Forrest Runs and Falls

I’d taken a couple of photos and a short five second video before deciding to put my phone away. Out on the still lake the morning reflections were picture perfect. The day was gently waking up.  If I’d kept my phone going I would have caught what happened next on film.

The first photo I took before I put my phone away

From nowhere, an almighty sound shattered the silence. It sounded like a gun firing, an explosion. I’d been looking down and hubby had lingered behind, reading a sign, but the sound woke us both up.

As we looked across the lake, trying to work out what had happened, we saw the debris. In the distance, not too far away, a huge circular ripple appeared in the water. The sound was still reverberating in my ears.

A dead tree trunk had shattered and smashed into the calm waters. How could a tree fall when the air was so still, with not a breath of wind. The force of it was eerie yet somehow magnificent too, an act of nature.

Then it was silent again, the trunk submerging and the only evidence ripples on the water. Ducks appeared as though they’d been woken up and were scanning the stark intrusion into their waters. We spoke about it as we began our circuit walk around the lake, how unpredictable nature can be.

“Time is nature’s way of keeping everything from happening at once.”  John Archibald Wheeler

Lake Elizabeth is a small mountain lake tucked away in the Otways, just out of Forrest, about 40 minutes from our campsite in Gellibrand.

In my last post I focused on the waterfalls of the Otways but this place deserves a special mention. Visiting is like descending into some forgotten prehistoric forest. The still glassy waters reflect giant tree ferns and the long dead trees poke up like drowned ghosts. Platypus are often spotted here, especially in the early mornings.

The lake was formed in 1952 after a massive landslide dammed the East Barwon River.  It’s not the first time we’ve been here but we’d never walked the circuit before. That was our plan. We were contemplating a quiet and tranquil loop walk and hoped to spot some platypus. How wrong we were!

Lake Elizabeth
Lake Elizabeth on our visit back in 2014. Lots of these dead trunks are no longer standing.
“In every walk with nature one receives more than he seeks.” John Muir


Perhaps it was apt that the morning began with such a bang. It was almost like a starting gun because afterwards the runners came, in their droves. Yep, coming up behind us were loads of runners who’d converged on the area for the annual Forrest Run.  We knew it was on but had thought we’d timed it early to miss them. Timing schmiming!

Suddenly our walk was like Bourke Street. I’ll admit to feeling a bit cheated, as more and more runners converged on the narrow and normally peaceful track. What were the odds?

Still, we became accustomed to moving to one side as they continually ran by us.  “Passing right” and “good morning, passing” became familiar words. At one stage I told hub we should’ve just joined them and started running!

By the time we’d finished our 4km loop walk, our appetite had been fuelled (and we hadn’t even been running).  In town the fun run and another coinciding festival, the Soupfest, had brought the crowds out. Even the brewery was filled to capacity. However, at the far end of town we struck gold.

It was still quiet when we arrived at Platypi Chocolate cafe and we were able to grab a seat outside on the decking amongst the treetops. Our coffee and lunch was delicious in this cafe that’s only been open 18 months but is far from ordinary. As well as great lunch food, a wide range of delicious chocolates are made on the premises too.

Later, driving out of town and our appetites appeased, the micro brewery was still buzzing.  It was once the town’s General store but now, all trendy and renovated, it’s been resurrected to become the hub of the town.  It’s “an equal parts micro-brewery, eating place and mountain biking hangout.” The last time we were here with friends, back in 2014, we enjoyed a beer tasting paddle and a great vibe.

Bikers, beers and a buzzing vibe at the Brewery in Forrest

Back in Gellibrand where we’re staying we toast to a great long weekend away. We’ve travelled from the heart of the Otways to more than five sides of the Great Ocean Road indulged in wonderful gourmet delights and topped it off with a beautiful lake walk.

Even amidst all the fun runners we could laugh at the wonder of our timing … the one day in the year we’re here and it coincides with the busiest weekend of the year in Forrest.

It gave new meaning to the movie expression “Run Forrest”. Well, that’s timing for you. Kinda like the timing of the tree that crashed spectacularly into the water, just as I looked away.

At least we weren’t on London Bridge when it collapsed. But that’s another story!

