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Six Reasons to Visit Lancefield

The Grange Cleveland Winery

The Grange Cleveland Winery

The Grange Cleveland Winery featured in the 6 reasons to visit Lancefield:

Article by: Richard Cornish, The Sydney Morning Herald.

1. Megafauna Festival

In the 1840s, the fossilised bones of extinct giant kangaroos and massive wombats were found in a wetland on the site that is now Lancefield Recreation Reserve. This is now home to the second annual Extinct! The Lancefield Megafauna Festival. On the festival agenda today are a talk on those fossils by Dr Tim Flannery, tours to the Mt William Aboriginal axe quarry, a talk by Dr Jillian Garvey on “The Australian paleo diet: 40,000 years in the making”, and a talk on bushfire history by Dr Danielle Clode. Family activities include barbecues and a giant fossil puzzle. Representatives of Landcare and the Melbourne Museum will also be on hand. Tickets for the talks and tours must be purchased online.

visitmacedonranges.com

2. The Slice

This is possibly the lightest, loveliest and most delicious vanilla slice in the state. Sandwiched between two delicate layers of puff pastry is a smooth, creamy, mousse-light vanilla cream. But because it’s made with fresh cream, not creme patissiere, the French-style custard thickened with both eggs and flour, it is not officially a vanilla slice. But it is still bloody good, and exceptional with a cup of tea. People drive hundreds of kilometres to buy these delicacies.

Lancefield Newsagent and Milkbar, 18 High Street, Mon-Fri 6am-7pm, Sat-Sun 7am-7pmseg.gif

3. Bread, Coffee, Art

You know they are baking at the Lancefield Bakery (20 High Street) when the main street fills with the aroma of fresh bread mingled with wood smoke from an old scotch oven. Across the road is MAD Gallery and Cafe (19 High St, madgallery.com.au). Here you’ll meet local farmers coming in for a latte and a chat to local sculptors setting up their shows. On show now is Heather McCormack’s Mega Budgie, a megafauna bird sculpture made from packing tape. The gallery is casual, eclectic and has a sculpture courtyard out back. Try the good-value soup – choice of three at $8, or a pie and mushy peas for $9.

4. Talk to the Animals

Red Barron is a garrulous young rooster with a cocky personality. He almost didn’t make it. As a male chick he was not needed by the egg industry. Gassed and sold as snake food, he spontaneously revived and was sent by a stunned reptile keeper to Edgar’s Mission, a farm where injured animals are looked after by carers working under animal activist Pam Ahern. “If you learn one thing about coming here, it is compassion,” says the softly spoken Ahern. “Compassion for animals but compassion for others. It is so important.” Guided tours are held on Wednesday and Friday to Sunday, but must be booked in advance. Entry is free but a donation is appreciated.

81 Bridies Lane, edgarsmission.org.au

5. Wine

They make excellent wine in the Macedon Ranges, but some wineries don’t have cellar doors. So it is very convenient that Grange Cleveland Winery‘s cellar door offers visitors the chance to try and buy wines from Lyons Will Estate, Granite Hills and Hesket Estate. The cellar door is located in the old sparkling-wine riddling cellar, next to a restaurant offering wood-fired pizza on weekends. The view over the farm, vineyard and dam is charmingly bucolic. Come here for cool-climate sparkling wines and the relaxed atmosphere.

55 Shannons Road, (03) 5429 9000, grangecc.com.au

6. Granite Hills

The country around Lancefield is stunning, with winding country lanes interlacing the forested ranges and undulating pastures. Explore it by car by taking the Lancefield-Tooboorac Road North and turning left on Burke and Wills Track, the route taken by the ill-fated explorers on their journey north in 1860. This eucalypt-lined avenue meanders through grazing country. Turn right at Feeneys Lane, which cuts through remnant bushland that includes Langley Conservation Reserve. At Martins Road, turn right and follow Mollisons Creek as it cuts through park-like farmland. Here dome-like granite rocks poke through the pasture creating a starkly beautiful landscape. Continue to Lancefield-Tooboorac Rd and turn right back to Lancefield. Look out for native animals and cattle on the road. And check conditions.