I am one of these people who prefers the landscapes of forests and mountains rather than the desert-like beaches of the coast. So, if I have a choice, I would prefer to spend he day walking in the forested areas rather than sitting in the scorching Sun. Australia is a place where there really is a wide selection of landscapes with something catering for every taste.

In the south of Victoria, there is the Great Otway National Park, close to where my brother lives. Well, when I say close... it is close in Australian terms, so it is still a couple of hours driving along the coast! Still, it is a place that is worth visiting if you enjoy walking in the forested surrounds. Needless to say, despite the Erskine Falls being a relatively well known tourist area, you WILL need a car to get here... or be prepared to spend a few days walking from Melbourne!

So, this being Australia... there are some hazards that come with the walking. The path is quite well defined, and you aren't supposed to go stomping around off the path anyway... This is a fairly "wet" forested area, the moisture gets trapped under the canopy of the trees and so the path is often a touch moist and will have some degree of moss on it. So, take care... but most able walkers will have no problem. If you struggle with walking (elderly or with walking sticks... or toddlers who can't stop running...), it can be quite a difficult terrain.

In the Erskine Falls visitor area, there are two lookouts. The Upper Falls is much less of a walk (in elevation as well as distance), but I would highly recommend going the whole route (it isn't that far!) and going to the very bottom near the water.

As I mentioned before, it is a bit of a elevation difference between the two lookouts, but the path is very well maintained, so most people will have NO problem on the walk... that said, we did pass more than a few puffed-out tourists!

At the start of the walk, near the car park, you are treated to the unique colours of the Australian forest landscape. The dulled green-blue colours of the Australian evergreens that are such a different colour to the vibrant greens of Europe. Also note, the stripped barks of the trees, another feature of the Australian landscape.

However, as you reach the bottom near the water bed, it is a completely difference colour palette. Still greens, but with deeper hues... and the temperature and humidity in the air makes for a cool (almost cold..) atmosphere. A pleasant place to just sit and read... or just to lose yourself in watching the water falling over the rocks.

So, if you do find yourself in Melbourne, keep in mind these National Parks and other areas that are outside the city area. After all, these are much more pleasant outings than spending the afternoon in a shop!