A small village on the Hamilton Highway, 315km west of Melbourne, Macarthur has close links with the founding works of Australian literature.
One of the first settlers to take up land in the area was Thomas Alexander Browne who subsequently swapped the ploughshare for a pen to write the book which is regarded as one of Australia’s first novels, Robbery Under Arms, under the pseudonym of Rolfe Boldrewood.
Today the town of 300 is justifiably proud of its Memorial Rose Garden in which each of 150 roses is marked by a plaque bearing the name of a local man or woman who served overseas in the defence of Australia and freedom.
The outstanding natural feature in the region is the 6120ha Mount Eccles National Park which conserves manna gum and blackwood forests which harbour a wide variety of wildlife. The park embraces land formed during an active volcanic period which ended about 8000 years ago and has left a legacy of crater lakes. Scenic pick of the waterways is the 800-metre long Lake Surprise which is virtually enclosed by high, basalt walls and is a popular swimming hole in the warmer months.