Step into another world at Woodend, an historic nineteenth century resort town and base for the mysterious Hanging Rock.
Boasting all the character and charm of country Victoria, Woodend has long been a stop-off point on the way to Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges. After the gold rush in the 1850s and 1860s, Woodend became a resort town featuring numerous guesthouses, private gardens and hotels, even a racecourse and golf club.
Stroll past historical buildings and the old clock tower on Main Street and then cruise around local boutiques for antiques and gifts to take home. Recharge after a day on the trail with an afternoon high tea at Campaspe House, a coffee in one of the quaint cafes, or a refreshing ale at Holgate Brewhouse.
Cyclists will enjoy a pedal along the Three Town Scenic Route. The trail kicks off at Woodend Train Station and takes in Woodend, Trentham and Kyneton. Explore the surrounding landscape, making your way from town to town along country lanes and leafy back roads.
The highlight of any visit to Woodend is to climb nearby Hanging Rock, which featured in Peter Weir’s film Picnic at Hanging Rock. A small steep-sided volcano, the rock rises 105 metres up from the plain. Pack your own picnic or enjoy a meal at the onsite café and explore the native flora and fauna. Keep a look out for the reputed hideout of infamous bushrangers like ‘Mad Dog’ Morgan.
Get along to events at the rock, from classic cars and the Harvest Picnic to Camp Out At The Rock and the raucous New Years’ Eve races. Stock up on fresh produce at the Farmers’ Market and catch writers, musicians, dancers and cooks at the Woodend Winter Arts Festival in June. Great options for the kids include the Woodend Children’s Festival and the Woodend Children’s Park, which boasts a flying fox, climbing wall and BBQs.
Woodend is approximately 70 kilometres north of Melbourne, or just under an hour by car on the Calder Highway.