- SQM 150
Otways Loft is curious mix of tree-house, vintage train, raw and recycled materials, set in a rambling adventure garden.
We scoured Victoria to find a property to match Liptrap Loft. We found another hand built 'labor of love', unique and full of character. This property in Forrest was quite run-down, but we renovated the house and Otways Loft has been set up solely as holiday accommodation.
It is not 5 star luxury, but we can say with confidence that it is UNIQUE. The builder lived in a shed on-site, and craned in a train carriage to use as a workshop, whist building the house. It is an eclectic construction, built on a framework of local tree poles. In parts, it is three storeys high. The interior is a mixture of parts from the train carriage, locally felled timber, materials from a nearby church, and other salvaged bits and pieces. The original build is reputed to have taken over 5 years.
Forrest is a gorgeous small town of weatherboard shacks, surrounded by towering Mountain Ash rainforest with verdant ferny understory. It is lush and abundant. The dawn birdsong is deafening. The surrounding Otways rainforest is a pristine playground for nature-based things to do.
Things To Do
After logging ceased, Forrest was reinvented as a centre for mountain biking. The world class Forrest mountain bike trails have become the region’s signature activity. The mountain bike trails in Forrest are rated as some of the best in Australia. With over 60 kilometres of sign-posted single track, there is way too much for just one day. Mountain bike trails literally surround the town, so visitors experience genuine ride-in, ride-out from the house. With great regret we no longer offer the four free bikes. The expectation of having bikes in good working order was a service we could not reliably offer without living nearby and maintaining them between guests. Bring your own mountain bikes or you can hire bikes at Forrest Hire Bikes, two minutes walk away.
The Microbrewery and Cafe offers great food and you absolutely must try the locally brewed beer. Good coffee is available at the General Store with home made pies and lunches like pulled pork rolls. It offers a smorgasboard of local produce and cottage industry. For pub fare, the pub doesn’t disappoint and is open every night, always with a toasty fire in winter. All within walking distance.
Brae restaurant has been ranked in the top 50 restaurants in the world. It is a twenty minute drive from Forrest, so well worth a visit, book ahead. Yeid in Birregurra also offers a fabulous degustation menu that is rapidly becoming famous.
Otway Fly is a facility that showcases the beauty of the Otways rain forest. It is longest and highest rain forest sky walk in the world. They also have zip lining. It's great for kids.
There are lots of waterfalls to visit, Hopetoun, Triplet and Beauchamp Falls are all near Beech Forrest, as well as the Redwood forest, another must see of the region.
Closer to the house are Stephenson Falls and Lake Elizabeth, where platypus are frequently sighted at dawn and dusk, and glow worms at night. Also close by are Little Aire Falls, Triplet Falls and the West Barwon Reservoir.
Spoil yourself and make it a long weekend. Take the Great Ocean Road home on Monday when there is no one around.
Linen and towels are included and beds will be made up for you on arrival.
1. Upstairs master bedroom with claw foot bath. Two singles are zipped together as a King.
2. Upstairs reading room with balcony has three singles, 2 singles can be zipped together to make a King.
3. Downstairs is a third bedroom has a Queen bed
4. There is a third storey loft with a loft ladder and landing. This is available as another bedroom for someone nimble. Double futon.
Total: 5 singles (two of which convert to King beds), 1 double, 1 Queen. There are enough beds to sleep 9, but Maximum guests = 8
Option to rent two places side by side (sleep up to 14 together)
The train carriage next door is also available for holiday rental. They can be rented together for larger groups. Together the properties can sleep up to 14 guests ( but ideal for a total of 10-12).
There is a large fence between both properties. Both places feel separate (a gate can be unlocked between the 2 places if rented together).
Special features include :
free standing claw foot bath in master bedroom ( with a lovely view over the green yard and landscape)
newly renovated bathroom
wood fired heater with wood supply included
air con/split system in lounge room
evaporative cooling in master bedroom
washing machine and dryer
Full kitchen with oven, stove, microwave.
Italian style stovetop coffee maker and French press (plunger)
basic provisions like olive oil, spices, tea, coffee, cling-wrap, dishwasher tablets etc
main bathroom with shower and toilet, hand sink. Second upstairs loo with little hand-sink.
playground fort with swings for children
Cleaning, bed linen and towels are included in the price. Beds made up for you on arrival as per your requirements.
We expect guests to leave the place in a tidy state, dishes washed/dried and put away. All rubbish and recycling to be put outside in appropriate Municipal bins. Bins to be put out on a Sunday for pick up Monday morning.
No smoking inside. No candles please.
Inside and outside dogs and pets are welcome. Please keep pets off the furniture. There is a dog run around the balcony, where large dogs can be left safely . The yard is fenced but the fencing is not perfect or dog proof. You need to remove all dog poo from the yard.
