This weekend both amazing and sad. I was super happy to be seeing and spending time with my little sister, who I had not seen for over 2 months. And sad that this is the last time I will see her before August, as she is going on an epic surf trip around Indonesia.
The weekend was pretty epic. We drove half way between Melbourne and Warrnambool to a tiny township called Forrest. Set within the beautiful bushland and rolling landscapes of the Great Otway National Park, there are over 16 purpose-built waymarked singletrack trails for riders of all skill levels. Its also home to a craft brewery. Needless to say, it is a pretty epic place to visit.
We hired bikes from the local store, grabbed a map and headed off on our adventure (in the completely wrong direction!) After cycling for about 25 mins (roughly 9km) up a hill with about 45% gradient, we checked the map, and realised that my map reading skills were not really up to scratch. Back down the hill we cycled, at a much faster pace than the accent.
Back on track, we headed out on the Southern Trail Network, featuring three interconnected loop rides: Rollercoaster, Third Time Lucky and Follow the Dog.
Roller Coaster (green trail) was a wide, smooth and free flowing trail. This leads into Third Time Lucky (blue trail) as plenty of trail features including bermed corners and jumps, where we passed through tall eucalypti forests and dense fern gullies. At this point Kerri and I were quite confident of our abilities and thought we would try out Follow The Dog. BAD MOVE!! This was by far, the most tough and technical cycle track I have ever ridden on (and I say that lightly, as I think I walked a good portion of the track too!), featuring steep ascents and technical fast descents, tight switch backs, steep berms and a shed tone of exposed tree roots (I think my comment ‘I have done a few red runs in the UK’ alluded her into thinking I was a semi-pro mountain biker when she recommended we took this bad boy on!).
After cycling for about 3 hours, we headed to the brewery for a much needed beer.
Post beer, we drove back to the coast (our home for the night). We picked up food (wine and cheese supplies) in the town of Port Campbell and headed to Wye River Beach Front Camp. We had a beach front spot (dreamy) with an amazing view of the beach.
We spent the first hour sipping wine, eating cheese and watching the sunset, before cooking up a storm on the BBQs.
The next day (post coffee) we headed to Erskine Falls. One of the most popular waterfalls in the Otways, the waterfall plunges 30 metres into the lush tree-fern gully of the Erskine River. We didn’t feel up for the 14km hike, so we simply drove to the lookout point to take a few snaps.
Teddys Lookout was next on the hit list and did not disappoint with breath taking, sweeping, coastal views of the surf breaking into the mouth of the Saint George River.
After a spot to each at Lorne beach front, we said our emotional goodbyes and drove our separate ways.