When it comes to roadtrips, I believe that I've spent quite a lot of time around the Dandenong Ranges and Mornington Peninsula. I was looking for a different area and decided to try Hanging Rock. I wanted to make a day of it, so did some research and found a few other places to explore.
Hanging Rock Recreation Reserve
Firstly, we started off with a bit of a hike at Hanging Rock. The entry fee is $10 per car and you can follow the trails uphill to pass various rock formations and reach the summit. This can take over 1-1.5 hours depending on how long you dawdle and examine each area, including the return trip.
The reserve has gained interest from a movie called " Picnic at Hanging Rock", which depicts the disappearance of several schoolgirls. I happened to disclose this information to my horrified friend at a terrible time, whilst we were in front of a formation called "Vampire Cliff".
The hike gets a bit confusing and rocky towards the end. There are arrows leading to different trails, but some people ignore the map and embrace their adventurous side and head wherever they choose. Whatever you decide to do, you should experience an incredible and elated feeling when you get to the top.
We also dropped by a lookout called "Camel's Hump", the highest point located in Macedon Regional Park and located about 20min away from Hanging Rock. The return trip to reach the top and enjoy the view is also about twenty minutes, much more straightforward than Hanging Rock
Camel's Hump Lookout
There's also a nearby, uphill road called Straw's Lane, where apparently if you put your car in neutral...it pulls your car up the road. We didn't drop by but if you're interested in this area, please see more detailed maps here.
Forest Glade Gardens
We also decided to drop by some private gardens for a picnic. We discovered Forest Glade, and I was very happy with this choice as it was large enough to spend an afternoon walking through and a gorgeous design to explore.
The gardens were bright with colour, illuminated with life by the autumn leaves. The natural, scattered leaves purely made everything that much more beautiful. They also had various statues placed in the gardens, such as dancers, lions and people sword-fighting, emanating a European feel.
Different sections were themed, thus the next area was inspired by Japanese gardens, complete with bridges, frames/gates (torii) and ponds. Once again, the leaves floating in the pond and the reflection of the auburn trees made a picturesque sight.
Entry is $8 for adults and children are admitted for free. See their website here.
Lastly, we dropped by Trentham Falls, which was a bit further out (35-40min). Unfortunately my photos don't make it seem very special and it has signs telling you not to go down. I'm sure the view is much more spectacular down there, and when there is more water flowing, as it seemed a bit too far from the top and a bit dry. For specific directions visit this link.
It was a jam-packed day but well worth it for a bit of adventure, some glorious views that make you feel on top of the world and a dose of European and Japanese culture. It was also nice to explore an area of Victoria that I have heard much about, that is not in my usual east/south direction.