The Hanging Rock precinct is an important place to many people for many different reasons and the community have been working hard to make sure it is protected now and into the future.

Both the Victorian Government and the Macedon Ranges Shire Council recognise the iconic nature of the site and how important Hanging Rock and its surrounds are to the Traditional Owners, the local community and visitors to Macedon Ranges.

To help safeguard this important place, the Victorian Government and Macedon Ranges Shire Council have been working together for a number of years to protect the site and plan for its future. This work includes preparing the Hanging Rock Strategic Plan where the community, Traditional Owner Groups, user groups and visitors were consulted to make sure that all the key values that make the place so important were understood, and that the actions needed to protect those values were written down. In 2018 the Victorian Government and Macedon Ranges Shire Council approved the plan and it now provides direction about why and how Hanging Rock is to be protected and managed into the future.

The Strategic Plan’s vision for Hanging Rock for the next 50 years is:

“Hanging Rock will be renowned for its importance to our First Peoples, its dramatic geological form and its wider landscape setting within the Macedon Ranges.The role of the Rock throughout history as a place of gathering, reflection and intrigue will be understood and celebrated. The re-vegetated bushland environment will enhance the secluded ambience and provide a habitat for native wildlife. Activities around the Rock will reflect its historical uses centered on recreation and education, and its State and national significance”.

Since 2019 the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning have been working with Macedon Ranges Shire Council, the community and the three Traditional Owner groups - Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung, Djaara (Dja Dja Wurrung), and Taungurung to deliver the most important actions in the Strategic Plan. One of these important actions is to develop a Master Plan to show how the Strategic Plan will be implemented over the next 20 years.

Draft Hanging Rock Precinct Master Plan

Front cover of draft Hanging Rock Precinct Master Plan showing black and white aerial view of Hanging Rock

What will the draft Hanging Rock Precinct Master Plan do?

The key values described in the Hanging Rock Strategic Plan include Aboriginal cultural heritage; Victorian European heritage; landscape and environment; recreation; annual events; tourism experiences; business opportunities; and a place for the community to visit.

The draft master plan is based on a set of principles that guide how these key values will be protected and sets the scene for how the precinct will be managed into the future. This includes finding ways to resolve some of the precinct’s challenges such as

  • Allowing for an increase in visitor numbers by making best use of the limited space available for activities such as picnicking.
  • Safeguarding the site so increasing visitor numbers do not negatively impact the Rock and the surrounding environment.
  • Establishing a definitive process for determining and booking activities and uses that happen on-site.
  • Ensuring the precinct continues to be a meeting place for residents of, and visitors to, the area.
  • Planning for future impacts of climate change.
  • Relocating some activities to other locations within the Macedon Ranges Shire Council.

The draft master plan aims to achieve this through co-design with Traditional Owners to make sure the important cultural stories are included throughout the precinct; and by shifting the focus from a general park to a special place for site specific activities. It will provide high level direction for site layout, access around the site and future management considerations.

What does the draft Master Plan propose to change?

Existing features

Aerial satellite view of Hanging Rock Precinct showing the locations of existing buildings and features

Proposed changes

Aerial satellite view of Hanging Rock Precinct showing the proposed locations for new buildings and features such as walking trails, visitors centre and car parking

How to participate

There’s been a lot of consultation work done already as part of developing the draft master plan –talking to Traditional Owners, user groups, the community to understand why the place is so important and what values should be protected.

We are inviting the community, Traditional Owners, user groups, businesses, schools and visitors to Hanging Rock to tell us

  • what you think makes Hanging Rock a special place to visit.
  • whether you agree or disagree with the principles of the draft master plan.
  • if you think the draft master plan needs to change in any way to improve the visitor experience
  • if you think the draft master plan needs to change in any way to make sure the Rock is protected for future generations.

You can participate online by filling in our survey (below), by providing a submission, or attending one of our community information sessions scheduled for the following –

Pop-up session at Australia Day Horse Racing Event

Location: Hanging Rock (near the cafe) at 139 South Rock Rd, Woodend VIC 3442

Time & Date: 26 January 2022 from 11am-1pm

Pop-up stall Woodend Farmers Market

Location: Cnr. of Forest and High Streets, Woodend

Time & Date: 5 February 2022 from 9am-1pm

Drop-in information sessions

Location: Woodend Library Meeting Hall (Corner of High Street and Forest Street, Woodend VIC 3442)

Session one: Wed 9 Feb 2022 from 3.00pm-5.30pm

Session two: Tues 15 Feb 2022 from 7.00pm-8.30pm

Privacy collection notice

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is committed to protecting personal information in accordance with the principles of the Victorian privacy laws.

The information you provide will be used when considering revisions to the Hanging Rock draft Master Plan. If you have provided your email address it will be used to provide you with direct updates about the project.

Your contact details may be used by the department or its contracted service providers under confidentiality agreements to survey you about your experience with the department.

The information you provide will be made available to DELWP & Tract Consultants. De-identified, high level outputs from the consultation process will be consolidated in a Feedback Report which will be available on the Engage Vic page and distributed to those who have provided their email contact.

You may access the information you have provided to DELWP by contacting the project team by email: hanging.rock@delwp.vic.gov.au

The DELWP Privacy Policy can be accessed online here: http://www2.delwp.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/5464/DELWP-Privacy-Policy.pdf