Average gradient: 3.9%
Elevation gain: 424m
Of the two main climbs up Mt. Macedon, the approach from Woodend is slightly longer but considerably easier. With only a few short sharp sections on the ascent, you should have little difficulty reaching the summit before enjoying the impressive views.
The ascent of Mt. Macedon begins at the intersection of Mt. Macedon Road and Boundary Road. If you are looking to time yourself up this climb, start your stopwatch just after passing Boundary Road.
The Mt. Macedon climb finishes at the entrance to the Memorial Cross Reserve, as designated by the stone pillars on either side of the road.
At a glance
- A gentle, picturesque climb with a couple of steep ramps.
- There are two, steep right-hand hairpins — at 5.5km and 5.9km — which approach 10%.
- Turn right at 7.2km to continue the climb.
- The final kilometres to the summit are undulating and feature a steep 500m ramp at 9.4km.
Straight after its intersection with Boundary Road, Mt. Macedon Road begins to climb, albeit quite gently. The first kilometre is quite subdued as the road winds gently into the foothills of the mountain but at the 1km mark, the gradient increases slightly for a left-hand bend and then a right-hand bend. After 1.8km of climbing the road flattens out a little and one kilometre later, as you pass Braemar College on the right, the road narrows and becomes much windier.
After climbing steadily for several kilometres, you will reach a crest in the road at the 4.7km mark. At this point the road stays flat for 400m until the Hanging Rock turn-off on the left. At the 5.2km mark you might get a fright as you see a sign reading “10% for the next 2km”. Luckily, this 10% seems to be a bit of an exaggeration and the average gradient for this 2km, according to Bike Route Toaster, is 4.5%.
However, this 2km stretch does contain two sharp right-hand hairpin bends – both of which have a recommended speed limit of 10km/h – and on both of these the gradient seems to reach about 10%, albeit quite briefly.
After 7.2km the road flattens off for 200m and you can relax before turning right onto Cameron Drive (C328) toward the Memorial Cross. While the initial 200m pinch after the turn-off is quite steep, the hard work is all done by this point.
From the Camels Hump at 7.8km the road is flat and downhill for 500m before heading up again. These last kilometres to the summit undulate quite a lot and the most challenging uphill section is a 500m stretch, beginning at the 9.4km mark, that hovers around 8 or 9%.
After this section the road drops away again before climbing steadily for the last 400m to the entrance to the Memorial Cross Reserve.
Woodend is located roughly 70km north-west of Melbourne and is best accessed by the Calder Freeway (M79). If you are looking for a long day in the saddle, cycling is permitted on the Calder Freeway from Sunshine Avenue to Woodend and as such, a Melbourne to Mt.Macedon round-trip is possible.
Upon reaching the town of Woodend, Urquhart Street should be taken east out of town before turning left onto Mt. Macedon Road at the T-intersection. The start of the climb is 1.6km from this intersection, just over the Calder Freeway overpass.
The Strava segment for this climb can be found here.