Seeking the platypus with Otway Eco Tours

Platypus Tour Forrest

Our little family has been looking forward to this....  the time had come to go and try and spot a platypus at Lake Elizabeth.

Lake Elizabeth is about a ten minute drive out of Forrest and known for its colony of platypus.

What does a tour involve?

We met our guide, Ruby, at the Forrest Brewery at 4pm ready to go on the dusk tour. We drove in convoy to Lake Elizabeth, where Ruby gave us life jackets. We took a backpack with water and snacks for our kids - a little concerned they might be bored, we hoped snacks would help! We all wore warm jackets as it's still quite cool at dusk at the start of Spring.

You have to walk into Lake Elizabeth from the carpark - it's a beautiful walk but has a couple of steep sections. We carried our 4yo up those just to save time. Our 8yo was a little puffed but fine. Lake Elizabeth Platypus Tour Forrest

Arriving at the lake you are met with a gorgeous outlook. The lake was created due to a landslide in the 50s. We had not even gotten in a canoe before Ruby spotted a platypus off in the distance!

The four of us, and our guide Ruby, hopped into the canoes and gently pushed out on the water. Our canoes were tied together, next to each other, meaning we didn't drift apart or have to worry about navigating one ourselves.

After reminding our kids of the need to be quiet and patient, we started to follow the lakes edge. It didn't take long to spot one ahead, and we slowly paddled to where we had seen it. Ruby explained how they have to surface every minute or so, and so began the game. Far from being bored, our kids were captivated by the game of hide and seek.

Ruby was great at engaging with our children, peppering the ride with interesting facts and information while the sun set.

We had upwards of 15 separate sightings on the surface, although many of these were the same one resurfacing again as we followed them. There are said to be about 7 platypus living there, we happened to see 3 at one time, all in different places on the lake.

Aside from the platypus, there are numerous bird species living and frequenting the lake.

Once the canoe tour had ended, Ruby treated us to hot chocolates while she moored the canoes. As darkness set in, she provided us with torches to assist on the walk back.

Bonus Glow Worm Tour at Dusk

Aside from not being a morning person, another reason for choosing the dusk option is that you might get to see glow worms! A bit of a misnomer, these are actually the sticky threads of the larvae of a fungus gnat. Tiny bright spots of a blue/green light are sprinkled in the wet, vertical surfaces alongside the trail. By turning off the torches and allowing your eyes to adjust to the darkness, these sparks of light almost appear like a galaxy of stars before you. Lots of fun for kids... and adults!

Bookings

Tours run at dawn and dusk, when the platypus are out looking for food.

For more information, visit Otway Eco Tours or

Family Stays at Forrest Guesthouse

Family Friendly accommodation Forrest

The Forrest Guesthouse is owned by a family with young kids. We understand what it can be like to holiday with kids in tow. A lot of our friends and family have kids. That's why we've been working hard to make it easier for families to come and stay with us.

Cooking Facilities

Eating out is great - and we encourage you to try out the local options - yum! However, we understand it gets expensive if you can't cook at least some of your own meals.

The guesthouse suites are now equipped with a portable induction cooktop which can be used under the rangehood. Each suite has a large frypan, a small and a large saucepan, plus a steamer. There's also a mini toaster oven, a toaster and a kettle. All your essential cooking utensils are provided, plus cooking oil. Why not try out a new one pan recipe?

If you need a second cooktop, just let us know. We keep a spare for such occasions.

Barwon Suite Kitchenette

Breakfast included

In our family, some wake early, some sleep in. We've made it simple to cater for whatever time each member of your family gets up. We provide your breakfast supplies in your room so you can eat whenever you want. One less meal to think about. You'll find bacon and eggs, pastries, cereals, bread, spreads, fruit, yoghurt, juice and milk waiting for you. If you stay more than two nights, we will restock your supplies.

More sleeping options

The two largest suites, Barwon and Otways, have sofa beds with trundles.

This allows two kids, two teens or in fact, two adults, to sleep comfortably in full size single beds.

When it's bed time, you can close the glass sliding doors between the master and the lounge to keep noises to a minimum. You can also close the curtains across the doors to shut out the light.

We have also put plastic bowls and kids cutlery in these two rooms, and a high chair is available on request.

Prefer to travel light?

Leave the pram at home. Borrow ours.

Need a cot? Borrow our portacot, just bring your own sheets and blankets.

Want to go for a hike? You can hire our baby/toddler hiking backpack. It's a cracker - we even took our 2.5 yo on the Great Ocean Walk with it. It's not your standard baby carrier but is designed for serious comfort and durability.

Got a larger family?

Talk to us about a cheaper rate for hiring multiple suites at one time.

Fern Gully Walk – Forrest

Fern Gully Walk Forrest

Fern Gully Walk is a gentle but stunning walk on a well-maintained trail through - you guessed it -  a fern gully. 🙂

The walk starts a little way down the road heading into the West Barwon Reservoir. Look out for a sign "Fern Gully Walk" on the right, directing you to the start of the trail on the left.

The walk meanders up and down, and along the side of a small creek which can be heard bubbling happily after some rain. The height of some of the gum trees and tree ferns is breathtaking, while the lush undergrowth is home to ferns, moss and fungi. Take some time to listen to the creek, or stay still and you will notice tiny birds flitting through the undergrowth.

The trail eventually spills out to join up with the Forrest Loop walk (trail 1) which will take you along the river and back into town.

If you want to walk it as a loop, we suggest you start in town at the Forrest Mountain Bike Trailhead, and walk straight along Track 4 till you reach the turn off to the right for the singletrack mountain bike trail. Instead of taking that, continue to the left and cross the road (carefully) to walk onto the road going into the West Barwon Reservoir. This loop should take you around an hour at a comfortable pace.

 

Yaugher Trails – Cross Country Bliss

Tiger Rail Trail, Cycling Accommodation Forrest

The Yaugher trails head out from the Yaugher trail head, just a few minutes north from Forrest.

These are cross country trails at their finest, with a wide range of trails suitable for beginners and intermediate riders, all the way through to advanced. For those wanting a challenge, there are several black trails with sharp pinches and a variety of technical trail features.

Detailed information on each of the trails that make up the 60km of trails surrounding Forrest can be found on Trailforks.