1. Wine and cheese at country couples retreat Rochford Schoolhouse. 2. Get lovey dovey at the beautifully styled Woodend Cottage. 3. Enjoy a horse drawn vintage carriage ride and picnic with Yesteryear Today.
Just a hop, skip and a jump from Melbourne, the Macedon Ranges is host to a bevy of boutique accommodations, fine dining experiences, wine bars, nature walks and spa treatments.
If you want to surprise your sweetheart with a country escape, our saucy list of Macedon Ranges romantic getaways and experiences will help you channel your inner-Giacomo Casanova…
Kiss Me Kyneton
This hip country town offers an abundance of romantic and award-winning restaurants, fantastic cafes and seriously good bars. Beautifully curated B&B accommodation perfect for a cheeky night away. And superlative shopping when you want to get a retail fix. It is perfectly positioned to visit local wineries and nature reserves. And it’s just over an hour from Melbourne.
Start with brunch at one of Kyneton’s many fantastic cafes. A few popular places include Duck Duck Goose Larder, Home Grown on Piper and Flippin Kitchen.
Go for a stroll along historic Piper Street for a spot of shopping. There are also a number of art galleries worth checking out, including Stockroom Gallery and Lauriston Press Gallery. On High Street you will find The Golden Dog Gallery and Mollison Street, The Old Auction House Gallery.
Romantic River Picnic
When you’re ready to chillax, drop by Monsieur Pierre’s (143 Mollison Street) or Piper St Food Co (89A Piper Street) and create your own picnic hamper.
Then, with gourmet treats in hand and a blanket tucked under one arm, head along the Campaspe River Walk for a tranquil picnic along the waters’ edge. You could easily spend the rest of the afternoon here, strolling back into town when you are ready to check into your accommodation.
Tip: The Campaspe offers a flat bike path if you bring your wheels with you. If riding is not your cup of tea, pick up an historic walking tour map from the Visitor Information Centre on High Street and meander your way back into town, getting a mini history lesson along the way.
Did Someone Say G&T?
In the afternoon you may want to quench your thirst with a cool gin cocktail in the sunshine at Animus Gin Distillery, Bar and Cocktail Lounge, Midnight Starling or The Parklands Kyneton (all located on Piper Street), then enjoy the early evening tranquility in your boutique accommodation.
Image from Animus Distillery.
Intimate Dinner for Two
For dinner you are truly spoilt for choice. Colenso on High Street offers an intimate fine dining experience with a fine tuned focus on local farm produce. If you are in Kyneton on Thursday 14 February, you may want to book Colenso’s special Valentine’s menu. And don’t forget to drop by Dr Abalone Wine Bar (also on High Street) for an appertif on the way.
There are also two award-winning, One Hat restaurants in Kyneton, Source Dining and Midnight Starling, as well as stellar dining at The Parkland on Piper Street.
Colenso on High Street Kyneton offers an intimate experience and a superb menu.
If you prefer a more casual meal, head out for burgers and beers at Major Toms, a popular hang out on Piper Street with a fantastic live music line up.
The Morning After
Stay put. Cook up a lazy breakfast cook with locally grown and laid provisions. And soak up the ambiance of your gorgeous accommodation. Alternatively, if you are up for more couple-y adventures, here are a few ideas…
Tip: Kyneton Farmers’ Market is on the second Saturday of the month.
Where to Stay
Flop House offer a number of stylishly appointed, rustic B&B’s in Kyneton, such as Chairmakers House, Harpsichord House, The Studio at Carrick and the dog-friendly Bird House. They also provide bike hire to their guests, along with a handy Flop House Bike Map with a well-researched cycling route along Kyneton’s prettiest streets.
Chairmakers House, Kyneton.
The Studio at Carrick, Kyneton
Romantic shack, the ‘Bird House’, Kyneton.
Cosy Up in Carlsruhe
For a charming country experience, we suggest a stay at Hedge Farm and a seriously romantic horse drawn carriage ride. The slow, gentle ‘clip-clop’ of the horses hooves and the tranquil rural surrounds will take you back to another era. Add a catered picnic lunch and you have a complete recipe for romance…
Image from Yesteryear Today Carriage Rides.
