The mighty Mace­don Ranges

Ex­plore this stun­ning re­gion in Cen­tral Vic­to­ria

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Contents -

nat­u­ral min­eral wa­ter spas are not the only rea­son to visit the Mace­don Ranges re­gion. The pic­turesque towns of Dayles­ford and Kyne­ton, ide­ally lo­cated just an hour from Mel­bourne, are sur­rounded by nat­u­ral beauty, in­clud­ing cas­cad­ing wa­ter­falls, lush bush trails and the fa­mous Hang­ing Rock. While Dayles­ford has long been the go-to for spa treat­ments, nearby Kyne­ton is renowned for bou­tique pro­duc­ers turn­ing out world-class wares, an ex­cit­ing arts and craft scene, a

cel­e­brated din­ing and bar scene, and ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions to suit a range of bud­gets.

FOOD AND WINE HUB

Both Dayles­ford and Kyne­ton are foodie mec­cas, at­tract­ing vis­i­tors from all over the world who flock to try the fan­tas­tic range of pro­duce from this re­gion. Near Dayles­ford, roam among the orig­i­nal 1850s struc­tures of the La­van­dula Swiss Ital­ian Farm in Shep­herds Flat and en­joy a moun­tain­ous char­cu­terie plat­ter in their fa­mous trat­to­ria. Cho­co­holics will no doubt want to visit Sweet Deca­dence, which claims to be the first hand-made choco­late shop in Vic­to­ria. Want se­ri­ously in­cred­i­ble cui­sine? Head to the Lake House in Dayles­ford.

In Kyne­ton there are mul­ti­ple lo­cal wineries, in­clud­ing Kyne­ton Ridge Es­tate and Paramoor, of­fer­ing not just great cel­lar door sales but also ex­cel­lent food. Lead­ing the pack in lo­cal spirit mak­ers is An­imus Dis­tillery, whose gin is gain­ing a fab­u­lous rep­u­ta­tion, and whose cock­tail lounge on Piper St is the per­fect spot to sam­ple it. Also on Piper St, cen­tre of Kyne­ton’s foodie scene, is the Piper St Food Co, which of­fers ex­cel­lent char­cu­terie and pic­nic ham­pers, and will hap­pily sug­gest a great spot for a pic­nic, too – per­haps Hang­ing Rock! There is also a cooking school, but make sure you book in ad­vance as it’s pop­u­lar.

To get a sense of what the re­gion has to of­fer in terms of pro­duce, head to the busy Kyne­ton Farmers Market, held ev­ery sec­ond Satur­day of the month on Piper St. It’s packed with ex­cel­lent, and at­trac­tively priced, lo­cal pro­duce.

THRIV­ING ARTS AND CRE­ATIVE SCENE

Look­ing for hand-de­signed and lo­cally pro­duced art, craft, fash­ion and home­wares? The Mace­don Ranges is the place to go. Want to try your hand at arts and crafts? Start in Kyne­ton, where you’ll find a range of art spa­ces of­fer­ing classes in a range of skills and pur­suits. Try Sarah Gabriel’s pen and ink classes at Lau­ris­ton Press just out of Kyne­ton. There’s a rea­son these in­ti­mate classes sell out quickly and you can also pur­chase her work from here. For some­thing re­ally dif­fer­ent, try a chair-mak­ing course at Run­dell & Run­dell on Piper St.

Dayles­ford has a Farmers Market too, ev­ery Sun­day, and across the road lo­cal artists dis­play and sell their wares at the Wood­shed Lo­cal Ar­ti­sans Market, from 9am-1pm.

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