The winter-ready country region where food and gin are top priorities

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Don your winter woollies: it’s road trip time, hibernators.

When the cold winds start to whistle, the time is right to don your winter woolies and venture out of town. Just an hour from Melbourne, by car or train, lie the beautiful Macedon Ranges, writes Danielle Norton.


Animus Distillery in Kyneton creates premium hand crafted gin. Their new masterclasses are a creative way for connoisseurs to indulge in their favourite tipple. Learn about your taste buds as you sample rose petal, orange, mint, star anise, turmeric, lemon myrtle or rosemary, and concoct your own blend.

Right next door is the Piper Street Food Co. Friday night is pizza night and on Saturdays they have fresh baked bread. Famous for handmade pork pies and picnic goods, the Cooking School offers a range of classes taught by local professional chefs. Choose your level of immersion; sausage making, the Italian Winter Cooking class, or the Whole Pig two day experience.

In Trentham, do a floral therapy class at Acre of Roses. Not only will you create an amazing bouquet to take home, the course covers how to analyse your preferences and apply your new knowledge to other aspects of your life.


The restaurant at the Blackwood Ridge Nursery is part of an off-the-grid dream of owners, Dan and James. Stylish, sophisticated interiors complement the kitchen garden, ornamental lake and manicured gardens of the property. Wander and shop for plants which are grown, and acclimatised, onsite. Don’t miss the Mid Winter Feast in August where James will showcase his latest culinary creations.

To experience genuine hospitality from two of the region’s most beloved publicans, eat at the newly renovated Royal George Hotel. Previous owners of this Kyneton institution, Frank Moylan and Melissa Macfarlane, have returned and continue to welcome punters with fun food, a local wine list and open arms.

For a handmade chocolate in Trentham, pop into the new Atelier Chocolate on Market Street.


For interesting collectables and beautiful, functional pieces, visit Kabinett. From antique typewriters to designer industrial furniture, this is a place for discovery. For fine artworks and handmade pieces, call into Stockroom. Inspiring exhibitions rotate monthly.

Camilla on Piper, in Kyneton is a treasure trove of affordable women’s wear and accessories. Over in Trentham, Frankie and Mae has a new, natural range of clothing that works for either city or country wardrobes. Choose from soft bamboo and cotton, linen or merino wool for luxurious textures.


The township of Kyneton was established before the gold rush and the Saint Paul’s rectory was commissioned and built in 1850, before the mother church. The Kyneton Old Rectory is now available as luxurious boutique accommodation. With three double bedrooms and extensive manicured gardens, it is the perfect spot for weekends away and special celebrations.

In Trentham, the cottage at Acre of Roses is a cosy, nurturing experience designed to help guests focus on their wellbeing. Set on a micro flower farm of 1700 heritage rose bushes, the property boasts a fully functional kitchen stocked with healthy, high quality provisions, and the region’s only cedar hot tub.  This property delights the senses and visitors reluctantly depart feeling more connected to nature and themselves.