AKA the Wintery Summer Drive.
Words by Paul Hollingworth. Pictures by Paul, Gordon & Nick.
Motafrenz has a very long tradition of spending Australia Day in the Macedon Ranges and even though the Midsumma/JOY visit to Forrest Glade was not held in January this year, we felt it would be nice to visit the area anyway.
The morning started off at the glamorous BP service station, outbound on the Calder Freeway, in the shadow of the once great Calder Raceway (now reduced to little more than a massive surface for T-Mart advertisements).
The service station was also a convenient place to have breakfast and coffee, or for the cheapskates like me, some Arnott’s Assorted Creams supplied by Gordon, the co-ordinator for this event.
In the half-hour, or so, that we were there we watched friends old and new arrive and happy catch-ups were had. Today, for the first time, we were joined by new members Antonio and Trevor.
The weather wasn’t kind to us and we experienced some rain before we departed. Not to be deterred, we left BP for the first part of the journey to Honour Avenue at Mt Macedon. The Avenue was planted to commemorate Australia’s war veterans. In the autumn the Avenue attracts thousands of visitors who admire the autumn foliage, but for us it was green and lush and no less beautiful.
At the end of the Avenue is the Mt Macedon Cemetery. We used this landmark as the first stop and muster point, and the group seemed interested to explore the many markers of the pioneers of the region.
We even found the resting place of one of Australia’s Governors-General Lord Casey of Berwick.
From here it was off to the Hanging Rock Winery – some confusion reigned as the Google Maps instructions differed to those expected, but all cars arrived intact and relatively sane anyway.
At the winery we were greeted by fair weather and we were able to look at the many artistic installations (some good, some not so), eat $10 pies and sausage rolls, or sample the wineries product at the cellar door. Leigh and Philip were amongst the many enthusiastic buyers.
The next leg was up to the picnic ground near the Memorial Cross on Mt Macedon. The trip was beautiful. We passed Hanging Rock and drove through stunning bushland.
The higher we went, the worse the weather, until we reached the picnic area in the misty rain. The misty rain makes the atmosphere at the Memorial Cross magical, but made the atmosphere for a picnic diabolical.
Nevertheless, we all remained positive and made the most of it, and took some beautiful photos.
After lunch, some of the group decided to go home, and the remainder headed off to Woodend to the Holgate Brewhouse.
A beautiful historic pub in a beautiful historic town. More of the group departed from here and the rest of us went down to have a look at the town – I bought a local pie as the group wouldn’t let me buy an advertised Four n’ Twenty.
This was the last part of our wintery summer public holiday drive and we all left for home from here. I was travelling with Gordon and Chris, and they decided to visit Daylesford on the way home where I had another pie, but alas, still not a Four n’ Twenty.