Stay in a Merino Station or ‘Glamp’ in a Railway Worker Van
Hedge Farm’s unique charm lies in its rustic accommodation dating back to the early 1900′s and its rambling country gardens. Set on 20 acres only ten minutes from Woodend (approximately one hour from Melbourne), it offers a unique ‘Merino Station’ and two converted railways vans.
The Merino Station is a self-contained cottage that retains much of the charm and character of the 1884 building. The cottage has a veranda to enjoy an evening vino (or two), fully equipped kitchen, bedroom and bathroom with custom-made egg bath, chandelier and open fire-place. It has a minimum two-night stay for weekends.
Their two railway worker vans offer a glamping experience, ‘van’ style, and are popular with outdoor lovers and adventurous couples looking for a different accommodation experience.
Horse Drawn Buggy Ride
Yesteryear Today Horse Drawn Carriages depart from Hedge Farm and offer a variety of itineraries and catered picnics. A ride offers an ideal vantage to enjoy the beauty of the Macedon Ranges and nearby Hanging Rock. Time will stand still as you relax to the meditative sound of hoof beats while enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of the farms and bush land.
A slow and relaxing way to enjoy the countryside with Yesteryear Today.
Their carriages include an authentic 1890s ‘canoe front buggy wagonette’ of the ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ era, and a larger covered wagon. The drives vary from 50 minutes to long scenic rides of up to four hours, including winery and garden picnic drives. Picnic hampers can be provided upon request and at no extra cost they include a rug, linen, some silver and a windup gramophone.
This experience will create a memory that will stay with you forever (and some amazing photo ops).
Yesteryear Today provide all the bells and whistles for a romantic picnic for two.
Dinner for Two
What would a romantic weekend away be without a special dinner? Consider heading into nearby Woodend for an appertif at the The Cravat Club, followed by the most amazing Japanese you’ve ever tasted at the super popular Kuzu Izakaya. Make sure to book your table (and a return taxi) in advance so you don’t miss out!
The Morning After
There are many fantastic cellar doors to explore, including nearby Hanging Rock Winery and Mount Towrong Vineyard (that also offers tastings of locally distilled Mountain Gin). Or visit Hanging Rock itself, where you will discover the Black Hole of Calcutta, The Eagle, The Chapel and Lover’s Leap as you wind your way up to the pinnacle for spectacular views and a cuddle or two.
So you can relax and enjoy your wine tasting adventures and dinner out, pre-book your transfers. Here are a few businesses you can try calling:
Gisborne Limo Cabs
Trips All Round
Be Woo-ed in Woodend
Art, wine, dine. If you want to woo your sweetheart, Woodend offers the perfect blend of luxurious and/or stylishly curated cottages and B&Bs’ within close proximity to vineyards, bars, restaurants, country pubs and spa facilities.
Art and Wine
It is also a short drive to Hanging Rock Winery and their inaugural Art in the Vines sculpture exhibition, on until 31 March 2019. Time your visit for February 10, and you also get to enjoy their Summer Sunday Session with live music and a Hanging Rock Beef BBQ. Alternatively, you can pre-arrange a picnic hamper on the day, prepared by the legendary Kyneton providore, Piper St Food Co.
If you prefer a slower pace and more pampering, book a couple’s treatment at the Macedon Hotel & Spa. They offer a variety of packages including sparkling wine and antipasto to enjoy after a relaxing massage, foot bath, mud therapy wrap, pedicure, facial and more.
Then, for a special evening out, book a taxi to the The Wine Collective at Macedon Wine Room, offering breathtaking panoramic views in a natural bush setting. The venue’s regional cellar door, The Wine Collective, showcases 35 Macedon Ranges wineries and over 144 regional wines. While the Macedon Wine Room menu reflects the seasons and local produce, with Mediterranean influences.
Where to Stay
There are so many beautiful cottages and B&B’s in Woodend. You may wish to take a look at the French Provincial style Woodend Cottage, with its exceptionally curated interiors.
Or the classically beautiful Oak Hill at the base of Mount Macedon.
