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Romsey is a small town set in the scenic Macedon Ranges located about 65 kilometres north west of Melbourne. View Map
This is distinctive wine country and you can sample the local nectar in the charming tasting room at the nearby numerous Wineries. A short trip to the south-west will take you to the town Mount Macedon by way of the Camels Hump and the forests of a regional park which offers sweeping views as far south as Port Phillip Bay.
Poet Vincent Buckley was born in the town in 1925 and
described his impressions of growing up in Romsey in his
autobiography, Cutting Green Hay.
You can drift back to the beginnings of the town with a visit to Sidney Seymour Cottage. Originally built from imported prefabricated sections, the cottage has been restored as a slice of living history.
For a historical travelogue read article.
Train Journey from Melbourne to Lancefield circa 1885
Looking for wonderful bush settings, amazing history and architecture,
wildlife, sports and all only 1–1.5 hours from Melbourne? Discover
the Macedon Ranges and Spa Country; a diverse and exciting region stretching
from Melton on the outskirts of Melbourne, up through the famous mineral
springs area of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs, across towards the Goldfields
areas of Creswick and to the edges of the Great Dividing Range at Seymour.
With so many things to see in such an accessible location, it is the perfect area for a day trip or for a longer tour.
The area is home to the world famous Hanging Rock.
Why not have your own picnic, and then discover the mystery and magic of the rock for yourselves. Spend more time in the area and discover further reaches of the Macedon Regional Park.
With 30km of walking tracks throughout the park there are plenty of options, from an easy 25 minute stroll through to a harder 1hour walk that takes you up Mount Macedon (the highest peak in the region).
At the top of Mount Macedon is the 21m high Memorial Cross. This imposing structure was erected by a private citizen, Mr William Cameron, in the 1930s to commemorate those who died in World War I and provide work for the unemployed in the depression. It is considered Victoria’s most significant war memorial after the Shrine. Today the reserve commemorates all those who served in wars and conflicts.For a historical travelogue
There are many other parks (managed by Parks Victoria) throughout the region and all offer walking trails that take in the wonderful natural settings and also provide great flora and fauna spotting opportunities. Many also allow mountain bike riding, providing the perfect way to see a greater area of the parks with the added flexibility to stop and discover along the way.
Hepburn Regional Park is nestled around the famous mineral springs townships
of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs.
The park contains natural mineral springs and significant relics of the gold mining era. The blowhole on Sailors Creek was built by gold miners, probably in the early 1870s.
A hole was cut through the rock to redirect the water flow from the original creek line, with the soil in the dry creek bed then sluiced for gold. It is an impressive sight when the creek is in full flow. In addition to viewing the blowhole, two short loop walks can be undertaken by following the spur above the tunnel or through the ‘diggings’ area.
Centrally located between Ballarat and Daylesford, Creswick Regional Park embraces the hills once roamed by the artistic Lindsay family. There are a number of walking tracks through the park, offering longer and shorter walk options. While on these walks you may be lucky enough to catch sight of a koala in the canopy of a Manna Gum, the koalas favourite food source.
Located 5km southwest of Broadford, take the short but steep climb to the summit of Mt Piper where you can enjoy views of Pretty Sally Hill and surrounding mountain ranges. The summit is also the only known home of the endangered Blue Ant butterfly. Travel further up the Hume Highway towards Seymour and visit The Trawool Valley, registered by the National Trust in 1983 for its picturesque qualities, as well as its geological and cultural significance. Covering an area of 5,100ha, the Tallarook State Forest, located between Broadford and Seymour, is another popular spot for horse riding, camping and bushwalking.
Mt Disappointment State Forest on the Hume Plateau, straddles the Great Dividing Range. Hume & Hovell named the mountain in 1824 when they attempted to climb the summit expecting to see Port Phillip Bay, but failed because of the dense undergrowth.Back in Time
With the goldmining heritage in the area, it is not surprising to find a wide array of history and architecture dating back to those harsh times. There are superb old buildings and a long list of interesting tales and sites to discover. During gold rush days Gisborne was a place to stop before negotiating the dreaded Black Forest, notorious for bushrangers. The township is a great spot to visit to view superb examples of 1850s architecture.
The township of Kyneton also developed rapidly during this time as a major supply centre to the goldfields. Visit and see one of Victoria’s strongest collections of historic bluestone buildings or you may be able to find the campsite just north of town used by the ill fated Burke and Wills expedition. While in town visit the four storey bluestone-and-timber steam flour mill built in 1862.
The township of Lancefield made headlines in scientific journals last
century with the discovery of a rich fossil bed of long extinct megafauna.
Read the Report
The Lancefield swamp. Bone bed discovered in 1843
The treasure house of Lancefield Swamp on the edge of town reveals the skeletal remains of about 10,000 ‘giant’ animals including a wombat the size of a rhinoceros, a marsupial lion and a giant flightless bird. The fossils are now held by the Victorian Museum. As with many other townships in the region, Lancefield boasts an impressive array of 19th century architecture.
The township of Kilmore, only 61km north of Melbourne, contentiously claims to be the oldest Victorian inland town. Kilmore was the first coach stop on the road to Sydney and the goldfields in the west. It was settled in the 1830s with landholders attracted to the agricultural potential of the district’s rich volcanic soil. This led to the establishment of substantial public buildings, many of which can be toured today. Visit Whitburgh Cottage, built in 1853 and the Old Gaol, or for something a bit different, take a tour of the Tramway Museum at Bylands.Recreational activities.
Along with hiking in any number of the superb regional parks, exploring by mountain bike, there are also opportunities to explore the region on horse back. While we are on the subject of horses, for those with an interest in equine studies, the region is home to a number of nationally and internationally recognised horse studs. The home of many great track champions, there is always something interesting to discover and learn in the amazing thoroughbred horse breeding industry. You can find studs from Melton to Woodend and across to Seymour and most will conduct guided tours, giving students an opportunity to gain an insight into this exciting and finely tuned industry.
Cricket fans should take a tour of the magnificent Rupertswood Mansion in Sunbury, the birthplace of the ashes. This tradition was created from a social game held on Christmas Eve 1882 between visiting English cricketers and a local Sunbury side, made up largely of Rupertswood staff. By all accounts it was an enjoyable game with no one really keeping score. It was generally agreed however, that the English won with the servants run off their feet retrieving the many fours and sixes. That evening at dinner, as the story goes, Lady Clarke the lady of the mansion presented Ivo Bligh (the English captain) with a pottery urn. It was purported to contain the ashes of a burnt bail. Lady Clarke announced to the company assembled that Australia and England now had a real trophy for which to play.
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