Woodend is a picturesque town just under an hour’s drive from Melbourne at the foothills of the Great Dividing Range. The town is the perfect starting point to explore the Macedon Ranges region and there’s enough to do for a mini-break yet small enough to not overwhelm little kids.
Here are my tips on the best places to go in Woodend with kids.
- Woodend Children’s Park, 12 Nicholson Street, Woodend
This huge adventure playground is a must-do and you might have trouble dragging the kids away! There’s lots of equipment for babies to older kids (including a fully fenced area), a flying fox strong enough to hold an adult, barbecue shelters and a lovely bushland setting.
2. The Village Larder, 81 High Street, Woodend
The Village Larder is a popular cafe on the main drag High Street – just look out for the line-up of bicycles. Outside it’s a little faux Tudor frontage, inside it’s mismatched retro. Their menu looked delicious but unfortunately we caught them between the end of breakfast at 11am and the beginning of lunch 12pm. Luckily the kids were content to share a large frothy milkshake, a bargain $5.
3. Colenso, 42D Anslow Street
An art gallery, wine store, native nursery and cafe all rolled into one site. The cafe served a wholesome breakfast menu until 12pm and we enjoyed French toast, granola and baked beans with chorizo for under $50.
4. Woodend Bookshop, 104 High Street
Every village needs a secondhand book store and Woodend Bookshop provides floor to ceiling shelves of tomes. There was only a small children’s selection left after Christmas when we visited but the kids still made themselves at home. We bought an apparently rare FJ Holden puzzle for $10 and took it to the cafe for lunch.
5. New Leaves (corner Anslow and Collier streets) is another bookshop across the road which sells new books and has a good selection of children’s books.
6. Hanging Rock Reserve, South Rock Road
The first thing to note is that there is a $10 per car fee to enter Hanging Rock Reserve, so it’s worth planning to spend some time there. We just wanted to ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ before the downpour arrived so took our giant Bourkies Bakehouse lamingtons to the small playground on site. We’ll take the kids to climb the summit when they’re a bit older and we don’t have to carry them!