Mount Macedon is a great day trip from Melbourne, and a walk to the Memorial Cross is almost compulsory. Most tourists simply make the 5 minute walk from the car park to the Cross and back, but this route gives you a decent one hour walk taking in some of the mountain forest as well.
The area around the Memorial Cross is a little like a botanic garden, with introduced plants, set in a native forest background. It is a significant historic site and there are extensive displays to explain the history. The walk through the native forest to picnic ground is a more conventional bush walk.
There are a number of vantage points on this walk with great views, particularly Major Mitchell's
Lookout. The Memorial Cross is a spectacular setting, but the views from the Cross itself have been somewhat obscured by surrounding trees.
This is a high altitude walk (1,000 metres above sea level), so the weather, forest and wildlife is a little different to lower altitudes. Keep your eye out for alpine wildlife like beautiful Flame Robins.
The walk starts at the Harbison Picnic Ground, which has a carpark and toilets. There is also a café.
- Bring more clothes! This walk is 1,000 metres above sea level - it will be noticeably colder than wherever you have come from. It may also be wetter and/or windier. On particularly cold winter days you may encounter snow.
- We have mapped out a loop walk here, which involves 5-10 minutes walking along the side of Cameron Drive (no footpath, just a grass strip). An alternative is to walk back through the forest from Cameron Picnic Ground, but this will take longer.
- Dogs are allowed on a lead on this walk.
- More generally, the Mount Macedon area is a great place to visit. If you like gardens, the open gardens in and around the township are definitely worth seeing (small cover charges apply). Find out more about the area
Follow the path to Cameron Picnic Ground via the Macedon Ranges Trail (to the left of the tearooms) and take a minute to admire the view.
Take your time and soak up the beauty of the forest as you walk through it. Look up now and then for views like this.
Nice spot, near the road but otherwise surrounded by trees, with grass areas and a number of picnic tables.
Cross the road and walk back up the left (east) side for 5-10 mins. Not the prettiest part of the walk but much shorter than going back through the forest, and makes this a loop walk.
At the intersection, a path through the forest emerges to the left of the road. Take it.
Memorial to the 1948 crash of an early commercial flight from Melbourne to Sydney. The hero of the story is the sole air hostess on board, who got the passengers to safety.
The beautiful stone and wood benches are a nice touch.
The walk to the Cross includes formal garden elements in a native forest context. The mountain climate suits plants like these hydrangeas.
Originally built as a WW1 memorial between 1932 and 1935, a New Cross was constructed in 1995. Views of the surrounding landscape are mostly obscured by surrounding trees now, but still impressive.
Named after the early European explorer Major Thomas Mitchell, who came through the area in 1836. Well worth a look.
Visit at the right time and you might be lucky enough to catch some autumn colour.