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Valentine's Day and Picnic at Hanging Rock

Home > Melbourne > Cinema | Escape the City | Family | Outdoor | Valentines Day
by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Atmospheric places to see the film on Valentine's Day
Still from the movie

On Saturday 14th February 2015 you can celebrate Valentine's Day under the stars at Hanging Rock. Bring along a rug and a picnic and enjoy Peter Weir's famous film Picnic at Hanging Rock.

It is a story that has almost become folklore. Three schoolgirls and their teacher went missing at Hanging Rock on Valentine's Day 1900.

It came about because of a novel Picnic at Hanging Rock, written by Joan Lindsay (and yes, she was married into that famous Lindsay family).

It was the unresolved story (those girls were never found) that made people gasp. It was a mystery, a gothic Australian bush tale.

Funnily, few people ever saw it as fiction, which it was. Some even went scouring turn of the century newspapers looking for news reports of the lost girls.

The feeling that it actually happened is because anyone visiting Hanging Rock feels its power and treachery. There are so many hidden crevices and secret places. It seems ancient -- even pagan.

Source: Macedon Ranges Facebook

The gigantic rocks seem to harbour secrets. There are unexplored regions and wizened faces that can be made out in the grey boulders that make up The Rock. Craggy precipices pierce the rolling clouds. A shroud of mist can suddenly descend on you like an ominous curtain.

The Rock is also volcanic and weren't maidens once sacrificed to volcanoes to appease the gods?

The book inspired director Peter Weir to shoot his film adaptation of Lindsay's novel there in 1975.

For over 16 years there have been outdoor screening at Hanging Rock of his hauntingly beautiful film.

Bring along a rug and a picnic as you can watch the movie underneath the stars with the ominous presence of Hanging Rock as your backdrop.

While this is not a romantic film (far from it, in fact it is quite languorous and creepy) it will soon have you drawing close to the one you love.

Hanging Rock is 80 kilometres north of Melbourne via the Calder Hiighway to Woodend and then follow the signs.

Other things to do in Woodend include experiencing the delight of one of Victoria's best ever vanilla slices and sitting in your car while it rolls up hill. This oddity happens at Straw's Lane and is known locally as the magical pull of Hanging Rock. No joke! Click here.

You might also want to climb the rock. It is an eery place with magnificent views over the surrounding countryside.

The other way to see the movie and also experience something more of the life of the author Joan Lindsay is through a series of events at her home the National Trust owned Mulberry Hill.

This is one of my favourite National Trust homes as it is just the way Joan Lindsay and her husband Daryl, who was an artist and director of the National Gallery, left it.

Mulberry Hill - photo National Trust

You can celebrate the 40th anniversary of the film Picnic at Hanging Rock with a series of afternoon events.

14 February 2015 not only present the 40th anniversary of the day Peter Weir commenced filming Picnic at Hanging Rock, it would also have been the 93rd wedding anniversary of Sir Daryl and Lady Joan Lindsay, and the 90th year since the Lindsay's bought the property Mulberry Hill.

They plan a day packed with activities.

Valentine's Day card workshop at 1pm
Mulberry Hill courtyard and front garden

Melbourne artist, Paul Compton, leads a workshop to create Valentine Day cards using inspiration from Lady Joan Lindsay's i card collection. She was an incredible collector of Victorian era Valentine Day cards. A local poet will be on hand to assist people to write romance poetry for their cards. Bring any special material you would like to use such as paper, lace, fabric, watercolours, paints etc. Basic materials will be provided including card stock and some watercolours and brushes.

Workshop Prices:
Adult: $30
Concession: $23
Child: $12
Family: $65 (2 adults 2 children)

The film Picnic at Hanging Rock will be shown at twilight at the Mulberry Hill Amphitheatre from 5pm
5pm Frankston Symphony Orchestra perform excerpts from the film's score with a visiting pan-flute player
6pm Picnic at Hanging Rock

Performance & film screening tickets:
Adult: $10
Concession: $7
Child: $4
Family: $26 (2 adults and 2 children)

Bring a picnic rug or fold-up chairs. Food and drinks available, or bring your own picnic basket.

Guided house tours will operate from 12 noon.
Adult: $10
Concession: $7
Child: $4
Family: $26 (2 adults 2 children)
National Trust members: Free

Book tickets online or call (03) 9656 9889 for enquiries.

Mulberry Hill, 385 Golf Links Road, Langwarrin South, 3911

For enquiries please email

Source: Facebook Tourism Macedon Ranges
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Why? Wonderful atmospheric film
When: Film Night Saturday 14th February 2015
Phone: (03) 5421 1468 or 1300 888 802
Where: Hanging Rock Reserve Macedon
Cost: Various - see article
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