Centre of Victoria
Small township in the geographic heart of
Lancefield is a small and charming town of about
1000 people which is situated in a rolling
agricultural landscape at the geographic centre
of Victoria. The High Street boasts a central
plantation full of evergreens and there are a
number of intact 19th-century buildings which
present an attractive streetscape.
Lancefield is located 73 km north of
Melbourne on a road that heads north through
Bulla, Clarkesfield, Monegeetta and Romsey. It
is a growing dormitory area for those who work
Crucial palaeontological finds have been made
at Lancefield Swamp, on the south-western edge
of town (adjacent to Lancefield Sports Ground).
In an area of 2000 square metres, the skeletons
of about 10 000 animals were found in a 20-cm
thick bone bed. There is a strong predominance
of extinct megafauna including Macropus titan (a
kangaroo twice the size of today's largest
relative), Diprotodon (a rhinoceros-sized
wombat) and Genyornis (a giant flightless bird),
the toothmarks of Thylacoleo carnifex (the
marsupial 'lion') and 26 000-year-old human
artefacts which, together with carbon-dated
bones, indicate that people lived with
Australia's megafauna for a period of some 7000
The concentration of carcasses could indicate
either the congregation of animals around a
water source in a drought period (with the
consequent death through the consumption of all
available food) or the usage of the waterhole as
a hunting spot either for the marsupial 'lion'
or human beings or both.
Extensive quarry sites have been located just
to the north-east of town at Mt William.
Specified members of the Wurundjeri people (a
sub-group of the Woiwurung) were responsible for
quarrying the hard, dense greenstone of the
mountain for the manufacture of stone axes. They
were then traded for rugs, weapons and
ornaments. This practice probably began long
before European settlement and may have ceased
in 1846. These axes have been found as far
afield as South Australia and the Riverina area
The area was first settled by squatters
c.1837 and developed into a potato farming
district. The town entered a boom period in the
1880s when it became a popular summer resort for
Memorial and Mechanics Institute
Things to see:
There is no official information centre in town
but you can ring Centrevic Motor Inn for
enquiries, tel: (03) 5429 1777.
Antique Centre of Victoria
The town's architectural highlight is Old
Macedonia House which was built in 1889 as a
deluxe three-storey, 55-room hotel to cater for
Melburnian holiday-makers who were travelling to
the town in summer. Thereafter it served as a
boarding house, Army offices, a clothing factory
and a residence. It is now the Antique Centre of
Victoria, tel: (03) 5429 1666. There are three
floors of furniture, decorative arts, clocks,
books, pianos, tools, paintings, jewellery and
other items from the Georgian, Victorian and
Edwardian eras. There is a restaurant which
extends out onto the second-floor balcony where
you can purchase anything from a Devonshire tea
to a full meal, tel: (03) 5429 2370. It is
located at 72 Main Rd.
Portree Vineyard has a cellar-door outlet in
the former public bar which is open from 10.00
a.m. to 5.00 p.m. daily, tel: (03) 5429 1422.
The through-road from Melbourne is known locally
as Main Rd. However, the town's true main street
is High St which extends westwards from Main Rd.
It boasts a central plantation full of
evergreens and a number of historic buildings
which date back to the town's boom period in the
late 19th century, including the mechanics hall
(1868), the post office, courthouse, hotel,
banks, churches, and single-storey timber shops.
The old grain store and railway station have
been converted into private homes.
Parkside at Lancefield Country Cottage
(c.1880s) is a Victorian home in Parks Rd which
offers self-contained accommodation, tel: (03)
A local history museum has been operating in the
old courthouse in Main Rd. It is generally open
on Sundays from 1.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.
Monument Creek Herb Farm
Monument Creek Herb Farm is located 5 km west of
Lancefield on Monument Rd, tel: (03) 5429 1357.
Mt William Nursery
The Mt William Advanced Tree Nursery is a
30-acre operation in the foothills of Mt William
which specialises in advanced ornamental and
deciduous trees and a range of conifers, natives
and ground covers. It is located in Stafford Rd,
off Pyalong Rd, tel: (03) 5429 1517.
The Budburst Festival will be held on the
weekend of October 31 and November 1, 1998. Some
wineries will air their wares at a public
tasting in Lancefield Park and shuttle buses
will operate to the other wineries.
Portree, established in 1983, has a cellar-door
outlet in the former public bar of the Antique
Centre of Victoria at 72 Main Rd. It sells two
types of chardonnay, a red and a rose and it is
open from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. daily, tel:
(03) 5429 1422.
Cleveland Winery, established in 1984, is
situated in an historic 1890s homestead located
2 km east of town on Shannons Rd (off Kilmore
Rd). They are open from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
daily and produce a well-reputed Brut sparkling
wine along with chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet
sauvignon and shiraz. The old stables and
coach-house have been converted into the
Carriagehouse Restaurant (where lunches are
served on Sundays) and there are loft-style
bed-and-breakfast rooms with fine views, tel:
(03) 5429 1449.
Mt William Winery
Mount William Winery, established in 1987, is
open on weekends from 11.00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or
on weekdays by arrangement, tel: (03) 5429 1595.
To get there head east out of Lancefield on the
Kilmore Rd. After 6 km turn left into Mt William
Rd (unsealed) and it is about 9 km to the
winery. They produce chardonnay, pinot noir,
semillon, cabernet franc, a sparkling red and
riesling. Barbecue facilities are located amidst
Ashworths Hill, established in 1982, is located
7 km north-west of town on Ashworths Rd which
runs west off the Burke and Wills Track. It is a
family winery which produces cabernet sauvignon,
pinot noir, riesling and chardonnay and it is
open from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. daily, tel:
(03) 5429 1689.
Knight Granite Hills Vineyard
17 km north-west of Lancefield along the Burke
and Wills Track (the Lancefield-Miamia Rd) is
Knight's Granite Hills Vineyard which is one of
the most elevated vineyards in the country. This
family winery, which commenced operations in
1970, produces a distinguished riesling, along
with chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon
and shiraz with sparkling wines a recent
addition. It is open every day from 10.00 a.m.
to 6.00 p.m. except Sunday when it opens at 1.00
p.m., tel: (03) 5423 7264. There are picnic and
barbecue facilities. Follow the signs from
Lancefield or the Kyneton bypass.
The Pattison Lancefield Winery is located to the
north of town in Scrubby Camp Road at Emu Flat.
They produce cabernet merlot, shiraz, pinot
noir, chardonnay and gewurtztraminer and are
open by appointment and on special lunchtime
concert days. To get there head north out of
Lancefield on the main road and take the
signposted turnoff on the left, tel: (03) 5433
Glen Erin Winery, established in 1993, is 4 km
west of Lancefield on the Woodend Rd. It
produces a fine sparkling wine, together with
gewurztraminer, chardonnay, riesling, pinot noir
and shiraz. There is a fully-licensed a la carte
restaurant (open for lunches and dinners on
weekends and for dinners on Fridays and public
holidays) and three function rooms
(accommodating up to 200 people) with recreation
facilities. The cellar door is open daily, tel:
(03) 5429 1041.
Rochford Winery, established in 1983, is
signposted off the Woodend Rd, just a little
further west. It produces pinot noir, cabernet
sauvignon, pinot grigio and chardonnay and is
open by appointment, tel: (03) 5429 1428.
The road which heads north out of Lancefield
passes through picturesque pasturage and
boulder-strewn granite hills. After 28 km the
road ends at Tooboracon on the Northern Highway,
16 km south of A
Lancefield Bush Rides
This organisation offers horse-trail rides
through the local forests, tel: (03) 5429 1627.