Hanging Rock, for us was a just by chance visit. To have missed visiting Hanging Rock would have been a big mistake. Made famous by the book and movie ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’, this rocky outcrop, museum and walking tracks; plus the viewing , racing track and picnic area make this a day trip destination for Melbournians and to a lesser degree interstate and overseas tourists. It is the ’what the hell happened to the school group of young girls’ that drives the interest.
A stroll to the top will in part explain how the girls could have got lost, but why they disappeared remains a mystery. Visitors to the top should take special directional care with walking tracks. If there is cloud cover the possibility of getting lost at the top increases.
Hanging Rock is a mamelon, created 6.25 million years ago by stiff magma pouring from a vent and congealing in place. As Hanging Rock's magma cooled and contracted, it split into rough columns. These weathered over time into the many pinnacles that can be seen today.
Hanging Rock contains numerous distinctive rock formations, including the 'Hanging Rock' itself (a boulder suspended between other boulders, under which is the main entrance path), the Colonnade, the Eagle and the UFO. The highest point on Hanging Rock is 718 metres above sea level and 105 metres above the plain below.
Hanging Rock is the centrepiece for the Hanging Rock Recreation Reserve, The reserve is a habitat for endemic flora and fauna, including koalas, wallabies, possums, wedge-tailed eagles and kookaburras and a $10.00 fee per vehicle is required to enter the reserve.
Horse racing has been held at Hanging Rock for over one hundred years; the Hanging Rock Racing Club holds two race meetings a year on New Year's Day and Australia Day. Coincide your visit with a race day and that will be double the fun.But be sure to visit and allow a min of half a day.