Itinerary – How to spend a day in Forrest

Stevenson's Falls

Sometimes you just need a quick getaway. Maybe you've only got time to stay one night... Here's what we recommend you include in your one night escape....

2.00pm: Self check-in to your suite. Grab a piece of fruit for a snack. Put on your walking shoes.

2:30pm Drive to Stevenson's Falls car park (15 mins one way). Spend the next 30-45 mins completing the easy return walk to the beautiful falls.

4.00pm: Head to the Forrest Brewery to meet your guide for your pre-booked Platypus tour. Your guide will take you in convoy to Lake Elizabeth, then lead you on the hike to the lake. This walk is beautiful but has some steep sections. The tour is then conducted using kayaks on the lake and goes until dusk. After a hot drink lakeside, your guide will provide you with a torch and you can commence the walk back to the car, stopping off to check out glow worms on the way. (Tours are available at dawn and dusk and times change with the seasons.)Platypus Tour Forrest

Dinner: Fill your belly with a delicious meal from the Forrest Brewery Company. Lots of local produce, like Otway Pasta or seafood from the Great Ocean Road, can be found on the menu. Meals are generous, and there is a broad drinks list including ciders, wines and beer. For beer lovers, a tasting paddle is a great way to sample all the beers produced in the onsite microbrewery.

Next day:

Cook your bacon and eggs, eat your pastries or fill up on cereal, toast and yoghurt.

9.00am: Pop over to Forrest Hire Bikes and grab yourself a bike! Try out the skills park just up the road and cruise around Track 4 Rollercoaster and Track 1 Forrest Loop, both are green trails suitable for beginners. If you want more of a challenge, ride Track 2 up to Lake Elizabeth and ride the famous Red Carpet (track 3) back down.

10.30am: Return your bikes and pop home for a quick shower before check out. You can always check with us if a later checkout is available. You might be checking out but the fun doesn't have to end there....

Platypi Hot Chocolate

11.00am: Head to Platypi Chocolate for morning tea. Their hot chocolate is their signature drink, but there are plenty of other chocolates and delights to tempt you. Dairy free and savoury options available.

11.45am: Lose yourself in the 5 rooms of treasures that are tucked away in Forrest's own vintage and antique shop.

Lunch: Head to the Forrest General Store. Our lovely Sal is always producing delicious food like home made pies, slices or gourmet sandwiches. Her pies with homemade chutney go down a treat! You can always buy some local produce such as jams, brownies, pasta, gifts or Otways Distillery Gin, Vodka, or Limoncello to take home with you.

When it's time to head off home, why not look up other businesses on the Otway Harvest Trail to visit on your way home?

Itinerary – Beech Forest Day Trip

Beauchamp Falls

Beech Forest is a region located just an under an hour from the Forrest township. We suggest a day trip which combines a visit to Beauchamp Falls in the morning, a picnic at the Californian Redwoods, followed by Hopetoun Falls in the afternoon.

Each waterfall would take approximately 1 hour return for a person of good fitness. Both descend down fairly steep paths with an uphill return via the same route. The Californian Redwoods does have an informal trail that follows the creek but is also just a beautiful place to sit and eat.

The benefit to leaving Hopetoun Falls till last is that if you are tired, you can still actually view the falls from above from just near the carpark. However, if you've still got energy, you can walk down to the base for the best view - it does require walking down and up 200 steps though!

Trees Adventure – Yeodene Park

Trees Adventure Yeodene High Ropes Course

I've had my eye on this little adventure since we moved here in July and when one of my best mates came to stay, it was finally time to feel like little kids again and go climb some trees!

The Trees Adventure in Yeodene is a fabulous place to have fun, challenge yourself and get a workout at the same time!

Trees Adventure Yeodene Park Training

Upon arrival you sign your life away on a waiver, select yourself some gloves and one of the staff will fit you with a helmet and harness. The staff will take you through some training to show you how your harness and lockers (the locks that keep you attached to the high ropes course at all times) work. After some practice on a mini course, it's time to head to the course.

Trees Adventure YeodeneIt's a few minutes walk through some bush before you start to catch sight of the course... it looks like every kid's dream tree house on steroids. All courses start from the "Home Tree" and there's plenty to choose from. The courses are graded similar to ski/mtb trails; greens are easy, blues are a bit harder, red courses are fairly challenging and black is very difficult! The harder the course, the higher off the ground it is. There are also yellow courses for very little tackers which use a different harness system than the others.

We warmed up on a blue trail - fun but not hard. We decided to follow it up with a red course. The red course we chose had a fairly long cargo net - I've done these before at the Trees Adventure in Belgrave so I knew they were hard - it was still hard and I was huffing and puffing by the time I made it to the other side. The obstacles go from tree to tree, with platforms built around the tree trunks - you become very grateful to reach a platform and be able to rest. There are also plenty of zip lines which break up the hard work with some fun flying runs. (Somewhere here my gopro went flat as I didn't charge it fully - d'oh!) Trees Adventure Yeodene

The red course we picked ended with a jump off a platform approximately 15 metres off the ground. You are attached to a mechanism that allows a short free fall, then slowly applies a brake to lower you to the ground. My advice is just clip on and jump off, the longer you hesitate, the harder it is to convince yourself to jump. I struggled with this, even though I have done it before at Belgrave.

Trees Adventure Yeodene

Finally we decided to tackle the black course. I was a bit nervous about attempting swinging monkey bars after dislocating my shoulder earlier this year, but the staff member explained a way I could cheat on that one 😉 The black is significantly harder than the red. There are more obstacles, and the obstacles themselves are more challenging. Lots of components that swivel, move and sway constantly means your abs, as well as legs and arms, get a good workout. The black course also ends with the platform jump, this time at 20 metres above ground. Although that extra 5 metres didn't mean anything to me, I still struggled with getting myself to jump, having pushed myself pretty hard to get through everything that came before, including another of these jumps. Mentally and physically fatigued I sat myself on the edge of the platform, thinking I would slide myself off the mat but I still couldn't do it. What are best friends for, except to get alongside you in moments like these? My dear friend tried to coax me off for about ten minutes, and I thought I was going to jump several times but I didn't. Eventually she said, "If you don't get by the time I count to zero, I'll push you off". I was sure I would jump before I was pushed... Five, four, three, two (I'm still sitting here), one... still here, zero. Still can't move. A swift push from behind and I was off the platform and floating down to the mat! My legs had turned to jellly by the time I reached the ground and I collapsed, laughing at the fact that my dear friend had actually just shoved me off the platform! Hilarious. She then clipped herself on and jumped off, without hesitation. Champion! I was grateful she got me off there because apparently I had found my limit of willpower. But I will be back... this time with a fully charged gopro and a mind more prepared for what is to come!

For more information, check out https://treesadventure.com.au/park/yeodene-park/.

Seeking the platypus with Otway Eco Tours

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.

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

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 sign is approximately near this location:

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.