The Many Forms Of Picnic At Hanging Rock
Over the years, Lindsay’s story has been told through different mediums. Originally, Picnic at Hanging Rock was a book published in 1967, but it wasn’t the smash hit that it is now.
It was only when TV host Patricia Lovell fell in love with the book in 1971 that the book picked up steam. She paved the way for Peter Weir’s critically-acclaimed 1975 film adaptation, which brought the book international acclaim. In the years that followed, the story would be adapted into other mediums, including a musical, a stage play, and a TV series starring Natalie Dormer that only came out last year.
But, whether fans first experienced the story as a novel or as a film on DVD, the effect of the story remained the same. Fans were both horrified and mystified by the events in the story, and even today, many are still asking questions about the truth of the events at Hanging Rock.
With that said, to understand the truth of the matter, we need to understand the mystery surrounding it.
What Happened at Hanging Rock?
At the centre of this mystery is the disappearance of three schoolgirls and a teacher during a school picnic. In the year 1900, students and faculty from the nearby Appleyard College were having a picnic during a day-trip to Hanging Rock. During the picnic, four students named Miranda, Irma, Marion and Edith decided to climb one of the location’s monoliths, with their teacher, Miss McCraw, following after them.
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At first, only Edith returned from the climb. When she returned to the picnic, she was in hysterics, and she had no memory of what had happened on the monolith. Organised searches for the three students and their teacher were carried out, but only Irma was ever found. In addition to all of that, strange events continued to happen around the members of Appleyard College, with some of them perishing in a fire and others found dead, apparently from suicide.
Though there were more searches in the years that followed the incident, the students and teacher that disappeared on Valentine’s Day were never seen again.
What Really Happened At Hanging Rock?
So, is Picnic at Hanging Rock a true story? Did those three really mysteriously disappear from Hanging Rock?
Probably not. Joan Lindsay has a history of not giving straight answers to the question, not even to Peter Weir, and some of the story’s inaccuracies make the events unlikely to be true.
Dates mentioned in the story weren’t entirely accurate to the real 1900. For example, the day of the week Valentine’s Day fell on was wrong, and so was the stated date of Easter Sunday that year. Also, Appleyard College doesn’t seem to be real either, though it might be based on Clyde Girls’ Grammar School, which Lindsay attended when she was younger.
So, sorry to say, but the events of the story probably aren’t true. On the bright side though, there is an explanation for the disappearances at Hanging Rock. Lindsay actually wrote a conclusive ending for the book, but that final chapter was removed from the draft in order to keep the story mysterious and ambiguous.
But, if you really wanna know what happened, you can find out in The Secret of Hanging Rock. We’re not gonna spoil it for you here, but let’s just say the explanation’s pretty bizarre.
So...Where IS Hanging Rock?
If you’re thinking about visiting the site of the disappearances yourself, make sure that you’re headed for the Hanging Rock in Victoria and not the town of Hanging Rock in NSW. While the movie was almost filmed at Hanging Rock in the Blue Mountains, the Hanging Rock referred to in the story is the one in Mount Macedon.
Once you’re sure where to go, be prepared to see a lot of people at the Hanging Rock Reserve – it’s a fairly popular tourist attraction, and there’s a lot to see and do there. While you do have to pay a small entry fee to get in, you’ll have access to the beautiful grounds inside. And trust us, it’s a really nice place. After all, there’s a reason why the Picnic at Hanging Rock cast and crew changed plans and filmed the movie there instead.
Things To Do At Hanging Rock
If you’re visiting as a fan of the story, the first thing you might wanna do is have a picnic at the grounds. Aside from potentially recreating moments from the story (yikes!), you’ll get to enjoy the beautiful parks and the scenic views that the reserve has to offer.
After your picnic, you could also try climbing to the summit of Hanging Rock. And if the weather isn’t too bad on the day of your visit, you can take the pleasant walking trail and find out what those schoolgirls wanted to see – just try not to disappear like they did! Jokes aside, the summit offers amazing views that’ll be great for photos to take back home.
Once you’re done snooping around for clues at the picnic grounds and the summit, you can enjoy some of the other activities and events at the reserve. You can explore the rest of Hanging Rock and walk among the wildlife that occasionally hangs out in the area. You might also be able to attend the different events at the reserve, which include film viewings, concerts and even horse races. You could even go camping and fishing if you want!
Afterwards, you can chill out at the winery, cafés and other establishments at the nearby accommodations.
The Mystery Lives On
While the events of Picnic at Hanging Rock may not be entirely true, the mystery continues to captivate Australians and tourists from around the world.
If you wanna relive the mystery at Hanging Rock, you can read it in Lindsay’s 1967 novel or watch it online on services like Amazon Prime.