Beech Forest Attractions
Beech Forest, a two and a half hour drive from the Melbourne CBD is situated in the heart of the superb and historic Otway Ranges, renowned for its stunning scenery, teeming water falls and the grand, stippled canopy of majestic, towering mountain ash trees.
A mecca for mountain bike riders, motor cyclists, railway historians, 4WD enthusiasts and day trippers, Beech Forest provides the most convenient gathering point for the Otway Fly, a world renowned attraction which incorporates a zip line fly through the tree tops and a scenic birds eye view of the natural attractions of this treed wonderland.
Things to do
Triplet Falls, Beauchamp Falls, Hopetoun Falls, Turtons Track, The Glow Worms (need to be seen to be comprehended), the California Redwood Forest and Aire Crossing are some of the additional attractions that the Beech Forest area offers.
If you are feeling particularly active, the recently reconstructed rail trail between Beech Forest and Ferguson is a 4 km walk in the original rail cuttings, highlighting along the way those mysterious glow worms, spectacular flora and fauna and rural and ocean views and ending at the Nourished Cafe where you can replenish and reboot for the next day’s adventure.
A bit of history
The Beechy is built on the site of the old Beech Forest rail yard and the embankment for the narrow gauge railway line can still be seen running right across the back of the hotel property.
Nearby the remnants of the balloon loop can be observed – which is understood to be one o the best preserved examples of such a loop in the Southern Hemisphere. (if you’ve ridden Puffing Billy you’ve likely been pulled along by the Garratt engine that once ran from Colac to Beech Forest).
Wood carvings by Brett Davies
Right next door to the hotel are two fabulous wood carvings, commissioned by the Colac Otway Shire in conjunction with the Beech Forest Progress Association and completed in mid 2014 by chainsaw sculptor Brett Davies.
The light snow fall that covered them in August only added to their surreal beauty. They are worth a visit to the area on their own account.
More things to do
Beech Forest is a 40 minute drive to Apollo Bay past the Great Otway National Park and about 30 minutes to Johanna, a surf beach favoured by dedicated surfers.
Beech Forest is a handy location from which to visit The Great Ocean Road, Cape Otway Lighthouse, The 12 Apostles, and Lochard Gorge.