Hanging rock, located a few kilometres north of Mount Macedon is a collection of rocks created from the distinctive eruption of thick lava. Hanging rock contains ‘’the hanging rock’’ itself, which is a boulder suspended between other boulders. The highest point on Hanging rock is 718 metres from sea level and views of the surrounding flat plain and farmland, and the thickly-forested Macedon ranges.
Hanging rock attracts a lot of international attention as a result of Joan Lindsay’s mysterious novel, Picnic at Hanging Rock. The story centres around a small group of schoolgirls, two of whom disappear with a teacher on Valentines Day 1900. The story contains themes prominent in Australian literature: something elusively untamed and ominous about the Australian landscape. There is much debate over the classic tale being real or fiction with profound evidence to support both sides. The author herself leaves a hauntingly unclear motive; "whether Picnic at Hanging Rock is fact or fiction, my readers must decide for themselves’’
The hanging rock trail is roughly 2km in distance, which can take up to 40 minutes to complete. Track conditions are moderate with a combination of steep terrain and flat surfaces. However there are plenty of stopovers if you are feeling exhausted and need some time to sit down for a breather.
Hanging rock suspended between two other rocks
Hanging Rock Cafe, EPTPOS Available $10 minimum
Events at the Rock
For a full list of events including country horse racing, craft markets and film screenings feel free to click here
One of the more popular events is the film screening of Picnic at Hanging Rock every Valentine’s day, as enthusiasts can keep the story of the missing school girls alive.
How to get there: Take the Calder Freeway, roughly 90 minutes from Melbourne
Cost: $10 entry per car (make sure you have the exact $10 as the machine DOES NOT give change, and the nearby café do not swap notes)
Opening times: Everyday of the year except Christmas Day
Monday – Sunday 9:00am – 5:00pm