Mount Macedon, Victoria

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the town. For the mountain located above the township, see Mount Macedon. For the town nearby, see Macedon, Victoria.
For other uses, see Macedon (disambiguation).
Mount Macedon
Mount Macedon.jpg
Mount Macedon village from nearby Mount Towrong
Mount Macedon is located in Shire of Macedon Ranges
Mount Macedon
Mount Macedon
Coordinates 37°24′S 144°35′E / 37.400°S 144.583°E / -37.400; 144.583Coordinates: 37°24′S 144°35′E / 37.400°S 144.583°E / -37.400; 144.583
Population 1,321 (2011 census)[1]
Postcode(s) 3441
Elevation 615 m (2,018 ft)
LGA(s) Shire of Macedon Ranges
State electorate(s) Macedon
Federal Division(s) Bendigo
Localities around Mount Macedon:
Woodend Woodend Newham
Macedon Mount Macedon Riddells Creek
Macedon Gisborne New Gisborne

Mount Macedon /mnt ˈmæsədən/[2] is a small town 64 kilometres (40 mi) north-west of Melbourne in the Australian state of Victoria. The town is located on below the mountain of the same name, which rises to 1,001 metres (3,284 ft) AHD.[3] At the 2011 census, Mount Macedon had a population of 1,321.[1] Mount Macedon is best known for its collection of 19th-century gardens and associated extravagant large homes which is considered to be one of the most important such collections in Australia.

Features and location[edit]

Mount Macedon township was largely established by Melbourne's wealthy elite in the post gold rush era of the mid to late 19th century who used it as a summer retreat. The post office opened on 18 July 1870, known as Upper Macedon until 1879 and Macedon Upper until 1936. An earlier (1843) post office (previously) named Mount Macedon is located in Kyneton. It was renamed Kyneton (post office) on 1 January 1854. Kyneton.[4]

Due to its relatively high elevation of approximately 620 metres (2,030 ft) AHD, the area experiences much cooler temperatures on average relative to nearby Melbourne. The area also receives high rainfall relative to the surrounding plains and much of the Melbourne area. This combination of geographic factors have contributed to the town's reputation as a resort town and wine region.[5]

Snowfall is a fairly regular feature on the higher elevations of the mountain, although the peak of the mountain is marginally too low for snowfalls to lie on the ground for more than a few days in most instances. Occasionally, the lower parts of the town experience snowfalls and on occasion these have been substantial.

The gardens and homes of Mount Macedon are well known for their lavish size and scale, many of which contain collections of exotic plants that are rare in cultivation.

The mountain[edit]

Main article: Mount Macedon

The mountain is known as Geboor or Geburrh in the Aboriginal Woiwurrung language of the Wurundjeri people.[6]

The mountain was originally sighted by Hamilton Hume and William Hovell on their 1824 expedition to Port Phillip from NSW. They named it Mount Wentworth.[7] It was renamed Mount Macedon by explorer Major Thomas Mitchell who ascended the mountain in 1836.[6] He named it after Philip of Macedon in honour of the fact that he was able to view Port Philip from the summit. Several other geographic features along the path of his third Australia Felix expedition were named after figures of Ancient Macedonia including the nearby Campaspe River and Mount Alexander near Castlemaine (named after Alexander the Great).

The Mount Macedon area also comprises a second important peak, the Camel's Hump or Camels Hump, rising to 1,011 metres (3,317 ft) above sea level. The volcanic trachyte rock of the crag is favoured by rock climbers and the mountain has become a popular sport climbing venue due to its proximity to Melbourne.


Garden path to cottage at Hascombe, Mount Macedon.

Memorial Cross[edit]

The Mount Macedon Memorial Cross

One of the major attractions of Mount Macedon is the 21-metre (69 ft) high memorial cross which stands near the summit of the mountain. This structure was established by early resident William Cameron in 1935 as a memorial to his son and those who died in World War I. The view from the summit of Mount Macedon is spectacular and takes in Melbourne city, the Dandenong Ranges and the You Yangs near Geelong.


Another attraction of the Mount Macedon area is the extensive native forests which cover the mountain and surround the town. Much of the forest on Mount Macedon consists of wet sclerophyll communities which are more commonly associated with areas east of Melbourne. Alpine Ash (Eucalyptus delegatensis) occurs here at the western extent of its range and Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans) at the northwestern extent of its range, Snow Gums (Eucalyptus pauciflora) are also found on the highest peaks. A large area of the Macedon Ranges forest is included in the Macedon Regional Park, managed by Parks Victoria.[8]

The area was devastated by the Ash Wednesday fires of 1983, but the forests and gardens have since regrown.

