Turn Back Time Historic Day Trip
Tap into the history of the Macedon Ranges with a self-guided walking tour, lunch at a historic pub, cemetery stroll, and a horse drawn carriage ride along an old Cobb & Co stagecoach route.
Follow the Old Cobb & Co stagecoach route
Please note that due to COVID-19 some experiences or operating conditions may be altered. Make sure to double-check with the business prior to confirm current status.
Kick off the morning with a vintage horse-drawn carriage ride through the sleepy hamlet of Carlsruhe.
Established only a year after Melbourne in 1837, the hamlet of Carlsruhe is located on the old Cobb & Co stagecoach route to the Bendigo goldfields.
On this relaxing one hour ride you can enjoy views across to Hanging Rock and the Macedon Ranges, along with historic landmarks including a pre-gold rush hotel, school, church and goldfields toll road markers.
The tour departs any day of the week and offers the option of either an 1890’s ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ buggy that seats 2-3 people, or a six-seater wagon with a full canopy for extra shelter.
There are also plenty of blankets to snuggle under during the cold winter months, plus time to stop along the way for a thermos of hot tea.
Discover the fascinating history of Kyneton
Kick off your self-guided Kyneton walking tour with a coffee and snack at Duck Duck Goose Larder, located in a building built in 1878. Originally a market building, it eventually became the Kyneton Technical School, then a brass bed factory. Its front facade has been retained in renovation works and is now a popular cafe, providore and gift shop.
After coffee, it’s time to use our Kyneton Town Walks map to discover the fascinating history of this thriving country village.
Choose between a 1.75km or 2.5km route that takes you past gardens of historical interest and landmark buildings dating back to the 1830’s, including old bluestone churches, pubs, banks and private residences.
Drop by the Visitor Information Centre on High Street for a Kyneton Town Walk map (open 7 days from 9-5pm).
Enjoy lunch in a historic country pub
After all that walking it’s time to enjoy a lazy lunch in a historic country pub.
With its fine cast iron and double storey verandah, the Albion Hotel is a true Kyneton landmark. Built in 1861, it still maintains many of its early interesting features, even though its undergone various renovations.
Some of its fascinating history can be found mentioned in reports on railway riots when the hotel’s flag was stolen to head the procession. The Kyneton Mounted Rifles, sixty strong, were called out by Magistrate Lavender to help maintain order.*
Open Wednesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner, the Albion Hotel also offers a fireplace perfect for warming up after a winter town walk.
Alternatively, the Royal George Hotel on Piper Street is another historic spot to try for lunch. Built in approximately 1855, there are a plethora of fascinating tales about this pub.
In 1856, a lavish Cricket Club ball was held, with 150 attending and presenting ‘an array of beauty and fashion never before seen in Kyneton’.*
Nowadays, it is a stylish pub oozing with character. Lunch is served on weekends only.
*Extracts from Kyneton Town Walks by Don McClure
Discover an ancient bluestone viaduct
A short drive from Kyneton, the village of Malmsbury originally grew from a traveller’s stop in the 1850’s, on the road from Melbourne to the Mount Alexander Goldfields*.
Eventually Malmsbury became a gold town itself, but is also famous for its bluestone rock, which has been used to construct many a historic building.
To begin exploring this charming village, we suggest you head to Malmsbury Bakery on Mollison Street. Here you can pick up some afternoon picnic treats, plus they usually have handy historic guides produced by the Malmsbury Historic Society on their front counter.
With pastries in tow, enjoy a gentle stroll through the nearby Malmsbury Botanic Gardens, which will unveil a magnificent view to the old Malmsbury railway viaduct. Constructed of rusticated and finely dressed local bluestone, it is the largest masonry bridge in Victoria. Still one of Australia’s finest early bridges, it is an outstanding display of engineering.
You may also want to drop by the historic Malmsbury cemetery (gazetted in 1861) for a stroll back in time.
Tip: If you are a history buff, pay a visit to the Malmsbury Mechanic Institute on 71 Mollison Street. The Malmsbury Historical Society are there on Fridays from 9am to 2.30pm, or by prior appointment. They are usually closed from early December to early February unless an appointment has been made (and are closed on all total fire ban days).