Monday, 25 April 2016

Picnic at Hanging Rock. Yes, Picnic.

Down here in Melbourne, my suburb doesn't have many deciduous trees. And coming from Canberra where they are the predominant planting, I always kind of miss the visible colour change into Autumn. So this year I decided to venture out looking for some.
This weekend was a long weekend as Anzac Day fell on Monday (today).
So we piled into the car and set off for the Macedon Ranges just an hour north west of Melbourne.
We packed a picnic, and drove off with no set plan or destination.
picnic at hanging rock red haired amazona

This is what I wanted to see. Bright vibrant autumn colours!

We discovered little shops with creepy curios.

Then we saw a sign leading off the highway which stated the famous Hanging Rock was only a few kilometres down the road, so we decided to stop by to check it out. We thought we'd only be there for about half an hour.

macedon ranges picnic at hanging rock

Located within the Wurundjeri nation's territory, the rock has been a popular tourist landmark since the 1860s but became more famous since the movie Picnic at Hanging Rock. The movie was based on a book published in 1967 by Joan Lindsay, and tells the story of some school girls who mysteriously disappeared whilst on a school trip in 1900 and since has sparked the necessity for thousands of tourists to wander its spires calling "MIRANDA!!!!"

I think Miranda is the one looking very studious with the magnifying glass. She should have stayed right. here.
The rock itself was formed by lava spilling out (not as a volcanic eruption) and solidifying a kajillion years ago, and gradually eroding into these amazing rock formations. It reminded me of Weathertop from the Lord of the Rings!

Despite the huge amount of other visitors, we found a carpark close to the base and decided after a bit of indecision about the need for coffee and the hideous thought of exercise (Holy Richard Simmons!) that we were here, so we should walk up and check it out.

Although my ridonkulously unfit body kept screaming "get me a frigging cappuccino and jam croissant you cruel biatch", the beautiful bushland, amazing rock crevices and caves and constant need to watch out for Brown Snakes kept me pushing onwards and upwards.

There were peeps sitting in little rock caves.

There was kangaroo poo.

And one of those casual little warnings that everything in Australia will try and kill you.

Can you see those people all the way back there? They didn't read the sign.
There was evidence of previous visitors.

 And there was all of the vista!

Every time there was an area to stop and admire the view, I thought, "Right! well this is far enough. I've seen stuff. I really can stop now and go back down."  But I also thought that as I was here, it would be a total cop out if I didn't go all the way to the top.

Ugh. You've got to be kidding me. It just keeps going UP!
And then we reached this sign. It gave the impression the Summit was just there. Right next to this sign. It wasn't really. It was up another horrendously steep rocky path of hell but by this time I think I was experiencing what they call the 'runners high'. Or that thing where you've passed the mental blocks and I was like "Yeah! bring it on! Gimme another few kilometres Rock Baby!"

Yes. That's me almost near the top! I'm thinking, "Try not to look to dusty, panting and sweaty for the selfie!"

 Lots of people were taking all sorts of fun pictures in high places!

Here I am. In the notorious cave Miranda climbed into before she disappeared. As I climbed in I called out my heartiest "MIRANDA!!!!". Some of the other tourists giggled. The ones who didn't, rolled their eyes. Haters gonna roll eyes.
I thought I was being dreadfully clever. I was also by this stage extremely dusty and dirty.

After wandering around the summit, clambering over rocks and through crevices, we made our way back down to the base. And had a Picnic. At Hanging Rock.
Sadly I didn't buy a fridge magnet or tshirt to commemorate the occasion.

We then decided to take a round trip home through Kyneton. 

It has gorgeous old houses.

And took a quick walk through the Kyneton Botanic Gardens.

And I got me some epic autumnness....

And superb yellowness....

What is it with the Macedon Ranges and creepy curios????

It was such a great trip out today. We've even decided to go back to the Rock in the Spring!

But if you all don't mind, me and my aching muscles are now going to stumble off for some ibuprofen and a strong mug of wine  tea. Tea.

Anzac Day 25/04/2016
Lest We Forget
The Red Haired Amazona


  1. What an adventure! I enjoyed seeing some of your scenery. Here we're all Springy and flowery and you have falling leaves.. it's so crazy! I'm glad you made it to the top.. I never would have made it!! We're at the beach enjoying lovely sunny weather with big fluffy clouds. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  2. What a trip, fantastic views and love your pic's. I love the sound of Autumn leaves underfoot, something about the colours at that time of year.

  3. Sounds a fantastic day :) I would have had to take my crocheting and done a few stitches at the top lol

  4. ah. LEAVES... The garden is full of rotted brown ones after 3+ months beneath the GLACIER. And the kicker being, they're all from NASTY-NEIGHBOUR'S EVIL-MAPLE-TREE! - We have EVERGREENS on our side! When we first moved into this neighbourhood 35yrs ago, there was a good size "WOOD" just down the block... Now it's all houses, with just a strip of the old forest behind. We used to have a couple of ASH, but they had to be removed a few years back because of disease in this region. I hate raking. Instead, I use a shovel! - seriously. So much quicker.

    hmm.. RooPoo & AnkleBiters... What? No FIRE ANTS sharing your lunch? ;-}

    BTW, that lava formation sounds like a volcanic-plug..? ["Mount Royal" in the heart of Montreal, is an old one...] - whatever. COOL VIEWS! Glad you survived the "hike"!


  5. At least you didn't have to climb the rocks in a long lacy, frothy white dress :) and you don't need a fridge magnet when you have such great photo's. :)

  6. It looks lovely, very Weathertop.

  7. Brilliant post as always Louise.... I do chuckle! Hopefully you recovered quickly from all that exertion!

  8. Wow that seems like a fantastic trip out, and we'll done you for sticking it out to the top, I'm sure it was worth it. The whole rock area seemed a fabulous destination. Great you found your autumnal colours you'd been hoping for. Hope you enjoyed your tea 😉

  9. Wow that seems like a fantastic trip out, and we'll done you for sticking it out to the top, I'm sure it was worth it. The whole rock area seemed a fabulous destination. Great you found your autumnal colours you'd been hoping for. Hope you enjoyed your tea 😉

  10. What a beautiful place to climb and explore, I'm so glad you took lots of pictures.