I'm a Victorian freelance writer & photographer living in the Macedon Ranges north of Melbourne.
Published June 27th 2013
A mountain hideaway
Mount Macedon has provided a refreshing country retreat for Melburnians for more than a century.
Mount Macedon is at the heart of the Macedon Ranges less than an hours drive north of Melbourne.
Following the gold rush many of the cities well-to-do built grand estates on the mount to take advantage of the clean mountain air.
Some remain today and others have been reborn from the ashes of countless bushfires over the years.
The Mount Road, leading from the Calder Freeway to the summit of Mount Macedon and beyond, is awash with Autumn colour and home to many garden estates open to the public
One such property, Forest Glade, is an amazing 5.6 hectares of themed plantings, fountains and statues, all the more remarkable for the fact that the original home and gardens were destroyed by the Ash Wednesday fires of February 1983.
The Mount is home to Forest Glade and the fabulous Stoke's Collection
Regularly open to the public as part of the Open Gardens Australia scheme Forest Glade is also home to the world-class Stoke's collection of 19th & 20th century ceramics, sculpture and paintings, the life's work of owner Cyril Stokes.
Picnic grounds and open space are to be found throughout the Macedon Regional Park, many on the Mount itself. Some along Cameron Drive, the road to the summit, as well as nearby Sanitarium Lake or Day's Reserve. And then there's a fabulous waterfall and picnic area at Stanley Park, just off The Waterfalls Road.
The waterfall at Stanley Park
The heartbeat of the Mount can be felt at The Trading Post on Mount Macedon Road and the at the nearby Mountain Inn, the iconic 'Mount Pub' which has recently changed hands and undergone major renovations.
Mount Macedon is symbolised by its Memorial Cross. At just over 1,000 metres above sea level, the original Cross was erected in 1935 by wealthy local resident William Cameron, a memorial to his son and all those other young Australians who died in World War 1.
Mount Macedon's Memorial Cross
The 21 metre high cross was restored in 1995 following years of weathering and damage from the Ash Wednesday fires. Views from the cross To Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay are spectacular and to participate in the ANZAC DAY Dawn Service here is an awesome experience.
This part of the Mount has also seen its fair share of tragedy with the loss of the Australian National Airways DC3 'KURANA' here on 8th November 1948. En-route from Essendon to Deniliquin, the first leg of a multi-stage flight to Sydney, the aircraft slammed into the summit of the mist-shrouded mountain, flying 9 miles (14.5 kilometres) west of its planned flight path. Both pilots were killed but the air hostess and 19 passengers survived. A memorial to the 'KURANA' can be found just below the Memorial Cross.
The 'KURANA' Memorial - Mount Macedon
Less than an hours drive north of Melbourne Mount Macedon is a popular day-trip from the big smoke and surrounded by a host of other attractions.
Readily accessible from Melbourne Mount Macedon makes for a great family day out