Hanging Rock is said to be one of the best examples in the world of a volcanic feature known as a mamelon (French lit. nipple). It was formed six million years ago when a particularly stiff type of lava formed a rounded pile of layers on the surface as it was squeezed through a narrow vent in the earth.
The lava in Hanging Rock has a particularly high soda content and the action of rainwater has resulted in an unusual rock known as solvsbergite, or soda trachyte, which is the same rock found at the nearby Camel's Hump on Mt. Macedon. (This type of rock is only found in outside of the region in Norway & Sweden.)
Since its formation, the mamelon has been exposed to considerable weathering and erosion, resulting in the unusual rock formations that can now be seen on the site.
Hanging Rock was originally named "Mount Diogenes" in 1836 by Major Thomas Mitchell when he traveled through the area. It was in keeping with other Greek mythological titles assigned to geological features in the district.
It is thought the Rock was a refuge for bushrangers during the Gold Rush era – particularly the notorious 'Mad Dan Morgan' whose name is attributed to certain features to be found on the walk to the Pinnacles like Morgan's Lookout and Morgan's Blood Waterfall.
Hanging Rock later became part of Edward Dryden’s run and was known as "Dryden's Rock".
In 1886, the "Rock" was purchased by the State Government and joined to the local water reserve to become the Hanging Rock Recreation Reserve, controlled by the local Shire Council.
The Reserve has been host to many sporting events over the years including the popular horse races on New Year's day which date back to 1880. The present race course adjacent to Hanging Rock was constructed and the first Hanging Rock Cup was run in 1909. Since that time 'picnic races' have become a popular attraction for many visitors.
Hanging Rock is also well known from Joan Lindsay's narrative Picnic at Hanging Rock and the film made of the story – about the mysterious disappearance of a group of local school girls during a picnic excursion at the Rock in 1900.
Apple Safari iOS devices: built-in web browser Android Tablets, Mobiles:Google Chrome strongly recommended. Warning: Panoramas are big pictures. Insufficient RAM may cause your browser to quit unexpectedly!
For some panoramas made before 2009:
Quicktime VR plugin, which is part of Quicktime 7
Note: Most Panoramas will work on most mobile and desktop devices. Some contributions may require Flash, some will only work with Quicktime VR.
PLEASE RESPECT THE ARTIST’S WORK. All images are copyright by the individual photographers, unless stated otherwise. Use in any way other than viewing on this web site is prohibited unless permission is obtained from the individual photographer. If you're interested in using a panorama, be it for non-profit or commercial purposes, please contact the individual photographer. The WWP can neither negotiate for, nor speak on behalf of its participants. The overall site is copyright by the World Wide Panorama Foundation, a California Public Benefit Corporation.