No TV: There is a stereo, books and board games and broadband/WiFi (good speed and reliable) and a Piano
Parking is on Station Street.
Please see terms and conditions before booking.
Otways Loft is priced to make the property attractive to both smaller families and also groups of up to 8. Big groups take much longer to clean-up after and use more electricity, water and firewood, so we have set up a sliding price scale. There is a flat rate for up to 4 guests. Each guest above this is an additional $50 per night – this way small groups aren’t excluded and it covers the additional cleaning and utility costs for larger groups. A flat rate works well for some properties but are trialling this system to make it less expensive for smaller groups.
3 Bedroom, 1 Living room, 2 Toilet
SleepingBed linen, 1 Double bed, 2 King bed, 1 Queen bed
CookingCooking utensils, Dishwasher, Kitchen stove, Microwave, Oven, Refrigerator, Spices, Toaster
Heating/CoolingAir conditioning, Fireplace, Heating available
OutsidePrivate Balcony, Private Terrace
EntertainmentBroadband Internet, Piano, Stereo system, Telephone
SanitaryHair dryer, Shower, Washbasin
LaundryClothes dryer, Iron & Board, Washing machine
OutsideGas BBQ, Deck chairs, Bicycles, Private Garden, Private Playground
42 Station Street Forrest, Forrest, 3236, Australia
Otways Loft can be found on Google Maps with the address:
42 Station St-Forrest 3236
Enter via side gate via side lane through the rose arbour.
Or if you enter through front gate walk up through garden and head right at swing set and around to the side of the house with red rattler train doors.
Walk up steps and past deck chairs hanging on the wall, past wood shed and around to back door.
You will see the keysafe next to the back door. Code 3230. Please return key to keysafe on departure.
You will note a luggage trolley. Which might be helpful if you have lots of stuff.
Lastly you can bring your car around the back via Sanderson Lane near the train and park behind the bollards (avoid blocking the neighbours drive) and unload from up hill, which may be easier. Have a look once you get there. You will just need to move your car back to Station Street once you have unloaded. The lane is a pedestrian bike path, but we have permission to use the spot for loading and unloading.
Forrest does not have a petrol station. The closest fuel is Colac, Winchelsea, Lorne and Apollo Bay, so make sure you have plenty.
Some local tips - guest favourites:
- Lake Elizabeth - about an 8km walk/cycle or drive from Forrest. Once you are there, it's a lovely 4 km walk /loop. Platypus are frequently sighted at dusk or dawn. Glow worms can be seen at night.
- Stephenson Falls is a nice easy walk with kids.
- Forrest Microbrewery - 1 minute walk from the train. Great coffee. Good breakfast and lunch. Dinner Thursday-Sun . Thursday dinner is a limited menu but it's open.
- General Store has great home made pies, good basic lunches (like pulled pork roles). Lots of interesting gourmet items and local produce, but not to be relied on for a grocery shop. Please come prepared with groceries.
- Forrest Retro Road - 12 Station Street for vintage-retro shop lovers. 5 rooms of stuff. Open on weekends or you can call Mara 0428502323 at other times to make an appointment to view.
- Platypi Chocolate -73 Grant St. Open 7 days 10-5 pm Coffee, lunch, wine and gorgeous chocolate.
- The Terminus Hotel is the local pub in Station Street. Open 7 days for dinner. Kitchen can close early when quiet. Call 03 52049704.
- Mountain bike trails - there is a map on the wall showing the myriad of trails. It's best to bring your own bikes or hire them from the general store.
- Forrest Bike Hire, on the other side of the general store offers top quality bikes for hire and bike servicing.
- If you plan to do any more than a quick MTB trail or two, bring your own bikes. There are 4 mountain bikes in the shed. We used to offer the bikes as part of the holiday rental listings. We no longer advertise the bikes because they require a lot of maintenance with heavy duty mountain trails. We don’t live close by so it’s not possible to keep them maintained. You are welcome to use the bikes at your own risk. We have no way of knowing what condition they are in, or whether they will malfunction during a trail ride. Check brakes and gears before heading out. There is a puncture repair kit if you get a flat tire. The 4 bikes are shared with The Otways Loft next door, so 2 bikes for each or whatever you work out with guests next door if you see them.
A bit further away:
- Otway Fly- longest and highest rain forest sky walk in the world. Also has zip lining.
- Hopetoun Falls, Triplet Falls & Beauchamp Falls and The Redwood Forest. All near Beech Forrest.
- Tree Adventure-Otway Park Yeodene -0429374653 15 mins from Forrest on the way to Colac. More adventure based than Otways Fly which is more eco-tourism.
- Otway E bikes Beech Forrest 0413971736 Nathan is reputed to be wonderful