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MACEDON

VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA

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About

At the base of Mount Macedon’s southern slopes lies the village of Macedon. The drive down Honour Avenue is one of Victoria’s most spectacular, in which is lined with beautiful oak trees, planted to honour the 154 men and women of Macedon and Mount Macedon who enlisted for service during World War I.

In autumn, the quiet little town is set upon by thousands of tourists and photographers all looking for their trophy images of the picturesque tree-lined street. 

Although the avenue is policed in the autumn months by local laws officers, it seems all common sense is abandoned in the name of creating 15 seconds of Instafame.

The Macedon Ranges Residents Association (MRRA) claims that residents have been ignored in favour of commercial interests. “The tourist ‘invasion’, where visitors trespass on private properties to view gardens and even use them as toilets. Roads are impassable and there is rampant illegal parking over driveways, and people setting up picnics in people’s front yards,” MRRA secretary Christine Truneau told the Macedon Ranges Leader.

So why are the autumn leaves such an attraction? In Asian cultures, red symbolises joy and good fortune and tourists travel far and wide to view the red autumn leaves.

 

OVERVIEW

A brief snapshot of the problem currently facing Macedon.

Click image to enlarge.

 
 
An average of 159 geotags are recorded each day, representing
a 10.8% increase on 2017.
— Instagram Analytics
 
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The Online Presence

Search #macedon, #honouravenue or #mtmacedon and you will find a host of selfies taken on the avenue. Many local photographers post beautiful imagery of the avenue, which is picked up and re-shared by tourism and hub accounts and this, in turn, drives more visitors chasing their own version of the imagery seen online. (Please note: images selected are to show the broad impact of the area.)

Source: INSTAGRAM


The Analytics

Instagram social media analytics firm, social.co reveals that traffic to the Macedon Ranges and the autumn leaves is increasing. Each year the number of posts to social media is growing substantially and geotagging of the location in also climbing. As a result, Instagram likes increase and the destination becomes ever more popular.

Macedon - autumn leaves period (click image to enlarge).

Geotagged Location Data

GeoTagging is the process of adding geographical identification metadata to social media posts which allows the public to identify locations.

Instagram Likes

Instagram likes is when a user sees a post on the platform and likes the image by either double tapping the image or hitting the red heart under the post.

SO WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Aerial Image Honour Avenue
The image below is an aerial image of a small 200 metre section of Honour Avenue, Macedon, shows the true impact that the social media phenomenon is having on local residents. This section is highly popular because it’s one of the first sections of the avenue and the oak trees are clustered closer together. The aerial view shows the proximity of the trees to the properties of local residents. Despite signs notifying visitors they can be fined if they park or stop on the avenue, people nonetheless park in driveways and cars create hazards by lining the streets. Local residents even report that visitors set up picnics in their front yards. These markers are popular locations of photos and the tracks people use throughout the avenue.

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Local residents have spent thousands of dollars on fences to keep visitors off their properties.

Honour Avenue Map

 
What the avenue actually looks like
— Friday Morning 10am
 
 
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The Real Impact

On a Friday morning, more than 1,000 visitors lined Macedon’s streets. They came on buses and by car and inundated Honour Avenue. Some had a photographer in tow, to get those priceless family portraits, surrounded by the beautiful red leaves. Others set up picnics on the roadside to enjoy the autumn weather.

Click images for captions and larger images (Lightbox).

 
To get the shot, tourists are disregarding common sense and risking injury.
— Local Resident
 
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Sun (Visitor)

The red autumn leaves symbolise joy and good fortune


IN The Media

"Autumn's A Fine Season In Macedon"  Macedon Star Weekly - May 22, 2018

"Autumn's A Fine Season In Macedon"

Macedon Star Weekly - May 22, 2018

"Crackdown on tourists flouting road laws"  Macedon Ranges Leader - May 02, 2018

"Crackdown on tourists flouting road laws"

Macedon Ranges Leader - May 02, 2018

"Temporary Parking & Speed Restrictions"  Macedon Star Weekly - March 13, 2018

"Temporary Parking & Speed Restrictions"

Macedon Star Weekly - March 13, 2018

"Macedon's Honour Avenue Takes On..."  Macedon Star Weekly - April 10, 2018

"Macedon's Honour Avenue Takes On..."

Macedon Star Weekly - April 10, 2018

"Complaints & Praise Over Moves To Ease..."  Macedon Ranges Leader - March 21, 2017

"Complaints & Praise Over Moves To Ease..."

Macedon Ranges Leader - March 21, 2017

"Parking Fine For Macedon's Honour Ave"  Macedon Star Weekly - April 10, 2018

"Parking Fine For Macedon's Honour Ave"

Macedon Star Weekly - April 10, 2018

"Autumn Leaves A Joyous Feeling In ..."  Macedon Star Weekly - May 16, 2018

"Autumn Leaves A Joyous Feeling In ..."

Macedon Star Weekly - May 16, 2018

"Autumn Colour Is On Display At Macedon"  Macedon Ranges Leader - May 01, 2017

"Autumn Colour Is On Display At Macedon"

Macedon Ranges Leader - May 01, 2017

"Autumn Splash No Fun For Some"  Macedon Star Weekly - March 28, 2017

"Autumn Splash No Fun For Some"

Macedon Star Weekly - March 28, 2017

 

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