Life’s pitstops sometimes uncover personal truths that at one time would have left us downright cold.

“Are you a summer or a winter person?” was a question that did it to me. Suddenly I was reminded of a small pub in a very small town on a bitingly chilly Sunday afternoon in July.

Four of us had just shared a delicious roast and were sipping liqueur coffee by the fire. As we lounged in the red dining room lined with books, a blues band played in a pocket-sized bar at the end of the hallway. Our debonair host gestured comically and we soon found ourselves settling in for a semi-private movie screening in a remarkably toasty, purpose-built cinema.

Delighting in a classic French film with a nanna rug across my lap, a sense of deep contentment crept over me as I remembered we didn’t have to leave this unplugged haven until the next day. My overnight bag was sitting in the most charming guest bedroom of all and the electric blanket was set to medium.

In the morning, kookaburras chorused as I stepped onto the old wooden verandah and breathed the bracing air until the aroma of breakfast enticed me inside. Afterwards, I lingered with a second pot of tea in the gorgeously romantic garden before stealing a few more moments on the library sofa with an outrageous art book and the lazy resident cat.

Radio Springs Hotel, otherwise known as ‘The Centre of The Universe’, is one of many places for creating memories that challenge any bad rap winter receives. It is clearly an uncool misconception in a ‘Naturally Cool’ region like ours that it’s too numbingly cold here in winter to feel you are having a good time. Dress in layers and familiarise yourself with sheltered destinations and properly heated buildings.

It snows every year, at least in some areas and just how much and where it will fall causes speculation before the season officially begins. Images emerge on social media of kangaroos standing beneath frosty gums and children riding makeshift sleds down driveways. Top of the Range on Mount Macedon has a SnowCam providing live footage of the weather activity. It’s just how they roll!

Trentham Falls, a vision in winter, is one of the longest single drop waterfalls in Victoria. And if you’ve never seen a hellebore/winter rose, visit Post Office Farm Nursery near Woodend on a Sunday – but only in winter because that’s when the flowers are at their peak.

Outdoor action gives way to conversations that flow in sync with real hot chocolate, single malt whiskey and mulled wine around cosy hearths. Book shops, antique stores and art galleries invite leisurely browsing with their fat armchairs and amiable staff, while venues such as the Palais-Hepburn and Macedon Railway Hotel regularly present live music.

Being a ‘winter person’ is a breeze, you will see.

Nadine Hartnett is a Freelance Writer and the Founding Manager of the Macedon Ranges Art Trail, which presents its 10th Anniversary Art Exhibition, ‘Crescendo’, over the June long weekend as part of the Woodend Winter Arts Festival –

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Nadine Hartnett
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Nadine Hartnett is a freelance writer and the founding manager of the Macedon Ranges Art Trail. She describes herself as a ‘local art enthusiast’ but she’s so much more to the Macedon Ranges art community - supporting local artists through advocacy, exhibitions and promotions.