Forrest, Victoria is a small rural township in the Otway Ranges, Victoria, Australia.
- Area:42.666 km2
- Elevation:199 m
- Local Government Area:Colac Otway Shire Council
Forrest, Victoria is a small rural townshipin the Otway Ranges, Victoria, Australia.At the 2016 census, Forrest and the surrounding area had a population of 230.
The History of Forrest started more than 40,000 years ago. Forrest is at the northern end of the Otway Ranges.
Historically, the Otway Ranges are the land of the Gadubanud people. The current boundaries ofthe Otway Shire Council partially include land belonging to the tribes of Gadubanud people and Gulidjan.
Niewójt (2009) attempted to reconstruct the cultural landscape created by the Gadubanud people prior to their disastrous encounter with Europeans in the late 1840s.
The vast territory (Figure 1)stretching from Painkalac Creek (near Aireys Inlet) in the east to the Gellibrand River that flows west of the mountains is over 100 kilometres. Niewójt (2009) noted that food supply through the coastline yielding shellfish, the presence of several wetlands and productive estuaries, and the plant foods available both in open land and potentially acquired through trade with neighbouring groups. This lead him to deduct that the archaeological record, historic coastal survey maps and assessment of regional food resources suggest that the pre-contact population of the Gadubanud was far larger than indicated in the documentary record. The existence of a sophisticated resource management regime and movement corridors were maintained through the selective deployment of fire to generate a specific type of landscape mosaic.
Wetlands, such as those found near the outlets of the Gellibrand and Aire rivers, provided a fine variety of foods. Fish, eels, waterfowl and bird’s eggs added much protein to the diet yet responded toexploitation with a high rate of annual regeneration. In the region’s lakes and wetlands, particularlythose at Gerangamete, Irrewillipe and Chapple Vale, food was reliable and easily accessed.
Hemmed in by a rising ocean that stabilised about 7000 years ago, the uplifted sedimentary rocks of the Otway Range run from north-east to south-west at an elevation of about 500 metres above the sea. A few isolated peaks reach up to 675 metres, and at many points along this coastline bare mountains and tree-clad ridges plummet dramatically into the sea. In the north, the narrow belt of foothills merge with the undulating volcanic plain that is the definitive feature of Victoria’s Western District. Littoral plains are found only at Apollo Bay and further west, but even these flat stretches of coastal terrain do not exceed five kilometres in width. Vegetation within the traditional territory of the Gadubanud people varies from heath on the sea cliffs, to dunes near the Cape, open forest on the eastern slope, wet sclerophyll forest in the mountains and tracts of rainforest along some watercourses and mountain gullies (see Fig 1). Highly productive ecosystems, such as the wetlands found at the base of the northern foothills (at the headwaters of the Barwon River) and the numerous river estuaries of the coastal zone, provided a vast food supply and a range of options regarding the seasonal sequence, frequency and intensity of harvesting.
# Things to do
Consisting of a general store, upmarket restaurant, "pub", guesthouse and a variety of accommodation rentals, Forrest is the gateway to the Otway Ranges.It is fast becoming a hub for foodies and adventure tourists, which is now the primary economic driver of the town. The West Barwon river flows through the township and it is near the West Barwon reservoir, which services Geelong.
During the past few years the town has begun to grow again with an influx of people seeking more affordable blocks of land not that far away from the coastal resorts of Apollo Bay, Skenes Creek, Grey River, Kennett River and Lorne. These can be reached either by a pleasant drive on a sealed main road or by ex-timber blue metal roads. Advice should be sought before motoring on the backroads to Kennett River, Wye River and Grey River.Fauna to be viewed on these drives include Australian king parrots, crimson rosellas, grey swamp wallabies, echidnas.Koalas have in the past been released into the Otways.
The Smith Street Band recorded their third album Throw Me in the River in Forrest in July 2014.