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Ten Things To Do In The Otway Ranges
1. The Otway Fly
This the best starting point to learn about the Otways Ranges rainforest and how it works. The massive Mountain Ash trees are truly spectacular and rival Californian Redwoods for the world’s tallest tree. It’s the longest and highest rain forest sky walk in the world. If, like me, you are scared of hights, it can be a bit unnerving. It also has zip lining for adults and larger kids.
Visit some waterfalls: Hopetoun Falls, Triplet Falls, Beauchamp Falls and Stephenson Falls are all spectacular in their own right. Each has a unique walk in to the waterfall, that is always enjoyable. There is spectacular bushwalking throughout the Otways; so much to explore. This PDF has great information:
This place has a primordial feeling. The perched lake was formed over 50 years ago when the valley was artificially flooded. It’s about an 8km walk/cycle or drive from Forrest and a 20 minute walk from the car park. Once you are at the lake. you can take a lovely 4 km walk around the edge. There’s glow worms at night and Platypus frequently sighted at dusk or dawn. Otways Eco Tours offer guided canoe tours with a 95% chance of seeing platypus.
The Forrest microbrewery could be described as the heart of mountain biking. With great beer and coffee, it’s a must visit. It’s open for breakfast and lunch every day, and the food is excellent. It offers dinner Thursday to Sunday. Thursday dinner is a limited menu. While you are there skip across the road to the excellent general store. They have loads of local produce from the region and make a lot of produce themselves.
he Redwood Forest near Beech Forest was planted in 1939 as an experiment in logging. It was never logged so the trees have grown to a height of 60m. The tallest tree in the world is a 115m Redwood in California. It has got an eerie feel, quiet and powerful. A great location for a game of hide and seek and a picnic.
Bespoke Harvest is the restaurant at the Forrest Guest House. The degustation meals they offer are amazing. If you are a foodie, you’ll love it. There is only a limited number of tables so book ahead to avoid disappointment. It is open Friday & Saturday for lunch and dinner and Sunday lunch. It is closed August.
The trails around Forrest are some of the best in Australia. If you are not familiar, it’s like a ski resort for mountain biking. There is 16 purpose built tracks covering 65km. Each trail is coded for skill level, so you can chose the level of difficulty that suits you.
This is a 3D obstacle course, strung through a forest of trees. The harness system allows you to move between obstacles and zip lines without ever un-buckling. At times you are up pretty high so it can be scary. It is a wonderful activity to do with kids, they are physically and mentally challenged at every obstacle. It is a great team building activity.
Ride electric power assisted bicycles along the beautiful Old Beechy Rail Trail on a 1.5 hour tour. Guide Nathan explains the ecology, takes you to some historic sites, guides you to some great coastal views and even demonstrates how to forage for bush tucker.