Located in the heart of the Macedon Ranges, Woodend is a lively and welcoming village, which has successfully maintained its small country town charm over the years.

Located an easy 45-minute drive from the heart of Melbourne along the Calder Freeway, Woodend was first established as a main thoroughfare for those seeking their riches in Victoria’s goldfields in the 1850s. The legacy of those times is still evident today, with historic buildings lining the main boulevard, sitting alongside boutique shops, cosy cafés and charming country pubs.

With Mount Macedon providing a stunning backdrop to the town, Woodend is also the ideal launching pad for discovering the various walks, hikes, wineries, distilleries and natural attractions found in the area.

We chatted with some of the friendly locals and discovered a passionate bunch of people who clearly love where they live. Here a few of them ‘Pay it Forward’ to give you the inside word on what an ideal day in Woodend looks like.


STAY

Macedon Ranges Hotel & Spa 652 Black Forest Drive, Macedon
03 5426 4044 macedonrangeshotelspa.com.au

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We start our journey at Macedon Ranges Hotel & Spa. Located at the main turn off to Woodend when arriving from Melbourne (along the Calder Freeway), this hotel is the ideal base for exploring Woodend and surrounds. Set within a natural bush setting, each of the 36-rooms feature double spa baths, providing the ideal setting for taking in the stunning views of Mount Macedon. Be sure to leave some time to treat yourself to some me time at the onsite day spa. From here it’s a short drive into the village of Woodend.

Macedon Ranges Hotel & Spa → Woodend General


SHOP

Woodend General, 100 High Street, Woodend
03 5427 1695 woodendgeneral.com.au

“You are spoilt for choice when shopping in Woodend, with some gorgeous boutique homewares and gift stores to choose from. My personal favourite is Woodend General, where the owners Lou and Ange always greet you with a welcoming smile. Beautifully set out, the store is home to the most thoughtful collection of high quality and ethically made goods. I especially love the children’s section, which is my go-to spot when selecting gifts for family and friends with young ones.”
– Rachel Fletcher, Macedon Ranges Hotel & Spa

Woodend General → Fox in the Chamber

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Photo by Sarah Pannell

BRUNCH

Fox in the Chamber, 90 High St, Woodend
0456 778 664  foxinthechamber.com

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Photo by KGMG Creative

“One of our favourite spots to have breakfast or lunch is at our neighbour; Fox in the Chamber. Always serving delicious coffee, pastries and toasties – either to go, or to be enjoyed in their beautiful light-filled dining room housed in the old Council Chamber. Their menu is seasonal and always changing. Owners Bonnie and Remy are wonderful people who also run a hospitality school training a new generation of hospitality superstars. Be sure to drop by and experience the hospitality of this welcoming team.” – Louise Pannell, Woodend General 

Fox in the Chamber → Big Tree Distillery


DRINK

Big Tree Distillery, 307 Hennerbergs Road, Newham
1300 040 573 bigtreedistillery.com.au

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“Nestled in Newham, just a stone’s throw from Woodend and just past Hanging Rock, is the wonderful small batch gin producer Big Tree Distillery. On a picturesque Macedon Ranges property sits this cosy distillery cellar door where we like to sit and sip on the marvellous cocktail creations, designed and beautifully executed by the passionate team. This clever bunch are always working on new and interesting flavour distillations, so it’s well worth the short drive out of town.” – Remy Shpayzer, Fox in the Chamber

Big Tree Distillery → Rock and Wombat Bar


PLAY

The Victoria Hotel, 67 High St, Woodend
03 5427 2721 thevictoriawoodend.com.au

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Photo by Kim Selby

“For fun after the sun goes down, you can’t go past Palais-Hepburn, this is luxury night life at its best. It’s so good to see this magnificent, almost 100-year-old theatre refurbished and sparkling again. The Palais provides entertainment from all around the globe including cabaret, comedy and live bands. Wine and dine yourself with cocktails, a modern Australian menu, charcuterie and cheese boards or sit back and relax in the cosy salon bar with a glass of local wine or signature cocktail.” – Alanna Quinn, Spa + Beauty Hepburn Springs 

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