The Villages of Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges
The Daylesford and Macedon Ranges region is made up of a collection of small villages, all of which have their own distinct charm. The best bit, most of these villages are only an hour or so from Melbourne, come and spend some time exploring them. 


Blackwood is a peaceful town surrounded by native forests. The town’s wealth of bushwalking and mountain biking tracks make it an appealing spot for outdoors enthusiasts while its rich soil and cool climate create the perfect environment for breathtaking gardens, with Blackwood’s open gardens and nurseries proving popular with day trippers.   


Castlemaine prospered in the 1850s following the discovery of gold, the legacy of those time is still evident today, with cute miners’ cottages nestled against grand old buildings. Nowadays, this lively town is home to a flourishing arts scene, matched by a talented community of brewers, winemakers and restaurateurs.


An idyllic town with regional parks full of peaceful walking and biking tracks, you may catch a glimpse of a koala while exploring the bushland surrounding Creswick. Some visitors come to tee off at the town’s bush-fringed championship golf course, while others are drawn to visit the historic woollen mill to see the production of natural fibres up close.  


Clunes’ charm lies in its beautifully preserved mid-1800s streetscapes that have served as a film location for many movies and television series. Clunes comes alive during its annual book festival, but at other times of the year you’ll find great nature walks, a fantastic farmers’ market and antiques stores stocked with curios from years gone by. 


Escape the city and unwind in Daylesford, the unofficial epicentre of spa country. Once best known for its spa and wellness experiences, Daylesford’s thriving gastronomic scene, wealth of talented artists, and bounty of boutique accommodation options make it the ideal place to base yourself while uncovering the region’s riches.  


The gateway to Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges, Gisborne is a port of call for many. Admire panoramic views from atop Mount Gisborne or browse plants, crafts and homemade eats at the monthly Olde Time Market. In the town centre, foodies are spoiled for choice with many cafes and restaurants within walking distance of each other. 


Just 15 minutes from Daylesford, Glenlyon’s tree-lined main street is perhaps best known for its historic general store that now operates as café. Glenlyon’s rich soil provides local farmers with the ideal conditions to produce top quality vegetables, so stock up while you’re visiting. Green pastures and ploughed paddocks create a bucolic backdrop worthy of an oil painting. 


Hepburn Springs is where you will find Australia’s largest concentration of mineral springs, along with high-quality food experiences and plenty of accommodation options. With a long history of wellness tourism, visitors come to this region to rejuvenate themselves at one of the town’s many spas, and sample the mineral-rich spring water straight from the pumps in the Hepburn Springs Mineral Springs Reserve.  


Once a resting place for miners during the gold rush, Kyneton has quickly become a culinary hotspot. Lined with bluestone buildings, historic Piper Street is home to lauded restaurants, an award-winning gin distillery and cool cocktail bars, along with antique stores, art galleries, boutiques and artisan’s workshops. 


Lancefield is a vibrant town that has something for everyone. There are eclectic shops housed in historic buildings, a state-of-the-art brewery, family-friendly cycling trails, and a monthly farmers’ market that draws visitors from near and far. A magnet for wine lovers, only a few minutes from the town centre you’ll find picturesque vineyards producing award-winning wines. 


Macedon is a leafy, tree-lined town sitting at the base of Mount Macedon. As the gateway to the Macedon Regional Park, many people visit Macedon before heading to explore the park’s 30kms of trails.  During autumn, the colourful leaves of the old oak trees along Macedon’s Honour Avenue become the town’s main attraction.


Maldon tells the story of early Australia with a famed, well-preserved streetscape reflecting what life was like long ago. Don’t let the old-fashioned façade fool you, behind the weathered doors are some fresh faces breathing new life into the community. Ride the steam train into town for the day or stay for the weekend in a restored miner's cottage. 


Malmsbury is a quiet, historic town with streetscapes featuring quaint shopfronts and heritage bluestone buildings. Home to one of Victoria’s oldest botanical gardens, the popular picnic spot is especially evocative during autumn when its trees turn shades of gold, amber and red. Nearby, Malmsbury’s photogenic railway viaduct is an impressive feat of nineteenth-century engineering.  


Mount Macedon is a small town with a village feel. Sitting under the shadow of the eponymous mountain, its mixture of heritage gardens and native bushland make it a popular spot with everyone from hikers, to garden lovers. The natural beauty of the area is complimented by a vibrant food and wine scene, with charming cafés and cellar doors. 


A pretty spot to visit with an eclectic mix of food, wine, shopping, history and heritage. Its historic red brick buildings line a spacious main street giving it an English village feel. Be sure to visit the Romsey Ecotherapy Park, this accessible space features multiple nature-play spaces. Romsey is also the ideal launching pad for exploring nearby wineries.


Tiny Talbot is home to a monthly farmers’ market offering organic vegetables, local honey, olives and artisan cheese. Just north of town, a bushwalk through the box ironbark forests of Paddys Range State Park may reveal glimpses of a Peregrine Falcon or rare Swift Parrot. During spring, the wildflowers turn on a show. 


Located halfway between Daylesford and Woodend, Trentham is a quaint town fringed by farmland and the Wombat State Forest. Trentham’s character-filled main street may be small, but it houses some real gems including two fantastic pubs, a fine dining restaurant worth travelling for, and a busy bakery known for its prized sourdough loaves.


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 exploring Hanging Rock.