Macedon Ranges' most famous landmark
Hanging Rock Recreation Reserve South Rock Road, Woodend
Hanging Rock is a great day out, a scenic one hour drive from Melbourne through the heart of the Macedon Ranges.
It will take roughly forty minutes to walk up to the top of Hanging Rock but the spectacular views across the Mount Macedon region make it well worth the trip.
Hanging Rock is said to be one of the best examples in the world of a volcanic feature known as a mamelon (French lit. nipple). It was formed six million years ago when a particularly stiff type of lava formed a rounded pile of layers on the surface as it was squeezed through a narrow vent in the earth.
The lava in Hanging Rock has a particularly high soda content and the action of rainwater has resulted in an unusual rock known as solvsbergite, or soda trachyte, which is the same rock found at the nearby Camel's Hump on Mt. Macedon.
Since its formation, the mamelon has been exposed to considerable weathering and erosion, resulting in the unusual rock formations that can now be seen on the site.
Hanging Rock was originally named "Mount Diogenes"in 1836 by Major Thomas Mitchell when he traveled through the area. It was in keeping with other Greek mythological titles assigned to geological features in the district.
It is thought the Rock was a refuge for bushrangers during the Gold Rush era - particularly the notorious 'Mad Dan Morgan' whose name is attributed to certain features to be found on the walk to the Pinnacles like Morgan's Lookout and Morgan's Blood Waterfall.
Hanging Rock later became part of Edward Dryden's run and was known as "Dryden's Rock".
In 1886, the "Rock"was purchased by the State Government and joined to the local water reserve to become the Hanging Rock Recreation Reserve, controlled by the local Shire Council.
The Reserve has been host to many sporting events over the years including the popular horse races on New Year's day which date back to 1880. The present race course adjacent to Hanging Rock was constructed and the first Hanging Rock Cup was run in 1909. Since that time 'picnic races' have become a popular attraction for many visitors.
Hanging Rock is also well known from Joan Lindsay's narrative Picnic at Hanging Rock and the film made of the story - about the mysterious disappearance of a group of local school girls during a picnic excursion at the Rock in 1900.
The Rock continues to be a very popular picnic spot with a large barbeque area, a race course and a cafe.
A day trip to Macedon should also include visiting the summit of Mount Macedon where there is a Memorial Cross which commemorates Australia's soldiers, again the views are fabulous.
❊ What's On ❊
❊ Address & Contact ❊
⊜ South Rock Rd, Woodend | Map
❊ Web Links ❊
→ Hanging Rock
❊ Also See... ❊
→ Anti-Gravity Hill
→ Hanging Rock Racecourse
→ Macedon Ranges
→ Picnic at Hanging Rock
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