Sunday, October 20, 2013

Macedon Ranges

Yesterday was my birthday, the third birthday I have celebrated Down Under. Technically today it is still my birthday in America, and yesterday it wasn't quite yet my big day in the USA, but we do celebrate our birthdays on the actual "date" in Oz. Due to the time difference, birthday wishes tend to come over a 2 day period, so it is really fun to have an "extended" birthday of sorts.

I have a few more China posts to write, most notably a post about our trip to the Great Wall, but today I wanted to share a little bit about our day trip to the Macedon Ranges. Erik had asked a few times what I wanted to do for my birthday, and I thought that a day trip somewhere within an hour or so of our house would be a good idea. There are many choices that fit into that category, but yesterday I chose the Macedon Ranges.

From our house it only took about 45 minutes to reach Mount Macedon. Once we left the freeway and started driving on the road up to the top, we started passing gorgeous houses. Actually these were more like estates, with gated driveways, tennis courts, pools, and immaculate gardens. I have decided that rich Melbournians must own these amazing properties! The scenery on the drive to the top, which included those beautiful houses combined with a winding tree-lined road, was awesome.

The first thing we decided to check out was the Memorial Cross. This cross is massive, and was rebuilt in the 1990's when it was decided that the cross was unsafe, as it had deteriorated from weather. It serves as a memorial to Australian soldiers who served in the World Wars. You can also see the CBD (Melbourne) from the Memorial Cross.

That is "Melbs" in the distance!
Next we did a short hike to Camel's Hump, which is the highest peak of Mount Macedon. From there, we spotted Hanging Rock, which was our next destination.

Hanging Rock was created by a type of volcanic activity over 6 million years ago. A hike to the top provided awesome views of the Macedon Ranges and Camel's Hump in particular. The rock formations are quite stunning, especially with the backdrop of the ridiculously blue sky that we had yesterday.

Camel's Hump is the high part of the mountain in the background!
This spot actually reminded me of a hike we did in the Glass House Mountains.
When we returned from the walk to Hanging Rock, we found a kangaroo that clearly is used to being around people. This "wild" kangaroo was just hanging out where people were having picnics, eating grass and letting crazy Americans pet it without any sign of distress!

After leaving Hanging Rock, we headed to Hanging Rock Winery to do a bit of wine tasting. I ended up having a glass after the tasting and we sat outside enjoying the perfect weather before hitting the road back to Melbourne. All in all an excellent birthday, made possible by my fabulous husband and by the often unpredictable Melbourne spring weather, which turned out to be absolutely perfect yesterday!

View of Hanging Rock (left) and Camel's Hump (right) from the winery!

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