The hexagonal ZnO nanorods supported activated carbon (ZSAC) was successfully prepared using zinc nitrate hexahydrate and urea through microwave irradiation. The method of preparation is simple and cost effective. The activated carbon (AC) with high surface area (446.44 m2/g), pore volume (00.21 cm3/g) and average pore diameter (01.89 nm) was employed as a matrix support for the growth of ZnO nanorods. The XRD results affirm the formation of wurtzite ZnO nanostructures. The FT-IR studies disclose the presence of varied functional groups present in ZSAC. The HR-SEM images reveal the pore morphology of AC and hexagonal shape of ZnO nanorods formed. The E(g) value obtained from Kubelka-Munk transformed reflectance spectra is about 3.43 eV. The photoluminescence emissions reveal the defects in the crystal lattice. The ZSAC thus prepared would perform substantial role in the area of catalysis.