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Ten reasons to visit Mount Macedon

Enter the time slip: spectacular, mysterious Mount Macedon is less than an hour's drive from Melbourne

1. Climb the mountain 

A scenic road winds its way over the top of Mount Macedon, past picturesque garden estates, while walking trails link landmarks Camel's Hump and Mount Towrong with nearby villages. Macedon Regional Park is home to over 400 species of native plants and 200 species of birds. Mount Macedon 3441.

2. Enjoy the view from the Memorial Cross

An impressive 21 metres in height, the Memorial Cross commemorates those who gave their lives in World War I. The view from the Cross takes in the entire southern plain towards Port Phillip Bay. Mount Macedon 3441.

3. Explore Forest Glade Gardens

Mount Macedon was once the playground of the rich and famous and evidence of this can be found at one of Australia's finest private gardens, which spans 5.6 hectares and four themes: English garden, Japanese garden, woodland, and fern gully. 816 Mount Macedon Rd, Mount Macedon 3441. www.thestokescollection.com.au. Daily 10am-4.30pm. $8

4. Shout "Miranda!" (or not) at Hanging Rock

Joan Lindsay's 1967 novel and Peter Weir's 1975 film Picnic at Hanging Rock have immortalised this eerie geological formation a few kilometres north of Mount Macedon. The site is named after a boulder that is suspended between other boulders on the main path. Make like an adventurer and climb the rocks to enjoy great views, and bring a picnic or to barbecue for when you need to refuel when you get down. Woodend 3442. 1800 244 711. Daily 9am-5pm. $10 (normal vehicles).

5. Experience the bizarre Anti-Gravity Hill

If Hanging Rock wasn't enough of a head trip, this stretch of road nearby seems to defy the laws of gravity. Water, balls, and even cars will roll uphill thanks to either a mysterious magnetic force or an optical illusion – depending on who you ask. Straws Ln, Woodend 3442

Hanging Rock Winery

6.Toast your weekend away at Hanging Rock Winery

The Macedon Ranges is Australia's coolest grape-growing region. Established in 1983, Hanging Rock Winery is famous for sparkling wines Macedon NV Brut and Macedon NV Brut LD. Estate-grown beef is also available at the cellar door. 88 Jim Rd, Newham 3442. 03 5427 0542. www.hangingrock.com.au. Daily 10am-5pm.

7. Dine and stock up on produce at Baringo

Offering sweeping views of Mount Macedon and the valley, Baringo is a café, bistro, wine bar, and provedore showcasing the stunning produce of the region. They also have a 30-seat theatre that plays arthouse films. 283 Station Rd, New Gisbourne 3438. baringo.net.au. Tue-Sun noon-10pm.

8. Walk the boulevard of Macedon Village

Get glimpses of grand homes and gardens in the quiet town centre, which sprang up in 1851 during the Gold Rush. Honour Avenue is an impressive avenue of oak trees commemorating people from the region who enlisted during World War I. Mount Macedon 3441.

9. Stay at Braeside Mt Macedon Country Retreat

This bed and breakfast on 27 acres of green, hillside bushland has a large English-style garden where native birds are a feature. Three comfortable and private cottages welcome visitors with wood fires and breakfast hampers ready for you to prepare. A good option for romantic getaways or a pampering retreat. 47 Taylors Rd, Mount Macedon 3441. www.braesidemtmacedon.com.au.

10. Attend the Woodend Winter Arts Festival

The township northwest of the mountain hosts an annual festival celebrating local art and craft, music performances and informative talks. Highlights coming up for the 2016 festival include performances by classical musicians Slava Grigoryan and Sharon Draper and Secret River author Kate Grenville in conversation. Woodend 3442. woodendwinterartsfestival.org.au. Jun 10-13.

Planning a visit?

Go to www.wandervictoria.com or www.visitmacedoneranges.com to get your expedition to Mount Macedon underway.