Woodend, Victoria

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Woodend Town Centre 001.JPG
Woodend's Main Street
Woodend is located in Shire of Macedon Ranges
Coordinates 37°21′47″S 144°31′34″E / 37.363°S 144.526°E / -37.363; 144.526Coordinates: 37°21′47″S 144°31′34″E / 37.363°S 144.526°E / -37.363; 144.526
Population 5,413 (2011 census)[1]
Postcode(s) 3442
Elevation 580 m (1,903 ft)
LGA(s) Shire of Macedon Ranges
State electorate(s) Macedon
Federal Division(s) Bendigo
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
15.3 °C
60 °F
7.1 °C
45 °F
843.9 mm
33.2 in
Localities around Woodend:
Spring Hill and Lauriston Kyneton Newham
Tylden, Victoria Woodend Hesket
Gisborne Macedon Mount Macedon
Woodend Uniting Church

Woodend /wʊdˈɛnd/[2] is a small town in Victoria, Australia. The town is in the Shire of Macedon Ranges local government area. It is bypassed to the east and north by the Calder Freeway (M79) and is located about halfway between Melbourne and Bendigo. At the 2011 census, Woodend had a population of 5,413.[1]


Islay House built in the Colonial style

Woodend was first surveyed in 1836 by Major Thomas Mitchell, who opened it up for settlement. When gold was discovered in the area (towards Bendigo and Ballarat), Woodend became the main thoroughfare through the Black Forest, and accommodated many gold-diggers and their families. Woodend Post Office opened on 20 July 1854, closed in December of that year, then reopened in the township on 1 November 1856.[3]

The tourist boom caused the settlement to grow and develop. Later the place became a centre for sheep-farming, and in 1862, a railway connection to Bendigo was built though Woodend, as a connexion to the regional centre.

Like many towns in the area, Woodend has many historical buildings. Entering Woodend from Melbourne, most of the shops and eateries are located either side of the main High Street, with the clocktower on the right hand side of the road. The Holgate Brewhouse operates in the century-old Keatings Hotel. Built in 1897, The Old Stationmaster's House sits on the approach to the High Street. At the other end of the shops lies Five Mile Creek. A historic bluestone bridge crosses the creek and can be viewed from adjacent parkland. On the left lies Islay House and Beth Shan, both circa 1860. Islay House is a two-story brick "Georgian" building that first traded as a licensed premises serving alcohol to the gold diggers. Beth Shan is a single-story weatherboard cottage in "Colonial Vernacular" style. The cottage, built as a residence and shop selling supplies to the diggers, acquired the name Beth Shan in 1920 when an Irish nurse, Nurse Hicks, leased the premises and opened it as a maternity hospital to the local community.

Tourism and attractions[edit]

Woodend is close to such attractions as Mt Macedon and Hanging Rock located at nearby Newham, and numerous waterfalls. The area supports a large horse-racing community. Woodend's location in the foothills of the Great Dividing Range means that, unlike most of Australia, snowfalls are not uncommon.[4] The Woodend Winter Arts Festival, held on the Queen's Birthday Weekend in June, is an event where artisans from around Australia gather to perform. The annual Melbourne Autumn Day (MAD) ride is held in Woodend by the Melbourne Bicycle Touring Club. Woodend Children's Park in the centre of the town provides a meeting place for young and old, locals and visitors: A park to explore, to enjoy, to play. Woodend Children's Park opened behind the service station in October 2009.[5]

In 2013 The Chamber Art & Coffee House began a series of spoken word readings on the second Saturday of each month where writers and musicians from the region would combine with poets from Melbourne for two hours of poetry, art and music. Resident band Black Forest Smoke kick off each reading with an original song.

The largest sporting group in the town is the Woodend Junior Football Club which incorporates 190 players, from 130 families, playing in 8 junior teams ranging from Under 9's to Under 16's. There are several mountain bike tracks near Woodend, in the Wombat State Forest and also on Mount Macedon. The local Wombat MTB Club maintains the tracks in the area and arrange events and bike tours. Golfers play at the course of the Woodend Golf Club on Davy Street.[6]

The events and news of the town are published in the town's community newsletter, The New Woodend Star, which publishes free archival copies of the newsletter online for reference.[7]

A local Woodend Information Website is also available called Woodend Village News, this also has a local weather page, showing historical weather information. Including UV intensity, wind speed and direction, amount of rain, the maximum and minimum temperatures, along with wind chill and barometric pressure. The Local historical weather information has only just recently been implemented, so over time this information should become valuable. There is also other local information available.[8]


Portions of the 2004 mini-series adaptation of Stephen King's novel Salem's Lot, starring Rob Lowe, was filmed in the town. The 1975 film, Picnic at Hanging Rock was also filmed in Woodend, as well as a driving scene in the 2009 Alex Proyas film Knowing starring Nicolas Cage and Rose Byrne. The latter was filmed in Woodend's Avenue of Honour. Scenes in the 2009 adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are were also filmed in Woodend. The church scenes in the Nicolas Cage movie Ghost Rider were filmed at a church in Woodend.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Woodend (Vic.), Vic(SSC)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition (2005). Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. ISBN 1-876429-14-3
  3. ^ Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 11 April 2008 
  4. ^ Tourism Victoria (2010), Woodend, retrieved 25 July 2011 
  5. ^ Woodend Children's Park website, Woodend Web, retrieved 21 June 2009 
  6. ^ Golf Select, Woodend, retrieved 11 May 2009 
  7. ^ Woodend Rotary Club, The New Woodend Star, retrieved 1 August 2010 
  8. ^ Woodend Village, Woodend Village News, retrieved 19 August 2013 

External links[edit]