An hours drive north west of Melbourne takes you to the Macedon Ranges, and Hanging Rock. Hanging Rock is part of Australian folklore. This is in part due to the movie based on the novel Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay, revolving around the either imagined or real and dark disappearance of school girls there in 1900 while on a school excursion, and the equally dark intrigue around the people at the school they left behind. The rock is a dramatic example of a volcanic plug, and is said to have mysterious powers.
There is surely something powerful that touches you as you navigate between the rock formations. On one visit many years ago, I took a wrong turn of just a few metres, and I was suddenly in an area completely without sound. It was the oddest experience to someone who is completely at home in the Aussie Bush, and panicked and heart pounding, I was so relieved to make it back to the hum of other bushwalkers. I have heard that the Rock is one of 3 volcanic formations in Victoria that create a triangle which conducts energy, and that this formation is similar to the Bermuda Triangle and is the only such land formation on Earth. One can google various psychic investigators that visit the rock and report their watches and equipment failing, and compasses spinning. I for one dont doubt the magical powers of this location.
Foxtel are currently screening a revisit to the Hanging Rock novel in the form of a 6 part series, and it has been reported that during the filming, they too experienced watches and camera equipment manfunctioning without explanation.
The writer of the novel herself was said to possibly have psychic gifts. Read the following link, it is fascinating article: The extraordinary story behind Picnic at Hanging Rock
Hanging Rock is also an important Indigenous site for the Wurundjeri people, but there does not seem to be much freely available in respect to this history that I have found.
There is a reserve at the base of the rock, dotted with kangaroos and wallabys, where one can picnic. There are 2 pathways up the rock, one a flatter forestry type trail, and the second a far more interesting path that winds through the boulders and rock ledges and formations, and that is where the real majesty begins.
There have been a few falls due to misadventure, as you will see evidenced by the plaques respecting the lives of those that have lost their footing, so please stick to the paths.
There are magical views of the surrounding areas as you reach the summit. You will be able to navigate the plateau of rocks and take some amazing photos, but again, watch your footing!!
With its relative proximity to Melbourne, being only an hour or two out from the CBD, depending on traffic, there are many places to eat close by in the bustling weekend tourism towns of Woodend or further out towards the gold town region if you so desire.
If you do get to Australia from overseas, this location wont be on the standard tourism brochures I would imagine, but do please rank it above the Fairy Penguins at Phillip Island as a must see, you will forever remember it.
As a side note, there is said to be very close to the rock a location in Woodend where ones car appears to be pulled up hill. Similarly, a ball will roll up the hill as will water flow. Another sign of the odd powers of this area or just a distorted sensation? I havent yet visited the spot, but will report back when I do.