Melbourne - Mildura via the Calder Highway (Hwy
Total distance 548km
All distances measured from Melbourne
The easiest way out of Melbourne is via CityLink following the Airport signs until the road to the Airport branches left and the route becomes the Calder Freeway (Hwy79). CityLink is a tollway and you will need to obtain a Day Pass to travel on it. These can be purchased by phone (132629) using your credit card or from most Post Offices, some service stations or from the CityLink customer service centres located just off the freeway.
Having cleared the western suburbs you pass the Calder Raceway on your left and then bypass a number of towns including Diggers Rest, Macedon, Woodend and Kyneton. These are all sizeable townships worth a visit and if you have plenty of time, detour to take the winding road up to the top of Mount Macedon and the marvellous views from the area where a huge cross has been erected. The area is noted for the rich Autumn colouring of the trees and for the many wineries that take advantage of the excellent soil and conditions to produce fine wines.
Freeway condition end just after Kyneton (85km) but itís still good road as you make your way through the little township of Malmesbury (99km) to Elphingstone (106km) where you can turn left to visit the historic city of Castlemaine with its many fine buildings, some dating back to gold-rush days.
A short drive further on and we are in the heart of apple and pear country at Harcourt (120km). Just 20km after this, we come to a junction and our chosen route means we take the left fork as the road on the right would take us into the thriving city of Bendigo - a worthwhile detour on a good highway (Hwy Alt 79).
The Calder Highway (Hwy 79) continues northwards to Marong (161km) where the road (Hwy Alt79) from Bendigo rejoins us.
We cross the Lodden River at Bridgewater(198km) and continue on to Wedderburn (220km) and Charlton (250km) where the Borung Highway (Hwy 138) branches off to Donald and Warracknabeal.
We continue northwards to reach Wycheproof (280km) where the train line runs right up the middle of the broad main street and then pass through Culgoa and Sealake to reach Ouyen (444km).
Not far north from Ouyen a road on the right takes you to the Hattah-Kulkyne National Park with excellent camping sites and bush walks.
Before we reach journeyís end we come to the citrus and grape growing area of the Sunraysia District at Red Cliffs and then our destination - the major Victorian city of Mildura (548km).