Autumn leaves and visitors

Autumn in the Macedon Ranges attracts visitors to our beautiful region to see autumn colour, sample our artisan produce and explore our natural environment.

The tree-lined Honour Avenue in Macedon is particularly popular among visitors in autumn and in recent years, Council has implemented measures that support the management of visitors to Macedon and Mount Macedon, while minimising the impact on residents.

2024 measures  

This year, Council will again be implementing limited temporary measures along Honour Avenue to support residents and visitors, with different measures being implemented at times between late March and 12 May. 

This follows an extensive review on previous autumn leaves management measures and the Autumn Festival including community consultation, an independent review and further internal discussions. 

This review has prompted Council to refocus on its core responsibilities, and we’ve worked closely with government agencies over the past four months - including the Department of Transport and Planning and Victoria Police - to finalise management plans for autumn 2024. 

To support Macedon and Mount Macedon residents and visitors during the busy autumn period, temporary Council-led measures will include the following:  

  • From late March through to 12 May (Mother’s Day weekend), temporary signage will be installed along Honour Avenue and other Council-managed roads nearby, to clearly highlight – and enable Council officers to enforce – no stopping zones.  

  • From 29 March (Good Friday) through to Sunday 28 April, traffic management personnel will enforce a full road closure along Honour Avenue between Mount Macedon Road and Waterfalls Road on weekends and public holidays from 8am to 6pm, to support public safety and in anticipation of higher visitation on these days.

  • Residents residing within this section of Honour Avenue, will be provided with passes to proceed through the closure and a phone number will be provided to residents to access a special ‘traffic escort vehicle’, to assist with entering/leaving your property.  

  • Extra toilet and waste facilities will be provided in the immediate area.   

  • Multi-lingual signage will be made available for any resident to place on their property in the Macedon and Mount Macedon area – the signs say ‘Private property, no public access’ and ‘Keep driveway clear’ and are written in English, Mandarin and Hindi.  Signs can be collected from Gisborne Administration Centre anytime Mon-Fri between 9:30am-5.00pm.

In addition to these Council-led measures, the Department Transport and Planning will be implementing a temporary speed reduction on Mount Macedon Road. 

Many of the above measures were ultimately extended to the weekend of 4 and 5 May, due to ongoing high levels of visitation.

More details on specific traffic management measures can be found in this map: Autumn-leaves-traffic-management-2024.jpg(JPG, 922KB)

If you have any questions or would like to speak to a Council officer about these changes, please contact Council on 5422 0333 or email mrsc@mrsc.vic.gov.au  

If you would like to receive email updates about the Autumn leaves management planning, register your details here

2023 consultation and assessment

Following autumn 2023, Council undertook an extensive consultation process and assessment of the Autumn Leaves Management Program for Macedon and Mount Macedon.

This consultation included surveys, one-on-one resident meetings, and meetings with business representative groups, contractors, Council staff and volunteers.

The survey, conducted from 19 June - 21 July 2023, was made up of two optional sections:

  • one to understand visitor movement and the economic benefits of the shire-wide Autumn Festival (for visitors and/or residents to the area who participated in Autumn Festival activities), and
  • the other to better understand impacts to residents in Macedon and Mount Macedon. 

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback during this process.

Independent review

A consultant was engaged by Council to conduct an independent review, focusing on the following objectives:

  • Evaluation of feedback gathered during community consultation involving residents, businesses, Council staff, volunteers, contractors, and industry groups.
  • Recommend measures concentrating on safety, traffic management, visitor movement and public amenity and access.
  • Prioritisation of the safety and amenity for residents and visitors in Macedon and Mount Macedon.

 

The consultant recommended an interventionist approach, with suggested actions including:

  • implementation of an integrated ticketing solution covering transportation and all offerings (e.g., Honour Avenue, open gardens) within a single ticket
  • exploration of new traffic management strategies and potential road closures
  • implementation of a comprehensive shuttle bus system and alternative parking solutions
  • development of a robust communications strategy for pre-arrival and mid-journey messaging, alongside cultural community outreach initiatives.