Just off the Calder Freeway lies the fertile Harcourt Valley. Weave through stunning scenery, past fields of fruit trees, grape vines and cideries on a gourmet discovery. Harcourt is known as the ‘Apple Centre of Victoria' and, with three cideries now operating in the area, is fast becoming known as the heart of Australian cider making.
Throughout the year Harcourt hosts several events with an authentic local flavour, from the Harcourt Applefest in March through to more intimate gatherings at local wineries - be sure to keep an eye out for details.
Local produce such as wine, cider, and many varieties of fruit are to found in abundance throughout the valley
Mount Alexander Regional Park sits magnificently above the Harcourt valley. Called "Lanjanuc" by the Jaara Jaara people, this mountain was important as a sacred ceremonial ground. Rising 746 metres above sea level it was also used as a point of orientation for miners heading towards the goldfields of the 1850's. In the 1860's the first quarries opened here and provided stone for the Northern Railway. Stone quarried from this area was also used for buildings in Melbourne and monuments such as the base of the Burke and Wills memorial.
Today, with a well-made tourist road traversing the ridgeline, the mountain offers panoramic views and a nature forest setting for picnicking and walking. An oak forest planted for the hide tanning process is a hidden delight nestled in the northern foothills of the mount.
For further information on the Harcourt area visit www.theharcourtprogressgroup.blogspot.com.au
(Please note Mount Alexander Shire Council is not responsible for the accuracy or reliability of linked websites)