Hanging Rock is huge stone formation in central Victoria, surrounded by plains and haunted with mystery.
Originally a volcano, the Hanging Rock summit is 718 metres above sea level, although it’s a pretty short & easy hike to the top of the rock from the car park as the elevation is only around 100 metres, being just 105 metres above from the surrounding plains.
Walking Trail to the Hanging Rock Summit
From the car park and visitor information centre/cafe, it’s a super easy trail to navigate.
The walk starts from just near the visitor info centre that’s well signed and visible from the car park. The first part of the of the track is hard asphalt path, it then turns to gravel.
The track does become steep at times with the occasional set of mellow stairs.
It takes anywhere from 30-50 minutes to reach the summit.
Once you reach the summit, the views are incredible. You can see the horizon on the plains in all directions although you won’t want to just admire the sights briefly and head back down to the cafe. There are dozens of interesting stone formations and huge granite towers forming a natural maze. It can be a lot of fun to explore for half an hour or so.
An easy one hour drive north of the Melbourne CBD is Hanging Rock.
The start of the walking trail to the Hanging Rock summit is inside a park, so you’ll need to pay an entry fee and complete your expedition with-in the parks’ 9-5 opening hours.
As Hanging Rock is so close to Melbourne and the walk to the summit definitely won’t take all day, it’s good plan going somewhere else as well.
The park is just near the towns of Woodend and Mount Macedon, which are stunning with some amazing cafe’s and restaurants. You’ll also find accommodation there.
If it’s a hot day and you’re looking for somewhere to go for a swim, try heading to Turpins Falls which is an incredible waterfall and billabong about 30 minutes north of Hanging Rock.
Hanging Rock car park & park entry fees
It’s best that you get in contact with the Macedon Ranges tourist info centre on 1800 244 711 or firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm the park fees and open times. This is what it was when we visited in 2018:
$10 per car load
$20 per mini bus
or walk in for $4 per person.
They told us that the Hanging Rock park is open from 9:00am-5:00pm every day of the year excluding Christmas.
A brief history of Hanging Rock & the area
Hanging Rock is the result of volcanic activity from over six millions years ago.
Today, Hanging Rock is also known as Mount Diogenes, although it’s original name hasn’t been confirmed but it’s said that some of the original land owners refer to it as Ngannelong.
The Dja Dja Wurrung, Woi Wurrung and Taungurung people are the true and original owners of this land and lived here for thousands of years before they were kicked-out by the European colonials in mid 1800’s. It has since been a popular tourist destination.
The popularity of Hanging Rock heavily increased after the 1967 novel ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ by Joan Lindsay that later became a film. The story is set in the early 1900’s and is about some girls that go missing during a school excursion to the area.
Our 2017 expedition to the Hanging Rock Summit
In 2017, we conquered Hanging Rock. It took us little over 30 minutes to reach the summit. We did it without noticing the hanging rock.