The first thing I wanted to do when we moved to Victoria was to go visit Hanging Rock.

Hanging Rock, to explain to those who don’t know, is a unique six million year old geological site made famous by the 1967 novel Picnic at Hanging Rock where on St Valentines Day, 1900, a group of private schoolgirls went on a picnic to the grounds and several girls and a teacher went missing; one ran back in hysterics that afternoon, one was found a week later, the others were never seen again.

One of the enduring questions about the place is whether the book was based on true events. It wasn’t. It is fiction. The question still remains partly, I think, because the mystery was never resolved in the novel or the movie.

But apparently there was originally a last chapter which Lindsay was recommended to take out because the editor felt the story was better without it. This chapter (known originally as ‘chapter eighteen’) was released in 1987.

{If you want to know what ‘really’ happened to the girls, here is the link.}

Both the book and movie are on my all-time favourite lists and as I said, I wanted to go. But eight and a half years later, we still hadn’t.

Until now.

Behold the photos!

Hanging Rock in the distance

It is almost in the very centre, right above the road, that little ‘blip’.

 

Getting closer

In the centre again, in between those two trees

 

Closer!

There it is! By now I was busting with excitement.

 

We actually went out there twice. The first time was very late in the afternoon and we only had time to go halfway up. I didn’t even take the camera. It was beautiful. We were the only ones there, it had been raining, the sun was going down, and it was just magic. The next day, we went and the tourists were everywhere.

 

At the base

This is at the very bottom, right where the path starts near the carpark. It’s mostly obscured by the trees…

 

Where the real climbing starts

…but once you pass these – bam! – there it is. (Yes, that’s Riley and Adam)

 

Climbing up to the Hanging Rock

And that’s where the real climbing begins. You can go a ‘ramp’ way which is an all-acess route, or you can take the stairs which take you under…

 

Hanging Rock itself

…Hanging Rock itself, which is a pass where the rock, as you can see, looks like it is suspended in the air.

 

Countryside

There were points when I was stopping and mumbling to myself, “Oh, I think I recognise that from the so-and-so scene from the movie”. It was also at this point when I began shedding layers as I was all but dragging Keira next to me. Although it was very cold, it was almost like I was reenacting the events of the story!

{In the book the girls remove their corsets as a symbol of their sexual awakening. Hence why the rock and its ‘phallicism’ is important…}

It was lovely up there.

 

At 'The Eagle'

This is called ‘The Eagle’ (hopefully you can see why). It’s almost at the very top.

 

Here comes the rain!

This IS at the very top. And what did we see? A rainstorm headed right for us! So we had to scamper back down the rock again.

 

Campaspe House

This is where we stayed at Woodend. It’s called Campaspe House.

 

Campaspe House pool and croquet

This is the view out of our cottage.

We had a great trip. It was very quiet (the first night it was only us and another family there) and the staff were all lovely. Woodend itself was a lovely little town and the surrounding area (we popped over to Daylesford) is always so picturesque. As it’s Daffodil season, they sprouted up in fields and by the side of the road. We met up with Kate and her crew for morning tea, which was great. I really do love being able to put faces to names. On her recommendation I ate a vanilla slice this particular bakery was famous for and boy I wasn’t disappointed. Yum.

Then we came home again. That afternoon I did the ironing and it was like we’d never left!

Still – that’s something I get to tick off my bucket list now. Hanging Rock. Done.

This trip away was courtesy of Renault. We drove out with the Koleos I’ve been given for two weeks. Don’t forget there’s still a chance for you to win a 3GS 16G iPhone.

Hanging Rock

Karen Andrews

Karen Andrews is the creator of this website, one of the most established and well-respected parenting blogs in the country. She is also an author, award-winning writer, poet, editor and publisher at Miscellaneous Press. Her latest book is Trust the Process: 101 Tips on Writing and Creativity