Notable Houses[edit]

  • Alton House, 1870s-built Venetian Gothic house. Gardens make up four hectares of the 10.5-hectare holding. It also has a small farm and the 1870s-built Venetian Gothic home is known as the gingerbread house.
* Built by William (Willie) Lawrence Baillieu as a summer retreat early in the century, the property included a nine-tee golf course, tennis court and croquet lawn.
* It has an English garden influenced by noted Royal Botanic Gardens directors Baron von Mueller and W. R. Guilfoyle.
* The garden includes 24 National Trust recognised trees.[9] 
  • Braemar House, 1499 Mount Macedon Road, Woodend, Macedon Ranges Shire, Victoria, Australia. Heritage Listed location[10]
* Braemar House is a substantial two storey timber mansion on brick and stone foundations with high pitched roofs, intricate gables and asymmetric features, which was constructed in 1889-90 to a design by Italian-born architect Louis Boldini.
* Braemar House, Woodend is also historically important for its association with Clyde Girls Grammar School, a private girls' boarding school, which operated at the site from 1918 to 1976. 
* Clyde School became well known for its depiction in the Joan Lindsay novel Picnic at Hanging Rock (1967). This novel was concerned with an ill-fated excursion to Hanging Rock by girls from the local boarding school. 
  • Campaspe Country House, Goldies Lane, Woodend VIC 3442
  • Derriweit Heights, Historic house and garden on 2.5 acres (Von Mueller and Guilfoyle - circa 1875).
* Derriweit Heights was the first homestead to be built near the peak of Mt Macedon by Charles Ryan (circa 1874) to capture the breathtaking views over Port Phillip and create a world class garden.

Private gardens[edit]

  • Hascombe is a large garden owned by Linfox. It has an annual open day where all money received goes to charity. It only has two gardeners working for the whole 28-acre (11 ha) property. It has one of only two Himalayan Fir (Abies pindrow) trees in Australia, the other being located in Adelaide. It is the highest private property on Mount Macedon by altitude.
  • Across Alton Road from Hascombe, is the garden Alton; one of the locations for the setting of the 2006 Australian film adaptation of Macbeth, mainly due to its historic residence surrounded by an English garden.
* The 26 acre hill station property includes a 10 acre botanical garden, a large Venetian-gothic house built in the 1870's and a small farm, all of which is being carefully restored by the owners, the Eshuys family.
  • Forest Glade Gardens: 816 Mt. Macedon Road, Mt. Macedon, 3441
* Forest Glade is one of Australia’s finest private gardens, and has existed for nearly one hundred years.  The magnificent landscaped garden covers fourteen acres (5.6ha) and has four distinct sections:
* The large English section with its huge exotic trees and masses of colour
* The delightful Japanese section complete with bonsai house
* The beautiful woodland section displaying masses of shade-loving plants
* The cool fern gully
* The features of the garden include a stunning blue bell patch and an impressive daffodil lawn during spring; a topiary garden, two aviaries, a magnificent laburnum arch, a peony walk highlighted with climbing roses, as well as numerous pergolas, ponds, fountains and statues.
  • Ard Rudah, the heritage listed 140-year-old garden in Mt Macedon.[11] It is one of 11 gardens at Mt Macedon recognised by the National Trust for its historic significance.
  • Bolobek House & Garden 370 Mt Macedon Road, Macedon; Heritage Listed location[12]
  • Duneira Estate: Officer Lane, Mt. Macedon, 3441. Heritage Listed location[13]
  • Gresford Gardens: 27 Taylors Road, Mt. Macedon, 3441.
  • Lewisham: a modern garden at 305 Mt Macedon Road, Mt. Macdon, 3441.
  • Tieve Tara: 751 Mt. Macedon Road, Mt. Macdon, 3441.[14]
  • The Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens: The Nicholas Company donated the gardens to the people of Victoria in 1965 through the local shire council. The property was acquired by Parks Victoria in 1972.[15]

Film industry[edit]

Mount Macedon is becoming a very popular location with the US film industry due to lower costs associated with filming outside the US and the architecture and horticulture of the area closely resembling places in the Northern Hemisphere with an abundance of deciduous trees.

The 2009 Nicolas Cage film Knowing was filmed in locations in the township, along with nearby Macedon, and Don't Be Afraid of the Dark was also filmed in the town over the 2009 winter.[16] Scenes in Where the Wild Things Are were filmed in the forest surrounding Mount Macedon.[17]


Golfers play at the course of the Mount Macedon Golf Club on Mount Macedon Road.[18]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Mount Macedon, 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. ^ "Mount Macedon, Australia". 
  4. ^ Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 11 April 2008 
  5. ^ Macedon Ranges Wine Region, Victoria, Tourism, 2011, retrieved 25 July 2011 
  6. ^ a b Milbourne, Jean (1978), Mount Macedon: Its History and its Grandeur, Kyneton, Victoria: (self published), pp. 10, 14, ISBN 0-9595225-0-6 
  7. ^ Bland, William; Hovell, William Hilton; Hume, Hamilton (1831), Journey of discovery to Port Phillip, New South Wales by Messrs. W.H. Hovell, and Hamilton Hume in 1824 and 1825, Sydney 
  8. ^ Parks Victoria, Macedon Regional Park, retrieved 28 November 2008 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark: Filming locations". IMDb. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  17. ^ "Where the Wild Things Are: Filming locations". IMDb. Retrieved 22 January 2014. 
  18. ^ "Mount Macedon", Golf Select, retrieved 11 May 2009 

External links[edit]