Macedon is a quiet, leafy country village on the base of Mount Macedon’s southern slopes.
The town first sprang up with the discovery of gold in 1851.
Over the years, wealthy Melbournians flocked to Macedon, building large homes and grand gardens.
Located less than an hour from Melbourne, it’s an easy day trip or convenient getaway.
What to do in Macedon
People love retreating to Macedon for the pure mountain air, beautiful gardens, nature-based experiences and cellar door adventures.
It’s an ideal escape from hot Melbourne summers. And a place to self-nurture during the cold winter months.
Whether you want to hike, bike, picnic, spot wildlife or simply star gaze – Macedon and its surrounds is the ultimate rejuvenation destination.
Mount Macedon and Macedon Regional Park
Macedon is the launching pad to Mount Macedon and Macedon Regional Park.
The little village of Mount Macedon is home to a number of open gardens, plus a pub, cafe, rare plant nursery and local art gallery. At the summit of Mount Macedon you’ll get scones with a view at the Top of the Range Tea Rooms.
If you love hiking and nature, there’s 30 kilometres of connecting forest hiking trails in Macedon Regional Park to explore.
If lucky you may encounter native wildlife such as kangaroos, wombats and echidnas. The area is also a bird watchers paradise.
In the cool months, Macedon Regional Park transforms into a wild mushroom fairyland. Read our guide to fungi on Mount Macedon to find out more.
There’s also terrific trail running tracks to get your heart pumping.
Stunning open gardens
One of the most popular activities in and around Macedon are historic open gardens.
These famous, established estates offer peace and tranquility. They’re wonderfully romantic. A magical experience for kids. And the perfect spot for a picnic.
Open Gardens Victoria also run a program of open garden events throughout the year.
Avenue of Honour
The magnificent oak-lined Avenue of Honour in Macedon draws visitors from around the world each autumn.
To enjoy the beauty of these autumn leaves and nearby Mount Macedon, we recommend visiting mid-week to avoid crowds.
Cellar doors near Macedon
The Macedon Ranges is dotted with superb, boutique wineries and rustic cellar doors.
When staying in Macedon over a weekend, drop by Mount Towrong Vineyard or Mount Macedon Winery. Mount Towrong are well-known for their rustic Italian fare to enjoy with wine tastings. And Mount Macedon Winery also serve light meals and grazing plates at their cellar door. We recommend calling Mount Macedon Winery first, just in case they’re closed for a private event.
If visiting during the week, Hanging Rock Winery is a short drive from Macedon.
Road cycling in Macedon
Road cycling is extremely popular in Macedon and surrounds. And there’s plenty of challenging routes for the experienced road cyclist. Visit our Macedon Ranges Cycling page for ideas.
Picnic and barbecues
Centennial Park is a grassy spot with plenty of shade, gas barbecues and toilet facilities.
There’s a number of picnic spots in Macedon Regional Park to spread a blanket under the gum trees. Days Picnic Ground on Mount Macedon offer wood-fuel barbecues and toilet facilities (barbecues not permitted during fire ban season).
Stanley Park Bushland Reserve has a small playground for kids, barbecue facilities, shelter and toilets.
Open gardens such as Forest Glade are also ideal picnic spots, with large shade trees, expansive lawns and cool fern gullies.
Where to eat and drink in Macedon
For a local country pub experience head to the Macedon Railway Hotel.
Or drive a short distance up Mount Macedon to the Mount Macedon Trading Post cafe.
After something special? On the edge of Macedon in the Blackwood Forest is The Wine Collective. This is the restaurant you go for beautiful views, an extensive local wine list and a la carte dining.
Places to stay in Macedon
For accommodation in the local pub, the Macedon Railway Hotel is a convenient place to lay your head.
Or for access to an on-site restaurant and spa facilities, the Macedon Ranges Hotel & Spa is a great option.
Browse our Where to Stay page for more accommodation options in Macedon, Mount Macedon and surrounds.
Local events in Macedon
You won’t want to miss the annual Garden Lovers’ Fair in early October, attracting thousands of visitors each year.
The Macedon Village Farmers’ Market (typically held on the 5th Saturday of the month) is a brilliant country affair for fresh produce and locally made treats.
Tours and attractions near Macedon
If you have a passion for gin, book a gin botanical foraging and tasting experience with Mountain Distilling.
Or meet the lovely Rose and her horse Patrick in Carlsruhe, for a vintage horse-drawn carriage ride through the countryside. This is a unique experience for both couples and families and a great way to soak up the scenery and learn about the history of the region.
Hanging Rock Llama Treks is also a popular activity near Macedon, where you can lead charismatic llamas on a walk to Hanging Rock. You need to book well in advance to get a spot on these llama walks.
If you’re interested in a small group guided tour of the region, check out The Regional Wanderer or Trips all Round. You can go on everything from art discovery tours, Hanging Rock explorations, and food and drink-themed adventures.
How to get to Macedon
Macedon can be reached by car or V-line train that departs from Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station or Bendigo. It takes approximately 50 minutes to drive by car from Melbourne CBD to Macedon.
Nearby Mount Macedon is a short seven minutes’ drive from Macedon village.
The iconic Hanging Rock is around 10 minutes’ drive away for a hike or barbecue. And the township of Woodend is only a 15 minute drive for dining, retail therapy or a visit to the Holgate Brewhouse craft beer distillery.