Enjoy a tranquil breakfast and bird song at Oak Hill Woodend
The stylishly appointed Oak Hill
The Wine Collective at Macedon Wine Room is located on the grounds of the Macedon Hotel & Spa, making dinner, drinks and spa treatments extremely convenient…
Or check out new kid on the block, Rochford Schoolhouse. Located out of town between Woodend, Lancefield and Romsey, you will be right in the heart of the Macedon Ranges wine country. Built in 1857 and now a historical landmark, the old schoolhouse has been lovingly restored into an elegant, boutique retreat offering peace and privacy.
The Morning After
Slip in one more cheeky wine tasting at Gisborne Peak Winery on the way back to Melbourne, while enjoying wood fired pizzas on their sunny deck.
Tip: Woodend Farmers’ Market is on the 1st Saturday of the month.
Murmur Sweet Nothings in Mount Macedon
The quintessential romantic getaway, Macedon Ranges style. Mount Macedon offers a cool change over the summer, with its high elevation and historic open gardens, perfect for picnicking.
In fact, if you time your visit for Saturday 16 February, you can have the ultimate picnic experience, with a ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ film night held at its namesake, Hanging Rock.
Mount Macedon offers a nature experience with a variety of bush trails and peaceful garden walks. A trip to ‘the Mount’ really allows you the ideal environment to re-energise and focus on each other.
Picnic in Historic Gardens
Treat yourself to a traditional Devonshire tea at the popular Mt Macedon Trading Post Cafe. then stock up on picnic supplies from their tasty display cabinet.
A short drive from the cafe is one of Mt Macedon’s largest gardens open to the public, and just the spot to spread out a blanket.
Almost 100 years old, Forest Glade Gardens covers around 14.5 acres, with numerous statues, fountains and ponds sprinkled throughout themed gardens. On a hot day, their cool fern gully and Japanese garden is the place to be.
There are numerous shady trees, well kept lawns and hidden nooks throughout Forest Glade to partake in a romantic picnic lunch. Bring some board or lawn games and hunker down for a peaceful day, surrounded by beautiful hydrangea flowers and butterflies.
Note: Admission is $10 per person. You will need to park further along from the entrance as there is no standing outside the gates. The gardens are open 7 days a week from 10 – 5pm (last entrance 4.30pm).
Sunset, Views and a Country Pub
In the afternoon, make the most of your accommodation before watching the sun go down from Camels Hump. A volcanic feature formed six million years ago, it is the highest peak in the Macedon Ranges and offers superb views of the surrounding countryside. Dinner at country pub, the Mount Macedon Hotel, will round out the day perfectly.
The Morning After
Stop and smell the roses. Book a beauty treatment at Mt Macedon Beauty Salon. Or if you like to go for a morning run together, rise early and hit the Macedon Walking Trail, with 30km of track to explore, followed by a hearty breakfast at your cottage or local’s favourite, Mr Macedon Cafe.
You could also head to Mount Towrong Vineyard or Mount Macedon Winery* for lunch and wine tasting.
Wine and Gin Tasting at Mount Towrong Vineyard. Photo credit: Mountain Distilling
*Check with Mount Macedon Winery first to ensure their restaurant isn’t booked for a wedding.
Where to Stay
You can stay in Macedon or Mount Macedon, with options ranging from self contained cottages to traditional B&B’s.
For a special weekend away, take a look at Braeside Mount Macedon Country Retreat. Set amongst picturesque English-style gardens on 27 acres of hillside bushland, the property is home to abundant wildlife. It offers three comfortable self-contained cottages dotted throughout the gardens and complimentary breakfast hampers. Have a romantic weekend here, and it could one day be the future venue of your wedding!
Alternatively, the charming Black Pomegranate B&B is located at the foot of Mt Macedon, with a lovely garden and spacious decks to watch the local bird life.
A traditional style bed and breakfast, Wellsprings Retreat is located in the heart of Macedon, within walking distance to the shops and train station. The host teaches yoga and meditation from her studio within the house, so you may wish to book a private lesson during your stay. In the morning you are treated to a home cooked breakfast with eggs from the resident chooks and home made bread.
For more places to stay in the Macedon Ranges, click here.
Plan a Trip for Two
Get a romantic getaway, Macedon Ranges style, at any time of the year. Your experiences, style of accommodation and activities will naturally meld to the change of seasons. Stay tuned for a romantic guide to winter in the Macedon Ranges coming soon!