Last month Tavi, Brodie and I went on a day trip to Hanging Rock Reserve, the site of a strange mountainous rock formation near the township of Woodend in rural Victoria, Australia—and the setting of the book and the film Picnic at Hanging Rock.
The drive from the city to the rock takes about an hour. We started our journey chatty and excited, but the closer we got to our destination, the quieter and more reflective we became. We arrived around 4:30 PM. Tavi put on Kanye West’s “Runaway,” and that eerie, echoey piano at the beginning felt entirely appropriate.
We parked and gathered our supplies (= chocolate Freddo Frogs), we began climbing. We followed the paths worn by hundreds of tourists before us. It was a cold, wintery day, so we were the only ones there, except for the occasional wallaby or blue wren.
The climb sloped gradually at first, but soon grew steeper, and rougher. We scrambled to the top as fast as we could and reached a flat clearing surrounded by tall rock formations, with views of the distant paddocks, sun-drenched and glistening.
We stopped to take some photographs and noticed a perfect little rainbow that seemed to have formed just for us.
It took longer than we thought but we made it to the top. We sat and looked out over the glorious green below.
We took a different path down, which seemed much quicker than our climb to the top. The little wallabies we had seen on the way up were rustling around now, probably glad they’d have the place to themselves again.
We all slid back into the car and began our journey back, in the dark now, listening to Bob Dylan’s “I Want You” and talk-singing along in our best Dylan drawls. Hanging Rock was such a beautiful place, one which I hope to return to soon. ♦