Happy travels everyone, wherever you are.

Linking to Jo’s Monday walks

In love and light.

“Time spent in nature is never a waste of time”


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71 thoughts on “Forrest Runs and Falls

  1. WOW!! What a place! To find wild untouched land is truly a find. How “coincidental” that the dead tree fell as though a gunshot had been fired and then voila! A race! Did you get that “connection”? What are the chances and not only that, what are the chances you happened to be in this park the exact day of a run? Here you and hubby expected a nice quiet bit of solitude with lots of spectacular scenery ….. yet that didn’t happen. Miriam, how I can relate …. and for those reasons and more, I’ve gone on to discover another wild place, this one even better. LOVED your post and your pictures had me in awe. Thank you! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve just been reading your latest posts Amy and it sounds as though you’ve been having some adventures of your own! Yes, sometimes our timing isn’t brilliant and things don’t quite turn out the way we imagine, but I guess that’s life isn’t it. Happy adventuring to you my friend. 🌹😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have so many more places, Miraim, I want to go to and I will! Yes I have been having adventures but you well know, adventures are not experienced unless you go find them. (smile) Live and learn about our timing etc. but hey if I wasn’t following the bread crumbs, I wouldn’t have found my new paradise. YIPPEE!!! Thank you on the happy adventuring! I’m loving it! Much Love to you! 🦋🦋🦋

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Sounds like a memorable trip for the 2 of you. It is nice that you got to experience that natural act of nature and that it was one that did not hurt anyone. And having a good lunch followed by homemade chocolate and then a good drink is certainly a good way to end an adventure! Looking forward to your next article!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hi Ros, yes it was a wonderful day from the beautiful walk in nature to that fabulous lunch. Thanks so much for reading. xx


  2. How funny, Miriam! Best laid plans and all that. I thought you’d run into a wild boar, but I can picture the scene perfectly from your description. 🙂 🙂 Thanks so much for linking to my walks. Long may you continue to have fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What an amazing thing to witness!
    I have less tolerance for crowds in the bush, I’m known to cut off to another walk when I realise there is a large group of walkers polluting my solitude 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Every camper’s nightmare – a falling tree! The sound shatters the environment with its crisp cracking and reminds us why they are called widow makers, and to give them a wide berth rather than be seduced by their shade. Thank you for introducing me to yet another place for my bucket list. 😎🚐

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome Rosemary and, yes, we’ve all heard stories about those widow makers. We’re very mindful where we park our camper these days. 🙂


  5. Hm. Conflicting feelings here. I’m sorry your plans for solitude didn’t come off but as one who has participated in Run Forrest twice and definitely will again because it’s a beautiful run, I can’t feel too sorry. I mean, there’s 51 other weekends you could have had more privacy. 😜

    When I run trail runs I do feel a bit sorry for people out for a walk but really, runners have just as much right to be there and it’s not on many days that they are there whereas casual walkers have many many days they can have the place to themselves. As you say, it’s all in the timing. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re quite right Heather, the runners had just as much right to be there as we did. Just one of those timing things and really most of them were courteous as they passed so not really a big deal. Maybe for future runs they could sign it as closed to casual walkers for the duration of the run. Anyway, we still enjoyed our walk. It’s a beautiful spot. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. How fun! Sometimes peace and quiet is what we want, but other times it is nice to be “in the middle of the action.” Good for you for just going with the flow and enjoying your walk anyway. And those photos are gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. That looks like a beautiful place, Miriam! Very much like a forgotten prehistoric forest! It’s amazing how loud the cracking and falling of a tree can be. It’s crazy how timing made it one of the busiest days! It still sounds like it was quite lovely though! xx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beautiful views there and adventure! I’ve never heard a tree crack, but it sounds scary. Thankfully, no one was hurt. Cold weather is perfect for running or walks in the forest. Thanks for taking me along with you on this beautiful path. Have a great week ahead my friend! Warm hugs! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a great post Miriam, it’s all action stations when you’re around!!! I can just imagine the runners converging on you in the middle of the bush 🙂 It’s always so good to read your thoughts and see your lovely photos of another beautiful area in the great outdoors. xx

    Liked by 2 people

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