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 make a beeline for the excellent refreshments at Holgate Brewhouse. Try the microbrewery's seven draught beers, including the chocolate-flavoured Temptress beer.
History on every corner
As you'd expect from a former resort town, Woodend offers guesthouses, large private gardens, a racecourse, golf club and hotels like Campaspe Country House. Trip down the main street to uncover a number of historical buildings and a clock tower. Shop for antiques to complete the historical experience, or find boutique giftware.
Picnic and events aplenty 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 or enjoy a meal at the onsite café and explore the reputed hideout of infamous bushrangers like 'Mad Dog' Morgan and home of native flora and fauna.
Get along to the annual events held at Hanging Rock for unusual perspectives of the eerie landmark. See classic cars in the shadow of the peak at the Annual Picnic at Hanging Rock, camp overnight once a year with Camp Out At The Rock, Run The Rock, and spend New Years Day cheering your horse over the finish line at Hanging Rock Races.
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.