Served with helpings of drama and intrigue, and stunning wildflowers and animal life, your Picnic at Hanging Rock will be a gourmet affair if you gather your fare from the farm gates, provedores and wineries and in surrounding towns.
An intriguing history
The legend of Peter Weir’s 1975 film of Joan Lindsay’s novel Picnic at Hanging Rock is probably part of your attraction to this landmark, though it's attracted picnickers since the early days of European settlement. Gold rush bushrangers like 'Mad Dog' hid out amidst the bizarrely perched boulders. You too can clamber over these rocks, re-enacting your favourite part of its history.
Tell your own stories at the picnic races, held twice a year on New Year's Day and Australia Day and drawing punters from afar. Local food and wine is justifiably celebrated at the annual Harvest Picnic in late February.
Check out classic cars at the annual Car Display picnic day, or race around the rock for Run The Rock every April. Catch huge international acts playing music against the Hanging Rock backdrop throughout the year. For the ultimate Hanging Rock experience, camp overnight and scare yourself silly with tall tales at Camp Out At The Rock.
The Rock: The facts
Rising 105 metres from the plain and formed six million years ago, Hanging Rock is actually a small steep-sided volcano (mamelon). Rainwater has gradually created unusual rock formations, including the Black Hole of Calcutta and the Cathedral.
Stop in at the Hanging Rock interpretative centre for the lowdown on local history, mystery and geology. Join a guided tour for more tales, and spook yourself with a summer night tour.
Bursting with colour
You can almost forget the Rock's supposed supernatural forces during spring, when the area bursts with colour. The reserve is host to nearly 100 indigenous plants, and resident fauna includes 40 species of birds and koalas, kangaroos, sugar gliders, echidna and wallabies.
The reserve is open daily from 9am–5pm (except Christmas Day). An entry fee is charged. For more information phone 1800 244 711 (Australia only) or +61 3 5427 2033 (international).