One of the most beautiful places I have visited in Victoria is the Macedon Ranges. Home to the infamously famous Hanging Rock, these mountain ranges are extremely pretty and is truly worth exploring.
For more one day trip ideas and places to visit from Melbourne, refer the section, One day trips from Melbourne.
About Macedon Ranges
Macedon Ranges, which is a collection of villages and natural landscapes, is in the state of Victoria in Australia. Mount Macedon Memorial Cross and the Hanging Rock are the iconic landmarks within the Macedon Ranges. Known for its amazing forests and food, the ranges spread over an area of 1748 square kilometres.
The Macedon Ranges is around 70 kilometres from Melbourne Central Business District (CBD) and takes 1 hour to reach by car. The VLine service between Melbourne (Southern Cross train station) and Bendigo stops at Macedon train station. From Macedon train station, there is no public transport to get to Mount Macedon.
About Hanging Rock
The Hanging Rock or Mount Diogenes is a rare volcanic formation and is a mamelon created by eruption of thick or stiff lava through a narrow vent in the bedrock. It is believed to have been formed about 6.25 million years ago. The summit lies 718 metres above sea level. Hanging Rock contains many significant rock formations, one the Hanging Rock itself that is over the path to the summit. There is also another rock in a shape of a heart that is stuck between two big boulders.
Did you know that New South Wales (NSW) also had a Hanging Rock in the Blue Mountains?
The distance between Melbourne and Hanging Rock is 77 kilometres and it takes 1 hour 10 minutes to drive between the places.
Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay
The Hanging Rock was an inspiration for the setting for novel Picnic at Hanging Rock, written by the author Joan Lindsay. This novel was set in 1900s and it talked about the disappearance of three schoolgirls during their visit to the site. Even though the novel was fictional, it is believed that the novel was based off on the set of true events and hence the infamously famous Hanging Rock.
Joan Lindsay was an Australian novelist, from Frankston in Victoria.
The hike includes climbing to the summit and back. The views from the summit of the Hanging Rocks is extremely pretty and has a great panoramic views of the region.
- Starting point: Hanging rock picnic area.
- Ending point: Hanging rock picnic area.
- Type of walk: Return.
- Distance: 3 kilometres return.
- Time required: 1.5 hours.
- Grade: Moderate.
- Public transport: None.
One can see llamas at the nearby farm and the kangaroos by the picnic area.
I had taken a one day tour to Macedon Ranges especially the Hanging Rock. The tour was organised by Chillax Tours Pty Ltd on one of the meetings, Melbourne City Adventures that I was part of. The tour had costed me AUD 65 per adult including the transportation (pick up and drop at Federation Square, Melbourne).
- Note: It looks like the tour provider no longer run tours to Macedon Ranges. Ensure to check on their website for up to date information on the tours and prices.
Safety for solo female travelers
The Macedon Ranges and the Hanging Rock is extremely safe for solo female travelers. However, be cautious and know your surroundings especially at nights. Also, it is advisable to go on a hike with a buddy, just so you are prepared for any unforeseen or uncalled situations.
The hike to the summit of Hanging Rock is totally worth it and it makes a great one day trip from Melbourne. I wish to go back someday and see more of the Macedon Ranges and the mountains in it.
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