3440 Macedon

Macedon is a small village north of Melbourne, in which a majority of houses, business premises and facilities have been built after 1983.  The Ash Wednesday bushfire in February 1983 burnt down most of the pre-existing buildings and 7 people in the area lost their lives. Since that time, many of the locals measure time in terms of pre or post Ash Wednesday and are active members of the volunteer fire brigade who meet at the ‘new’ (post Ash Wednesday) fire station.

The town is located at the base of Mount Macedon, which is part of the Victorian section of the Great Dividing Range.  Thick native forest and pine plantations surround the area and having a cooler climate, the gardens are a mix of native and a heavy leaning towards English style plantings.  Autumn is very dramatic, as a result of the colour of the deciduous trees.  Spring is also a bit of a show-off with masses of bulbs, azaleas, camellias and rhododendrons.  Winter is cold enough to snow from time to time, and there is great excitement when the snow is thick enough to lie on the ground for any length of time.

Residents share the area with the native birds and animals that wander in and out of gardens as though they own the place, primarily the kangaroos, echidna and koalas, although the latter tend to be a big secretive and hard to spot.  They give themselves away when they growl at each other.

The area is a magnet for artists, who have an active network and hold regular exhibitions and shows.  There is also a talented group of performing artists who have a number of performances a year, at the purpose built (post fire) theatre. Other community functions such as weddings, funerals, fashion parades and parties in general, use the community hall (post fire). All the essential services exist, a pizza shop, wine bar, café and restaurant as well as the local pub, and for those who need a city fix, the country rail service runs through town, arriving into Melbourne in one hour. The railway line, with its old infra structure is a great opportunity for train spotters, especially when the steam train goes up the line.

Pictures and words by Wendy Royle. Her pictures can be found on Instagram here @macedonphotos and Tumblr.