I'm a Victorian freelance writer & photographer living in the Macedon Ranges north of Melbourne.
Published August 31st 2013
Picnic on the Mount
With Spring well and truly on the door-step Melbourne families will be on the lookout for picnic and day trip options within easy reach of the city. If yours is one of them why not do what Melburnians have done from more than a century and head for the picturesque and relaxing natural environment of Mount Macedon.
Here are some top picnic sites to consider right on the Mount.
Secluded Sanatorium Lake is surrounded by bush and some great, easily accessible picnic grounds
Sanatorium Lake & Days Picnic Ground. In Victorian times Mount Macedon's climate was thought to be therapeutic for sufferers of tuberculosis and in 1899 a private hospital located just below the summit of the mount was converted to a sanatorium. It was destroyed by fire in the early 1900's. Sanatorium Lake was built to supply fresh water to a planned new facility which in the end was never built due to public opposition and a lack of funds.
The lake is all that remains providing a point of interest for visitors to Sanatorium Picnic Ground and nearby Days Picnic Ground. Both are accessed from Lions Head Road and Day's has heaps of parking, toilets, picnic tables, BBQ's and is wheelchair accessible.
From Melbourne head straight up the Mount Road and, 100 metres past the Cameron Drive turn-off, turn right into Lions Head Road.
Cameron Drive leads from Mount Macedon Road to the Memorial Cross. Along the way it provides parking and access to the Camels Hump walking trail, McGregors Picnic Ground (BBQ, toilets and disabled access), Cameron Picnic Ground (BBQ only) and Harrison Picnic Ground. Harrison's is right adjacent to the Memorial Cross and has ample parking with disabled access, toilets, shelter, BBQ, picnic tables and an information board with maps.
Cameron Drive is at the summit of Mount Macedon and leads to the Memorial Cross with some excellent picnic spots along the way
Macedon's Centennial Park is on Mount Macedon Road opposite the intersection with Honour Avenue. With a large grassed area, creek and footpath the picnic area has good parking with disabled access, shelter, toilets and BBQs.
Picturesque Centennial Park includes a memorial to those lost in the 1983 Ash Wednesday bush fires which ravaged the area
Stanley Park is on the southern side of Mount Macedon, just above the Golf Course and below the pub and Trading Post. It can be accessed from either Mount Macedon Road or The Waterfalls Road. Sitting astride Turritable Creek the park features native grasslands & bush and a fabulous little waterfall. Walking tracks lead to viewing areas at both the top and bottom of the falls but the best view is at the bottom.
Stanley Park boasts ample parking with disabled access, shelter, toilets, BBQs, picnic tables and a children's playground.
Stanley Park waterfall
Finally, if what you're looking for is a natural bush setting, walking tracks but no facilities, such sites abound in the MacedonRegional Park at the base of the Mountain. Salisbury Road, Middle Gully Road and Nursery Road all provide easy access to kilometre after kilometre of tracks tailor-made for hours of leisurely walking.
The whole of the Macedon Regional Park is criss-crossed with well sign-posted walking trails
Less than an hour north of Melbourne via the Calder Freeway Mount Macedon is a family friendly natural attraction well worth a visit.