You've barely left Melbourne behind but it feels like another world when you arrive at Woodend, a nineteenth century resort town and base for the mysterious Hanging Rock.
A refreshing break
Visit Woodend as a stop-off point on your way to the north-west, and experience the excellent refreshments at Holgate Brewhouse. Try the microbrewery's seven draught beers, book an overnight stay and be spoiled with a fabulous meal in the restaurant.
History on every corner
As you'd expect from a former resort town, Woodend is aflush with guesthouses, large private gardens, a racecourse, golf club and hotels, such as Campaspe Country House. Trip down the main street to reveal a number of historical buildings and a clock tower. Shop for antiques to complete the historical experience.
Picnic at Hanging Rock
The highlight of any visit is to climb nearby Hanging Rock, which featured in Peter Weir's film Picnic at Hanging Rock. Pack your own picnic and explore the reputed hideout of infamous bushrangers like 'Mad Dog' Morgan.
Food and wine galore
Celebrate terrific local food and wine at Hanging Rock's annual Harvest Picnic in late February. Complete the Hanging Rock experience with a visit to Hanging Rock winery, and sample the iconic Macedon Cuvee.
Explore the scenic bushland of Macedon Regional Park or take a self-guided cycling tour. Tee-off at the cliff-top golf course and pay particular attention to the panoramic views from the eleventh hole.
For more, go to www.visitmacedonranges.com