Woodend is in the centre of the Macedon Ranges. It’s the quintessential modern rural village and the gateway to many attractions throughout the region.
Base yourself in Woodend if you enjoy hiking, biking, eating and drinking. Or simply a country escape, close to Melbourne.
What to do in Woodend
The town itself is set under wide verandas along the boulevard of the Old Calder Highway.
Here you’ll discover country-style bakeries, cosmopolitan cafes and brilliant pubs. There’s also a great selection of bookstores and shops with an eclectic mix of old and new wares.
Many visitors spend time in Woodend when visiting nearby Hanging Rock and boutique wineries.
The iconic Hanging Rock is located a short drive from Woodend. Here you can go hiking in Hanging Rock Reserve or fishing in the dam. Enjoy a game of cricket on the grassy fields and a barbecue with friends and family.
You’ll be amazed by the ancient volcanic rock formations as you hike to the summit of Hanging Rock. And you’ll be rewarded with beautiful views when you reach the top.
Five Mile Creek walk
A pleasant stroll or a vigorous walk – it’s up to you. The peaceful Five Mile Creek track is 3.4km and passes through picnic grounds, reserves and recreation areas. It’s also a great spot for birdwatching. Drop by the Visitor Information Centre in Woodend (Thursday to Monday) and they’ll point you in the right direction.
Road and mountain biking
Cycling enthusiasts use Woodend as a base for road, gravel and mountain biking adventures. Cycle country roads with Hanging Rock as your backdrop and drop into cellar doors along the way. Challenge yourself to steep climbs on Mount Macedon. Or check out the popular mountain biking tracks in the Wombat State Forest.
Here’s more info on Macedon Ranges bike routes and maps.
Pubs in Woodend
The Woodend pub scene is a cracker.
If beer is your favourite brew, head to Holgate Brewhouse, home to some of the best-known craft beers in Australia.
Holgate’s Tap Room, located inside a state-of-the-art brewery, offers 16 taps of core and special release beers, tasting paddles, and charcuterie and platters for you to enjoy.
Locals also love The Victoria Hotel, affectionately known as ‘The Vic’.
Their cosy fireplace in winter is a drawcard, as is their delicious, classic pub fare. The pub is also host to regular live music and events, so make sure to keep an eye out on our What’s On page.
Cafes, bakeries and restaurants
A short walk from The Vic is super-popular Japanese restaurant, Kuzu Izakaya. Make sure to book!
If you want beautiful views to Mount Macedon, an extensive wine selection and a la carte dining, head to the The Wine Collective at Macedon Wine Room.
Love a good country bakery? Bourkies Bakehouse is the place to go. Make sure to check out their award-winning vanilla slices.
The kids are covered too, with the most amazing ice cream you’ve ever tasted. A visit to Woodend is not complete without a trip to the super popular Woodend Ice Cream Co.
See more places to eat and drink in Woodend.
Wine tasting near Woodend
Take a short drive to nearby Hanging Rock Winery, open 7 days. The (dog-friendly) winery has magnificent views to Hanging Rock, plus picnic boxes available at their cellar door.
Gin tasting trail
For award-winning, locally distilled gin, venture to Big Tree Distillery in Newham (weekends or by appointment), Mount Macedon’s Mountain Distilling at Mount Towrong Vineyard (weekends) or Kyneton’s Animus Distillery (Wednesday to Sunday).
Farm gate experiences
Head out of Woodend in the direction of Macedon to Black Forest Farm for delicious homemade jams and relishes available year-round.
It’s also a very pretty forest drive to Azzurri Cheese Farm in Bolinda. Here you can buy fresh, handcrafted cheese from their farmgate daily between 10-5pm.
Woodend for families
Kids love the Woodend Children’s Park. This extensive playground has covered picnic shelters and gas barbecues perfect for a family day out.
Woodend Golf Club
Woodend Golf Course is a unique links course built on the hill outside town with views to Hanging Rock and Mount Macedon.
Places to stay in Woodend
For a beautifully curated guesthouse within walking distance to Woodend village, check out The Barn @ Braemar Cottage.
On the outskirts of Woodend, there’s a number of lovely places to stay for a nature escape. For a touch of luxury check out Oak Hill, and for groups of friends and family, Tree Change is a great option.
On a budget? Check out The Dickins in the heart of town.
Here’s more ideas for places to stay in Woodend.
Local events in Woodend
Time a visit around the wonderful Woodend Village Farmers’ Market, held on the first Saturday of the month. Here you can treat yourself to super fresh, local and sustainably farmed produce, plus superb wine and ferments.
If you’re a keen mountain biker, don’t miss the annual Wombat MTB 25 and 50km challenge held in the Wombat State Forest each March.
Love baroque music, art and literature? The Woodend Winter Arts Festival in June is a must-do.
People book well in advance to experience Hanging Rock Llama Treks, with a llama-led hike to at nearby Hanging Rock Reserve.
Or for a relaxing, historic experience, go on a vintage horse-drawn carriage ride with Yesteryear Today Carriages. They have a variety of rides including an old Cobb & Co stagecoach route and a trip to Hanging Rock Winery including fully catered picnics.
Attractions near Woodend
The historic village of Kyneton is a short 15 minute drive, where you’ll discover wonderful restaurants, art galleries and quirky retail stores.
If you’re a keen gardener, make sure to visit Post Office Farm Nursery in nearby Ashbourne. Specialising exclusively in hellebores, this fantastic nursery opens exclusively to the public on weekends during April and October only.
How to get to Woodend
You can get to Woodend via the Calder Highway. It takes approximately one hour from Melbourne CBD. You can also reach Woodend via the V-line train that departs from Southern Cross Station in Melbourne or from Bendigo.