Mt. Macedon (Woodend side)

3rd category climb

Length: 11.0km
Average gradient: 3.9%
Elevation gain: 424m

View from the Mt. Macedon (Woodend side) climb.


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 start

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.

Start of the Mt. Macedon (Woodend side) climb.

The finish

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.

End of the Mt. Macedon (Woodend side) climb.

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.

Climb details

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.

17 Replies to “Mt. Macedon (Woodend side)”

  1. Did a loop from Gisborne coming back over the hill this way, the downside being starting this climb with about 120km on the legs. I loved this ride, and totally recommend it to anyone.
    No water on the top was the hardest bit for me, it was a hot day and I’d guzzled all mine by then.

  2. Attempted this yesterday but beaten by the mountain. Rode over from Blackwood so had 40km of rolling hills in my legs already, but pulled the pin around 4km into the climb. It’s pretty gentle overall and a lovely ride, especially from Blackwood. Would recommend! Will be back soon for revenge.

  3. Did the climb from the backside, wow, what an effort that was! Steep and consistent grade the whole way. Very glad I was on my gravel bike with 38×11-42t gearing to enable me to grind my way up. The way down was great fun, smooth, consistent and dangerous if not careful. Definately need to be careful of the hairpins, especially in the wet.

    Keen to try again from the “easy” side now!

  4. What a great website….thanks for setting it up. I did this ‘easier’ tide up Mt Macedon today. I was certainly passed by a few who made it look easy. Not so for me….but I got there in the end. The descent down the difficult side into Macedon is fun if not a little hair raising at times!

  5. As the website says this climb from Woodend is a much easier climb than the Gisborne side. Even though longer you don’t have the steep gradient like the Gisborne side . However the last 2kms are steep though to the turnoff. We then climbed to Memorial Cross Reserve where the last 3.5km is undulating with some short steep climbs.

  6. I did this climb today on a two-wheeled recumbent bike. I really enjoyed the scenery, the continual shade on a warm day and the low level of traffic. I have been doing some demanding climbs recently and so found it quite manageable in comparison. On the descent I used Francis Rd and then Alton Rd, the first being a gravel track and so perhaps not suitable for everyone. I reached the Black Forest Drive and that took me back to Woodend. V-Line services were a great way to reach and return from the start of the climb.

  7. I just completed this climb today, my first climb up a mountain. Stoked to make it up without stopping, and I’ll attempt the climb from the other side next. Great site too, fantastic resource for riders like me who are looking at doing more climbing.

  8. Thanks for this website- it is a really useful tool.

    I have been up to Woodend to cycle this route a number of times now both sides and also, Alton Road.

    I am training for the Alpine Classic -Falls Creek ccyle at the end of the month.

    Cycled the Woodend side four times to the top yesterday totalling 90km (including cycle from the town). Safe to say, my legs are still hurting.

    It is easier than the Gisbourne side but it is longer and probably more reflective of typical mountain climbs, generally speaking.

  9. Hi, i am doing a P.E assignment and i was wondering the average time it would take to ride this track. Thankyou 🙂

    1. Hi Ainslie,
      I’m not sure on the average time but it too me about 45 Minutes. I have no climbing experience and this is the first real climb I have tried.

  10. Hi Guys.
    I’m a mid 50’s rider back in the saddle after a 15 year lay off. Having about 12 months of varied cycling under my belt I thought I’d give the Macedon climb a go. I did the Gisborne side 1st and then rode the Woodend side side next. I don’t mind admitting that I used my “grannie gear” for all of the steep sections of the Gisborne side and my “next to grannies” for the Woodend climb. Slow and steady and lots of puffing, but, I finally made it. A really enjoyable ride, made more so by the passing cyclists who provided lots of encouragement along the way.
    Now looking forward to tackling some of the other climbs on the web site. Thanks Guys.

  11. I’ve only been riding for about 6 months. I’ve been to the 1 in 20 a few times and after checking out your other suggested climbs decided to give this one a go. I found it harder than expected, I think i got suckered into the average gradient, but made it to the top. Will be back to try it again another time

  12. I am a mid forties guy who go into cycling about a year ago. Up until last week I’ve only really ever done the beach road thing…. Recently I moved to Gisborne so couldnt wait to try some hills. After I read your site, I decided this one would be the first ride to tackle.

    Pleased to say after about a 40k warm up through Woodend I made it to the top without too much pain on Saturday morning and felt exhilarated to get to the top. Thanks for your website and descriptions. I’m not ready to take on the Gisborne side yet but hopefully in a few weeks might give it a crack.

    1. Hi John, thanks so much for getting in touch – I love stories like this! The Gisborne side is definitely harder than the north side and there are some very steep and painful sections. But, take your time, and you’ll be fine! Have fun! 🙂

  13. Pretty easy climb.
    Im not really an experienced hill climber but I found this one rather easy.
    I did however have a decent sweat up, and managed the whole route in the saddle. I have compact cranks and 11-25 cluster, but never needed the lowest gear.

    Worth doing several times, the ride down is great fun and not too many cars.

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