Ascent

1975

As Bruce Smeaton‘s “Ascent” plays in the background the characters pass between some distinctive pinnacles:

Miranda, Irma, Marion and Edith pass thru the pinnacles while Bruce Smeaton's

Miranda, Irma, Marion and Edith pass thru the pinnacles while Bruce Smeaton’s “Ascent” plays in the background

Through the rocks

They hold hands as Miranda leads them past a rock face and the camera pans right to reveal gaps in the rock and the sky above.

The Location

It’s now 40 years since this scene was filmed so what do the locations look like now?

There are two locations revealed here:

  • Pinnacles next to Racecourse Road on the eastern side of the reserve, and,
  • The rock wall beneath Vampire Cliff on the stairs leading to “the Hanging Rock”.

Racecourse Road pinnacles

The pinnacles the girls pass between are next to Racecourse Road on the eastern side of the reserve.

Ascent 1

Ascent 2

Seen within seen 40 years after filming

Seen within scene 40 years after filming

For a better view let’s pan across the location with a video taken more recently. Look carefully to the left and you can see Racecourse Road which is where this location is accessed from:

Standing on the track next to the Hanging Rock Cafe, you can see the pinnacles in the background:

The pinnacles can be seen from the start of the path by the Hanging Rock Cafe

The pinnacles can be seen from the start of the track by the Hanging Rock Cafe

The entry sign in the photo above says “Because of steep rock edges, keep on tracks defined by arrows at all times and keep a proper lookout”. This scene was filmed off the track so you should ask the Park Ranger’s permission before going for a look.

Rock wall beneath Vampire Cliff

The rock wall where Miranda and the girls held hands is beneath a different part of the reserve known as Vampire Cliff (number 3 on the Park Map) . The precise spot where the girls walked by is now heavily overgrown and almost impenetrable.

Now heavily overgrown with bush this is the spot by the rock wall beneath Vampire Cliff that Miranda led the girls past.

Now heavily overgrown with bush this is the rock wall beneath Vampire Cliff where Miranda and the girls were holding hands as they passed by.

Distinctive features in the rock formation that could be seen in 1975 can still be seen today:

A still from the scene as filmed in 1975 versus how the same spot looks now

A still from the scene as filmed in 1975 (left) versus how the same spot looks now (right).

Other features in the rock wall that could be seen as the characters pass can still be seen now:

AW-brightenedbeneath-vampire-cliff-16-Aug-2016

The screen shot below, with Anne Lambert (Miranda) and Karen Robson (Irma) in frame, shows a magnified feature on a foreground rock (it looks something like a “V” lying sideways).

Anne Lambert and Karen Robson (bottom left of shot) make their way beneath Vampire Cliff.

Anne Lambert and Karen Robson (bottom left of shot) make their way beneath Vampire Cliff. A magnified feature on a foreground rock helps identify the location in the 21st century.

Here’s the same rock with feature magnified as it appears now:

The same rock in 2016.

The same rock in 2016.

In reality the actors were walking toward a gap in the rock beneath the “The Hanging Rock” (number 5 on the Park Map) which is a specific rock inside the Hanging Rock reserve. The gap is magnified below:

Entry to

Entry to “the Hanging Rock” ahead of Anne Lambert and Karen Robson (bottom left of shot) in 1975.

For a better view of the exact spot as it looks now, and which also pans from left to right like the original scene, watch the video below.

This location is also where one of the film’s publicity stills was taken.

Karen Robson (Irma), Jane Vallis (Marion) and Anne Lambert (Miranda) in a 1975 publicity still beneath Vampire Cliff (Source: The Guardian).

The spot is identified by the rock formation behind and to the right of Jane Vallis (Marion) magnified below.

Karen Robson (Irma), Jane Vallis (Marion) and Anne Lambert (Miranda) in a 1975 publicity still beneath Vampire Cliff

Near the same spot in 2016.

Near the same spot in today.

Albert (John Jarratt) walked past here yelling “Cooee” while searching for the girls later in the film.

To find Miranda’s wall and the gap beneath “The Hanging Rock” stand at the bottom of the steps that lead from “Morgan’s Blood Waterfall” (the Picnic Ground) to the “The Hanging Rock” (number 5 on the Park Map). When you stand at the bottom of the steps Miranda’s rock wall is on your left and the gap in the rock beneath the “The Hanging Rock” is at the top of the steps in front of you.

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