3 Cool Ways to Experience Hanging Rock

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Bike, Llama or Vineyard. However you choose to explore Victoria’s famous Hanging Rock this spring, you will return home feeling refreshed, revived and alive.

Visiting Hanging Rock in spring is like a natural tonic for the soul. So if you need a break from the big smoke, it’s time to shut down your laptop and head for the hills! Check out our three cool ways to experience this iconic destination, designed to shake off daily stresses and expose you to the amazing natural beauty the Macedon Ranges has to offer.

Hanging Rock by Bike

Up for an adventure? Jump on the V-line train to Woodend with your trusty bike and make your way to Hanging Rock using good ol’ fashioned pedal power. This Woodend – Mount Macedon loop takes approximately one hour and twenty minutes return, depending on your fitness level. The bike route is rated ‘easy’, making it perfect for road cycling-savvy families as well as fitness fiends*.

About the Route

Beginning your journey from the Woodend train station, you will pass through beautiful tree lined residential streets as you exit town. The ride takes you through open farmland and along quiet roads*, with peaceful views of both The Rock and Mount Macedon as you approach the Reserve.

Better still, this is a low gradient bike ride, so you can really enjoy the visual panorama without gritting your teeth trying to make it up big hills!

Places of Interest Along the Way

There’s a good chance you’ll spot a roo or two (or 100) in a paddock. In addition to wildlife spotting, this bike ride offers the chance to:

• Stop and admire the view of Mount Macedon
• Follow the walking trail to the summit top at Hanging Rock for wonderful views
• Explore the village of Woodend upon return, enjoying a coffee at one of the great local cafes. Or maybe a cool beer at country pubs such as the iconic Holgate Brewhouse?

1. Start at the Clock Tower in Woodend 2. Hanging Rock is a magnificent backdrop 3. Enjoying a drink post-ride in Woodend

Get the Woodend to Hanging Rock Loop Bike Map

You can download the Woodend to Hanging Rock cycling route from our website, or alternatively:

• Drop by the Woodend Visitors Information Centre and pick up a printed copy of our ‘Ride Guide’.
• Download the Strava app and join the Ride Macedon Ranges community to map and share rides.

*Please note this route does not travel along a designated bike path. Although these are country roads, you will be sharing them with vehicles travelling up to 100km p/hr. Please take necessary safety precautions for road riding such as wearing high-vis vests.

Hanging Rock by Llama

That’s right. Visit Hanging Rock by llama. Hanging Rock Llama Treks offers a unique way to experience the Australian bush and bond with a very cool animal. Plus it offers some super fun photo opps along the way!

Lead a friendly llama along a 5km walk in the Hanging Rock Reserve.

Llamas allow you to hike in comfort while they transport your gear and picnic supplies. As an added bonus, they make really fabulous hiking companions. In fact, llamas are naturally curious and very aware of their surroundings, often the first to spot wildlife on a trail. They enjoy new sights and become very much a partner in your Hanging Rock adventure walk.

Before you embark on this three hour hike, Hanging Rock Llama Treks will provide a special ‘llama orientation’ before you hit the trail. You will be educated on how to lead your llama, how to protect them, and what to watch out for along the way.

Experience Hanging Rock in Victoria on a llama guided hike.

Writer Jocelyn Pride from Australian Traveller enjoying a llama guided hike at Hanging Rock Reserve in Victoria.

Prices and Booking Details

The Hanging Rock Reserve llama walk is designed for ages 12yrs and over. Entry into the Reserve, the 5km hike with llama companion and simple morning/afternoon tea costs:

• $40 per adult (15yrs and older)
• $20 per child

Hike is by appointment only. Contact Mark at hangingrockllamas@bigpond.com or phone 0408974487. Hanging Rock Llama Treks also offer a wonderful farm experience aimed at families.

Experience Hanging Rock with a Llama

Llamas are very cool and unique animals. They also make great travelling companions!

Hanging Rock by Vineyard

Gather a group of friends and family for a rock-meets-vineyard-hopping experience. Pack a picnic lunch and take a hike at Hanging Rock Reserve, then reward yourself afterwards with a visit to Hanging Rock Winery for a cheeky tipple.

Only a ten minute drive from the reserve, this award-winning winery offers cellar door tastings seven days a week from 10am – 5pm (except Good Friday and Christmas Day).

Sip on a glass of vino with a simply magnificent view of Hanging Rock as your backdrop. And don’t forget to pick up a few bottles of wine to take home as a memento of your day!

Couldn’t Be Bothered Packing a Picnic?

