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Please also note that pubs, restaurants and cafes are either closed or offering take away and home delivery only. Cellar doors are also closed however many vineyards are taking online orders.
Autumn is traditionally a popular time to visit the Macedon Ranges. It’s a beautiful, picturesque season to get outdoors and enjoy fresh country air or a relaxing country road trip.
Below is a handy guide on how to experience autumn in the region, including tips on hidden gems and off-the-beaten track adventures.
Malmsbury in autumn
Malmsbury is a quaint little village that is 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.
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.
For a taste of country culture and local produce, time your visit around their fantastic farmers’ market (fourth Sunday of the month).
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 are a joy.
Romsey is also nearby a number of postcard-worthy vineyards such as Hesket Estate (open first weekend of the month) and Cope-Williams Winery. For an extra special autumn leaf fix, head to Botanica Estate, which combines cellar door wine tastings with their own grass-fed Wagyu beef and a wonderful garden estate to explore.
Only a short drive from Lancefield, you can easily fill a day between the two towns.
Macedon in autumn
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 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.
These magnificent oaks were planted along the avenue in 1918 to commemorate those from Macedon and Mount Macedon who served in World War I. During your visit please remain respectful that this is a place of historical significance, as well as a home to local residents.
Autumn typically draws large numbers of people to Macedon each year, particularly over weekends and public holidays. As a result, there’s strict travel and parking restrictions in place. Free parking is available at Centennial Park in Macedon, directly opposite Honour Avenue.
A cool tip for getting the most out of your visit
Plan a mid-week trip when there are fewer visitors, or book local accommodation so you can choose to stroll early morning or at sunset, when the light is simply magic.
Mount Macedon in autumn
Mount Macedon is close to Melbourne yet feels worlds away. It’s the perfect destination for bushwalks and trail running, wildlife spotting and wine tasting.
For family fun, enjoy a picnic and ramble through beautiful mountain gardens open to the public.
On weekends, go wine and gin tasting at Mount Towrong Vineyard*, known for its superb cool climate wines and rustic Italian fare.
Or enjoy a lazy lunch and wine tasting at Mount Macedon Winery‘s cellar door* (open Thursday to Sunday, call first in case of private event).
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.
For garden enthusiasts, go on a stunning country drive to the farming community of Sidonia, where peacocks roam through the historic open gardens of Bringalbit.
And when the weather gets chilly, cosy up in front of a wood-fuel fireplace in charismatic restaurants, pubs and bars along Piper Street.
Grapevines also put on a brilliant display of colour during autumn. Consider a scenic adventure to rustic vineyards such as Cloud 9 Farm, Hunter-Gatherer Vintners and Kyneton Ridge Estate. The drive is divine, as is the wine.
Gisborne in autumn
When autumn takes hold there’s plenty of colour to be found in Gisborne.
Take a stroll or bike ride in Gisborne Botanic Gardens and the parklands that hug Jacksons Creek.
Love wine and wood-fired pizza? Gisborne Peak Winery is open daily for wine tasting and lunch, with beautiful views from their restaurant verandah.
Foodies also flock to Baringo Food & Wine Co. in New Gisborne.
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.
Woodend in autumn
Woodend is central to many local attractions such as Hanging Rock and nearby Macedon’s Honour Avenue.
It also has an Avenue of Honour of its own, that typically turns golden towards the tail end of autumn.
Into gin? Pay a visit to Jack’s Springs Farm in nearby Newham on weekends for gin tasting at Big Tree Distillery.
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.
Enjoy colourful autumn vineyard views with a wood-fired pizza at Cleveland Winery. Or taste wine in their unique underground cellar. Their popular ‘Pizza and Pooches‘ event each Sunday makes for a great foodies day out with your dog.
If wine is your thing, explore further afield on a ‘Laneways of Lancefield’ adventure.
Traverse unsealed roads winding through farmland to award-winning wineries including Parkside Estate Winery, Lyons Will Estate, Lanes End Vineyard and Curly Flat Vineyard. Many of these country vineyards are set on wonderful established gardens boasting a mass of autumn colour to match their vines.
Or drop by Double Oaks Estate on the second weekend of the month for a tasty American barbecue lunch.
Want fresh air and exercise? Plan a bike ride with the family between Lancefield and Romsey. Largely lined with deciduous trees that begin to change colour in the height of autumn, this ride is peaceful and picturesque.
The Saturday farmers’ market on the fourth Sunday of the month is also extremely popular.
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 in autumn.
Enjoy Devonshire Tea at the historic Dromkeen Homestead, listed on the National Heritage Trust. Its established gardens are lovely and its a fantastic place to bring kids.
Alternatively, plan a trip around the Riddells Creek Farmers’ Market, held on the third Saturday of each month.
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.