(c) John Kelly  Hanging Rock (landscape V) 2016

The landform of Hanging Rock has provided a rich trove of images for artists, novelists and film-makers. Until now however, the history of Hanging Rock has never been properly told. This publication fills that gap. The stories of traditional Aboriginal owners, Hanging Rock’s geology, flora and fauna, European imagining of this strange place, and farming and leisure uses of Hanging Rock remain obscure. Hanging Rock has had a profound impact on Australian cultural identity and as such this is a history that every Australian needs to know.

Detailed research has located much new material and information about Hanging Rock. From the now known earliest painting of 1858 by W.H. Burkitt to photographs of Clyde schoolgirls having a picnic at Hanging Rock in March 1919, found in a photo album of Elizabeth Weigall, a cousin of Joan Lindsay’s, Hanging Rock comes alive and reveals its secrets. Indigenous links to Hanging Rock, did Miranda and friends go missing, is Hanging Rock a unique geological formation; this history explores all this and more. Find out how Joan Lindsay wrote her famous novel “Picnic at Hanging Rock” and in the process established one of Australia’s greatest myths. With 264 pages and 146 illustrations Hanging Rock – A History reveals the mystery and history of the Rock as never before. This is a history which needed to be researched and told.


[A] fine book that documents its geological rarity and its cultural significance to indigenous, white and other hued Australians – Phillip Adams in The Weekend Australian Magazine, 23 September 2017