Picnic at Hanging Rock is a book by Joan Lindsay from Penguin
Books, published in 1967 and reprinted various times thereafter. The
book concerns the story of a girl's school outing in the Australian
outback and the mysterious disappearances that occur during that outing.
Various paranormal elements are present in the book, especially the
manner in which time seems to stand still at one point. The book was
later made into an excellent movie.
The book and the movie are apparently entirely fictional. Some people have written me taking extreme displeasure with that statement. An Australian journalist wrote me and told me he had done quite a bit of research through the newspaper files and there was nothing to show that the events really had happened. Although there is one source cited below that says the story is true, that source itself presents no facts to back it up.
What kind of facts am I talking about? Copies of newspaper articles or magazine articles from the time covering the events as factual; copies of police reports concerning any disappearance; copies of any reports turned in relating to any search teams that had allegedly been used to try and find the girls. Also, if the event had really happened, then there would have been others throughout the years that would have gone to Hanging Rock on their own to search for the girls, perhaps for a magazine article about the "anniversary" of their disappearance, but no such article or information has even been forthcoming.
Now, if someone can present me with copies of the above types of proof then I will be happy to add them to this site and give the person full credit. In a way it is a tribute to the outstanding quality of the film that some people still believe quite fervently that the events actually happened despite the lack of any actual proof of anything unusual actually happening on that date.
Availability of the Movie, Revised
For a very long time the movie was, for all practical purposes, impossible to find to buy or even rent. That has now changed with the re-release of the movie in theaters, its running on television and the release in a director's cut dvd version.
Secret of Hanging Rock
The book Picnic at Hanging Rock has 17 chapters, but an 18th chapter was originally written and was not included in the book. This chapter shows what happened to the girls and the teacher who never returned, along with commentary by two other people. My review of that book is here
Note: the information on this page is the most correct I have been able to come up with. In some of the materials below the information stated might differ from this page but this is the page that should be considered as the most accurate.