Daylesford & Macedon Ranges
Hanging Rock is a hauntingly beautiful and rare volcanic formation near the townships of Woodend and Mount Macedon. Before Europeans arrived this was a very sacred place for the local Wurundjeri people and of course it's the backdrop to Joan Lindsay's book 'Picnic at Hanging Rock'.
Park the car and get ready to explore the rock and grounds. The vast grounds are just perfect for a walk around and picnic. There's lots of space including a playground, shady trees and covered areas with BBq's and there's a cafe (closed Mondays) on site and a discovery centre. The discovery centre has great information about the geological details to do with the Rock and the part it plays in the local community and popular culture.
It's not a long walk to the summit so it suits families down to the ground. You can either take the path or the 120 steps to the summit. The steps are achievable with older kids, just watch their backs and if it's been raining they're pretty water logged and muddy. To some, they may appear to be steep. A bonus with the step walk is you really get up close and get a sense of how grand the rock formation really is. Paths are well maintained though and sealed, although once you get up amongst the rocks, there are no formal paths. Following the path, there are a few logs used as borders that can provide a place to rest.
There's far more to hanging rock than meets the eye - you can scramble around for hours, between rocks, up on ledges, in hollows and small caves and look through different gaps at the magnificent 360 degree views. You may even spot some wildlife.
It's so much fun to walk around and speculate on the fates of Miranda et. al. and we can't wait for the remake of Picnic at Hanging Rock. You can easily find a quiet spot for yourself just below the crowd of people at the summit. Here you can take time to absorb the atmosphere and experience a bit of the magic of the place. Take it slow and you'll appreciate it all that little more...
Hanging Rock also plays host to music concerts, the Macedon District Car Club’s Annual Picnic and Car Display and the New Year’s and Australia Day horse races.
- where your sturdy shoes
- dogs allowed in the park but not on the rock
- bring a picnic
- keep your kids close on the rocks. there is nothing to stop them falling off any edges, and there are plenty
- bring your camera and get snap happy!
Entry is via a boomgate.
It costs $10 per car for entry and all of the money goes to the upkeep of the park.
Payment on exit is via an automatic machine outside the cafe.
Try to have a $10 note on hand or the machine accepts Amex/Visa.
South Rock Road, Woodend 3442
The Reserve is open every day between 9am and 5pm, except Christmas Day.
Hanging Rock Café open 10am to 4pm – closed Mondays throughout winter.