Saturday 3 April and Saturday 1 May.
Drop by the pooch-friendly Hanging Rock Winery to try their wines and delicious Hanging Rock Speckled Beef. Open seven days, the views through the vineyard to Hanging Rock are divine.
If you’re a fan of craft beer, make sure to visit the amazing Holgate Brewhouse Tap Room and state-of-the-art brewery. Or warm your toes by the fire at The Victoria Hotel with a seriously good parma and glass of local wine.
Gin aficionados should also pay a visit to the fantastic Big Tree Distillery, located on Jack’s Springs Farm in nearby Newham.
Cyclists after a thrill must try the 40km Straws Lane Thriller road ride, a highly picturesque route that takes in Mt Macedon and returns along Woodend’s beautiful Avenue of Honour.
Or visit Hanging Rock for a climb to the summit. Try your luck at trout fishing in Hanging Rock dam while you’re there (don’t forget your fishing licence!).
Lancefield in autumn
Lancefield is a quiet treasure trove of historical buildings surrounded by farmland and superb vineyards.
Spread a picnic blanket under the oak trees in Lancefield Park Recreation Reserve, while the kids can try out a brilliantly designed skatepark. Or book a yoga class and rejuvenating float tank experience at Evexia.
Eat and drink
There’s an abundance of amazing cellar doors down quiet country lanes in Lancefield. The driving is just as much a part of the wine adventure as the tastings. From Parkside Winery Estate to Lyons Will Estate to Curly Flat, you could easily fill a day or more on a laneways of Lancefield wine adventure.
If you’re hungry, you might want to book a table at Cleveland Winery‘s restaurant for wood-fired pizza overlooking their autumn-coloured vines. Or visit Double Oaks Estate for a wine tasting and one of their delicious homemade American-style BBQ pies.
Make sure to drop by the Lancefield Farmers’ Markets on Saturday 27 March and Saturday 24 April.
Experienced road cyclists will love our 74km Backcountry Explorer adventure along the Burke and Wills Track and Cobaw Ranges.
For an easier bike ride or walk, check out the Federation Trail between Lancefield and Romsey.
Riddells Creek in autumn
Lions Park Reserve and the sleepy streets of Riddells Creek make for a beautiful drive, leisurely bike ride, or casual stroll and picnic in autumn.
Eat and drink
Devonshire Tea in the gardens at Dromkeen Homestead is a tranquil way to spend a lazy autumn day. Or drop by the Azzurri Cheese farm gate in the stunning forestscape of nearby Bolinda, for freshly made, artisan cheeses (open daily).
You can also get a taste of country culture and local produce at the Riddells Creek Farmers’ Markets on Saturday 20 March and Saturday 17 April.
Experienced road cyclists will love the 54km Ring of Kerrie ride that climbs past grand horse properties and forested landscapes.
Or go on a bushwalk in Conglomerate Gully Reserve.
Get more information about what’s on this autumn
Check out our Autumn Festival events page or go to What’s On for a full list of happenings across the region. There’ll be plenty of new events, workshops and experiences getting added over the coming weeks, so make sure to check back regularly.
Why not stay a couple of days?
Mid-week is a great time to visit the region when there are less crowds and great accommodation deals. Check out these mid-week autumn accommodation offers and book your stay now.
How to get to the Macedon Ranges
The Macedon ranges is located approximately 45 minutes to 1.25 hours’ (picturesque) drive north-west from Melbourne CBD, depending on where you plan to visit in the Macedon Ranges.
Planning on visiting Macedon and Honour Avenue? Make sure to read this important information about parking restrictions, road closures and our free shuttle service.