Southern Uplands


The Southern Uplands includes the traditional lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung (west of Campaspe River and Five Mile Creek) and Taungurung (east of Campaspe River and Five Mile Creek) peoples.

This is the southern fringe of the region, centred around the Calder corridor between Woodend and Malmsbury, and extending west to Creswick.  Many residents commute to Melbourne and Ballarat for work.  Accessibility, affordability (compared to Melbourne) and amenity values are driving strong population growth including in rural residential development.

This area has the highest elevation and rainfall in the region, includes the upper reaches of the Campaspe, Goliban (Coliban) and Loddon Rivers, and is entirely within a declared special water supply catchment area. The Macedon Ranges has been declared a Distinctive Area and Landscape, which designates long-term settlement boundaries for townships expected to grow, and provides for better protection and enhancement of natural and rural landscapes. Being within a 100 km radius of Melbourne the Planning for Melbourne’s green wedges and agricultural land project is also relevant to this Local Area. This planning aims to strengthen planning controls to protect values, including to manage land use to support long term agricultural use.

Mineral springs around Daylesford are major a tourism drawcard, along with agritourism attractions and fine restaurants for weekenders from Melbourne.  

There is a relatively high proportion of remnant native vegetation, including within the Wombat State Forest, Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park and the Hepburn Regional Park, the latter which is jointly managed by Parks Victoria and Dja Dja Wurrung. 

When asked about their long-term vision through RCS renewal engagement, respondents from this Local Area spoke about; diverse and connected landscapes, healthy waterways, alternative/sustainable agricultural practices, and an active and engaged community.

Map of Southern Uplands Local Area, showing RCS assets
Southern Uplands Local Area, with RCS assets