Family friendly things to do in the Macedon Ranges
Children can be entertained to their heart’s content in the Macedon Ranges. Whether you want to hike, bike or swing, there’s plenty of ways to fill a day with the kids.
Hanging Rock Reserve
One of the most popular family destinations in the Macedon Ranges, Hanging Rock Reserve offers a variety of hikes plus lots of grassy fields and trees to picnic and enjoy a game of cricket or frisbee. There are barbecue facilities and an on-site cafe if you want a good coffee and baby chino after your hike. Plus the kids will love spotting wildlife including an abundant population of wild kangaroos.
You can even go fishing for trout in Hanging Rock Dam (don’t forget your fishing license!).
Sanatorium Lake Eco Trail
Sanatorium Lake in Macedon Regional Park is a great place for families, with many natural features and an easy walk with abundant wildlife and natural bushland. There is signage along the walk as well as a display board at the lake which provides information on the forest environment. The walk is about 2.5km and passes through several vegetation types, including tall eucalypt forests and a wet fern gully.
Access and parking is available at Days Picnic Ground, Lions Head Road car park and Sanatorium Picnic Ground. Days Picnic Ground has toilet facilities and is a great spot to light a wood-fuel barbecue and toast marshmallows in the cooler months out of fire danger periods (BYO dry wood!).
PS. Check out our Murmuring Walk experience at Sanatorium Lake for a special sensory-guided walk.
Hanging Rock Llama Treks
Hanging Rock Llama Treks offer guided walks to Hanging Rock Reserve that are ideal for kids 12 years and upwards. For littlies, check out their unique Llama Meet and Greet experiences that are one hour in duration. These are ideal for families with small kids or those just wanting to get up close and personal with the llamas.
Gentle family bike rides and walks
Enjoy a gentle bike ride or walk along the Campaspe River Walk starting from the Kyneton Botanic Garden, where there is also a wonderful children’s park the kids will love.
Malmsbury Botanic Gardens has a small but picturesque gravel path for kiddie bike rides. You can also extend your ride or walk at The Malmsbury Common directly across the road. Make sure to drop into The Malmsbury Bakery for one of their famous pies!
The Gisborne Botanic Gardens is a lovely spot not far from Melbourne that offers relaxing pathways to pedal and stroll. Start out in the botanic gardens and make your way along Jackson’s Creek Walk and under the bridge to Sankey Reserve.
Bike rides for bigger kids
The Federation Trail linking Lancefield and Romsey is another great option for families. Travelling along a dedicated shared path for the majority of the ride, this 16km return route is ideal for families with older kids, or for parents with baby bike seats attached.
There are a number of beautiful playgrounds to enjoy with the kids in the Macedon Ranges.
Kyneton Children’s Park, Woodend Community Park and the Romsey Eco Therapy Park are three particularly lovely parks to check out, with ample play equipment and spots for picnics and barbecues.
Dromkeen Homestead Gallery & Tea Room
Dromkeen Homestead Gallery & Tea Room, near Riddells Creek, is a graceful National Trust classified 19th century homestead that houses the Australian Children’s Literature Collection. See the most complete collection of original artwork, manuscripts and other pre-publication material from Australian children’s books. Walk through sun-drenched galleries featuring presentations of sketches, models and original books, or take part in workshops run with authors and experts alike.
Horseriding for older kids
For kids 12 and up, book a horse trail riding experience with Silver Brumby Trails, 15 minutes drive from Kyneton.
Freshwater swimming in Macedon
For freshwater swimming surrounded by nature, locals enjoy a cool dip at what’s affectionately known as ‘the Macedon Res’. Here’s a handy article and video by Swimming Hole Heaven to help you find it.
Fishing and kayaking at Lauriston Reservoir
Get a fishing line or paddle wet at Lauriston Reservoir, a short drive from Kyneton. Shoreline fishing and on-water recreation is permitted, plus there is a playground area and barbecue facilities to make a day of it.
Kayaks, canoes and small portable craft (car toppers) with electric motors only are permitted. There’s also only one single entry point designated at each reservoir for on-water recreation.
Please note swimming is not allowed in our reservoirs.