The recently refurbished Hanging Rock Café at Hanging Rock Reserve is a great option for a light snack, meal or ice cream (and a cheeky beer). There are also many great pubs nearby including the Lancefield Hotel, Macedon Railway Hotel and Mount Macedon Hotel. Take your pick!

Magnificent View at Hanging Rock Winery

Enjoy wine tasting and a magnificent view at Hanging Rock Winery

Art in the Vines

Hot tip! Make sure to check out Art in the Vines hosted by Hanging Rock Winery between 10th November 2018 to 31st March 2019.

The event will be the first of its type ever to be hosted in the Macedon Ranges. Twenty-five leading local, national and international sculpture artists have been engaged for the exhibition to be held at the winery. Many of the sculptures have either been or are being created in artist studios throughout Central Victoria while some will be hand-crafted onsite by three renowned artists-in-residence.

Visitors will also have an opportunity to attend a workshop with these sculptors or perhaps a painting workshop with renowned local painter Helen Cottle or Arthur Ted Powell. Entry to the exhibition is free too!

Book a Guided Rock & Wine Safari

Go on a ‘Rock and Wine’ weekend safari with Woodend-based private and small group tour operator, The Regional Wanderer.

On Saturday, join a small group of like-minded people for a full day Food & Wine Safari. Experience some of the best cool climate wineries the region has to offer, before rolling back to your accommodation of choice for a chilled out evening (and possibly more wine!). After a lazy breakfast on Sunday morning, put on your walking shoes and go on a guided Hanging Rock adventure – a great way to work off the prior day’s indulgences.

The Regional Wanderer will help unveil the mystery of ‘The Rock’ and answer all your questions. They can even organise a gourmet picnic hamper to enjoy after your hike, if you really want to have the whole ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ experience…

After a healthy dose of the great outdoors, you will then be returned in a merry mood to your accommodation or train station to complete your ‘Rock & Wine’ adventure. Simple!

How to Book

To enquire go to www.theregionalwanderer.com.au

Enjoy a weekend of hiking at Hanging Rock and wine tasting with small group tour operator The Regional Wanderer

Enjoy a weekend of hiking at Hanging Rock and wine tasting with The Regional Wanderer

Where to Stay Near Hanging Rock?

There are a number of wonderful places to stay near Hanging Rock! Below is an accommodation ‘taster’ to get you excited… Alternatively, check out our complete guide of places to stay, or call our Visitor Information Centres on 1800 244 711 for expert local advice.

Hanging Rock Country Cottage: self-contained two bedroom 1850’s bluestone cottage in Hesket
Spud Diggers Hut: a rustic self-contained accommodation overlooking paddocks and vineyards on Hesket Estate.
Cameron Lodge Cottage & Gardens: dating back to 1886, this cottage is on the grounds of one of Australia’s oldest hill station gardens.

Spud Diggers Hut at Hesket Estate offers a rustic vineyard accommodation experience when visiting Hanging Rock.

Spud Diggers Hut at Hesket Estate offers a rustic vineyard accommodation experience.

Hanging Rock Reserve Essentials

The reserve is open all year round between 9am and 5pm, except Christmas Day. Note incoming gate closes 30 minutes before closing time. Hanging Rock Café open 10am to 4pm, closed Tuesdays throughout winter.

Access to Hanging Rock itself is not permitted on days where winds above 40km/h are forecast by the Bureau of Meteorology. The reserve and picnic areas are still open on these days, and the café hours will be unchanged. The reserve will not be open to the public if a Code Red Fire danger day is declared.

Fees

  • $10 per car
  • $4 per pedestrian
  • $20 per minibus
  • $50 per coach

To exit the reserve, you will need to buy a ticket from the ticket machine located outside the cafe. The machine accepts cash and credit cards. You will need to scan this ticket at the gate to activate the boom gates when leaving the reserve.

Dogs

Dogs are welcome at the reserve (excluding major event days), but they must be kept on a leash at all times. Dogs are, however, not permitted to ascend the Rock itself as it is home to many native animals.

Picnics and barbecues

There are numerous picnic tables and 13 free barbecues located throughout the reserve.

Learn more.

Start Planning your Hanging Rock Experience Now!

So there you have it. Three unbelievably cool and unique ways to experience Hanging Rock. Bike, llama or hike and vineyard hopping – what would you choose?

PS. Enter to Win a Rock & Wine Safari

Don’t miss out on the chance to win a weekend escape to the Macedon Ranges for two people. Our prize includes a Food & Wine Safari and guided Hanging Rock tour with The Regional Wanderer for two people, with a night’s accommodation at Hesket Estate’s Spud Diggers Hut. ENTER NOW!

Win Hanging Rock Competition