So, you can’t go overseas any time soon.  Here’s a dream week-ish long itinerary, featuring businesses that are open 7 days a week, making planning a breeze.

Drive up the Calder, head to Mt Macedon. Stop off at Forest Glade garden before continuing to Mt Macedon itself. Have a coffee and snack at Top of the Range, enjoy the view! Enjoy a walk at the stunning Camels Hump, then head to Woodend for a beer at Holgate Brewery or the Victoria Hotel.

Basing yourself in Woodend, or nearby Kyneton, for a couple of nights enables a relaxed exploration of the world-famous Hanging Rock, and there are a number of world-class wineries nearby (Gisborne Peak or Hanging Rock Winery are always open). The region’s cool climate, coupled with small wineries overseen by passionate winemakers mean this is, for me, the best wine region in Australia. Make sure you get one of Bourkies’ famous vanilla slices in Woodend. A short drive to Tooborac gets you the most amazing pie at the Tooborac Hotel, along with some stunning scenery (granite ‘tors’ dot emerald-green hills). Check out for accommodation ideas.

Trout fishing at Tuki
Trout fishing at Tuki

A short drive northwest gets you to Castlemaine, where exploring The Mill is a great way to spend time; grab a Viennese coffee at Das Kaffeehaus. Nearby towns of Chewton and Maldon are a delight. Go to to check out where to stay.

A 30-minute drive south takes you to Daylesford. Stop off at Mt Franklin for a walk en-route, and few minutes further on, replenish burned calories with spectacularly tasty Chocolate Mill handmade treats.

Base yourself in Daylesford or Hepburn Springs, using or to find a nest. You can’t stay here without visiting Hepburn Bathhouse for a soak, and while you’re there, pump mineral water straight from one of the nearby springs. For something special, stay (or dine, or both) at the unforgettable Lake House. Alla Wolf-Tasker’s team also run Wombat Hill House, a wonderful café and produce store in the Wombat Hill gardens. You can also stock up at Winespeake or Blake Family Grocer.  

Further down the hill get your art fix at the Convent Gallery. While here, take a drive west, to the charming gold rush towns of Creswick (you can also stay at the excellent RACV Resort here) and Clunes. Be sure to pop into Tuki trout farm for lunch or a spot of fishing…it’s a beautiful spot. Then circle back to The Farmers Arms in Daylesford for dinner. Built in 1857, it’s another 7-day-a-week wonder. 

Take the slow road home, driving through Wombat forest, stopping in Trentham for lunch at The Cosmopolitan (little ones will love the expansive garden) and on to the picturesque town of Blackwood, where a visit to the Garden of St Erth will soothe your soul.


Featured image: The Convent, Daylesford (Photograph by Beck Walker @beckwalkerr)

About the author

Steve Wroe, Daylesford Macedon Tourism

Steve’s passion for mountain biking takes him all around our region. He lives in Daylesford with his wife, two young girls and three chickens. On most weekends, he and his family explore; either piling into the car and taking a drive to a small town, or putting on the hiking boots and going for a bushwalk. Steve is a big believer in the benefits of rural living and loves introducing his girls to the history, culture and nature of the region. Occasionally they take their bantam chook, Lulu, on their adventures.