There’s more to love about the Macedon Ranges than a picnic at Hanging Rock. There are beautiful national parks, sprawling country gardens, rolling hills, and we haven’t even started on the culinary options yet. It’s all within a short drive from Melbourne so you can stay for a day or make a weekend of it. You bring the playlist, we’ve got the rest covered.
Stop One: Maze House
Distance from Melbourne: 1 hour and 30 minutes | 125km
Step into your childhood in this Alice In Wonderland-style maze. The maze is 27 years old and spans over 20,000sqm in a picturesque country garden. There are classic carnival games scattered around the property too, including outdoor ten pin bowling, a Knock ‘Em Down moving target game, Wind-Up Horse racing game, country cricket, lawn bowls, hookey, frisbee tossing and more. They recommend allowing an hour and a half to get the most out of the maze, book your visit here.
Stop Two: Du Fermier
Distance from Melbourne: 1 hour and 12 minutes | 94km
It’s time to take things up a notch and graduate from childhood shenanigans to mature fine dining. Du Fermier is the brainchild of renowned Australian chef Annie Smithers, who personally curates each weekly menu using seasonal and local ingredients from her farm and pantry. The four course lunches are inspired by French-style country cooking and can be matched with wines—if you’re not the deso driver. Located along the Trentham High Street, make sure you book ahead to secure your seat at the table.
Stop Three: Trentham Falls
Distance from Melbourne: 1 hour and 13 minutes | 94km
Plunging over 32 metres, Trentham Falls is one of the longest single drop waterfalls in Victoria, and one of the most beautiful. Pack a picnic and get in amongst nature, the reserve is filled with bushland, mossy banks and native manna gums. Best views are from the designated viewing area, don’t go off the path because those rocks get slippery and they’re not always stable. Top tip: brave the cold and visit during winter when the flow is strongest.
Stop Four: Mount Towrong Vineyard
Distance from Melbourne: 1 hour | 70km
After a busy morning of mazing and chasing waterfalls, we think you deserve a drink. Mount Towrong Vineyard is a small family-owned and run winery with stunning views across the region. They’ve got a gorgeous, cosy cellar door where you can sample their wines and graze the afternoon away with their homestyle Italian food. They don’t do dinner, but lunch and afternoon antipasto plates are perfect to see you through the day.
Stop Five: The Wine Collective
Distance from Melbourne: 1 hour | 76km
The panoramic view is the main drawcard for this restaurant, but the food and wine are a very close second. The menu is concise and considered, and includes plenty of plant-based options as well as an Inglewood Eye Fillet for all the carnivores out there. Situated in the Macedon Ranges Hotel and Spa, The Wine Collective is the ideal spot to end your day, looking out over the vineyards with the picturesque mountains in the background—we can picture it already.
Accommodation: Sky High Mt Franklin
Distance from Melbourne: time | distance
Fall into bed in the luxurious Sky High Mt Franklin. The architecturally designed home is your private sanctuary, complete with a pool, private deck, sweeping views and beautiful interior—seriously, this place is straight outta Hollywood minus the paparazzi, unless you’re staying for a wedding weekend, in which case the cameras will be popping. They offer wellness packages too including yoga and massage, or you can opt for a quiet weekend with a book. We’d recommend getting a group together to fill those four bedrooms though because this place ain’t cheap—worth it though.
Why not make it a long weekend? Tag this Dandenongs Ranges road trip onto your itinerary.