Stretching across Melbourne’s North-Western horizon, the majestic Macedon Ranges creates a stunning backdrop to some of Victoria’s most picturesque towns and rural properties.

Long-regarded as a blue chip address, Mount Macedon Road is the centrepiece of the region as it winds up the lush valley, swathed on either side by stately homes and magnificent gardens – many dating back to the 1870s when affluent Melbourne residents would escape from the summer heat in the days before air-conditioning.

The region’s fertile pastures, elusive goldfields and scenic beauty also proved hugely attractive during colonial times and beyond, leaving a rich legacy of diverse property styles, landholdings and architecture.

Nowadays, the Calder Freeway and the Melbourne-Bendigo train line provide easy access to the city, and has not only attracted tree-changers and active retirees, but also young families and commuting executives. This gentle, sustained growth, combined with the close proximity to the spa towns of Daylesford and Hepburn Springs, and a reputation for exceptional gourmet produce and outstanding wines, has forged a thriving cafe, restaurant and winebar scene in historic Woodend, Macedon, Kyneton and Gisborne. In particular, Piper Street in Kyneton attracts astute foodies and design aficionados from across the country, all attracted to the street’s tempting abundance of food stores, eateries, wine stockists, art galleries and homeware shops.

Local favourites include the modern, Italian-style fare and hearty welcome of La Bonta, 12-14 Piper Street; the exotic aromas of Dhaba at the Mill, and the renowned Royal George Hotel. Further afield, you’ll find a Japanese and European inspired menu using local produce, at Baringo Food and Wine Co, 283 Station Road, New Gisborne, and the fascinating Holgate Brewhouse at 79 High Street, Woodend which offers a host of unique, handcrafted ales and beers brewed on site (as well as mouthwatering meals).

Other great attractions in the area include the Mount Macedon summit with its giant memorial cross, the mysterious geological formations of the famous Hanging Rock, an array of first-class wineries, and the many vibrant villages that are home to distinctive local enterprises including the magnificently scented Gisborne Cottage Flowers; the ever-changing showcase of beautiful artwork at Lauriston Press, Kyneton; and gourmet treats at Maloa House in the High Street at Woodend.

Be sure to peruse RT Edgar’s fine collection of properties for sale in this stunning region here.