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 Date du message : 13/01/2006
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 camping sauvage pres de la Great Ocean Road - Lake Elizabeth

Premier voyage de camping pour 2006: (2 jours - Ballarat - Colac - Lake Elizabeth - Apollo Bay (Great Ocean Road) - Ballarat)

Vendredi: depart & sightseeing & some shopping in Colac en route.

Arrival at the tiny town of Forrest dans l\'apres midi (juste 3 cafes/tea houses, 1 general store, 1 pub, 1 op shop et quelques maisons, et c\'est tout).

Le tournee a gauche pour Lake Elizabeth est signposted dans la route principale - on a conduit les environ 8 kms de route de \'gravel\' in to Lake Elizabeth (takes about 10 minutes)

Arrived at camping spot to find the place had changed quite a lot in 2 years… it’s no longer possible to park your car beside your tent, but rather there is a new car parking area above the flat campsites near the river area, where you must park and walk down the hill 100 mts with all your camping gear. It’s a little bit of a nuicance, but at least there is more space now down there for campers.

There’s also 3 brand new composting toilets, even with soft toilet paper! Also a tank for drinking water, but it’s empty at present (it’s better to do what we did, and bring all your own water for cooking and drinking too, though there is a small creek about 40 metres from the camp sites, with a small amount of running water there…but not for much longer into the summer).

Choice of walks at Lk Elizabeth: : to the lake (via the billabong) and back, 35 minutes return – some steep sections of pathway, but not too difficult at all.

Or: 4 km lake circuit, approx 1h 35 mins (not at all the 4 hours it says it will take on the sign!)

Only 3 other groups camped in the large area near us: a father and his 2 young children, 2 women with an enormous tent and so much luggage they had to make about 20 trips up and down to their van! And not far behind us, a group of about 6 small sleeping bag tents….belonging to 6 teenage boys and their friends who would return after a fishing trip or something in the evening…and keep us awake with their noise almost all night long…

We managed to get all of our camping gear and essentials down to the camping area with only 2 trips walking back and forth. Only took a few minutes to set up our little dome tent, then at 4.30 pm we set off for the walk to Lake Elizabeth. The walk to the lake is about 20 minutes, and you pass a small billabong (with dropping water level) where the water has a nice backdrop of tree ferns and nice greenery. Once at the lake, you have a choice of returning back the way you have come, or doing the 4 km circuit walk of the lake, which is signposted that it takes 4 hours which seemed a bit long, but we decided to try it for the first time anyway (but it’s not correct…even with stops to look for platypus by the shore every now and again, it only took us 1h35 minutes to do the lake circuit and get right back to the camping area!)

We were back at our tent in plenty of time for dinner, but first we sat around and relaxed a while and planned out some of the itinerary for our French 30 day tour in May/June.

When the night grew dark and our torch light failed, it was time to go inside the tent for the night.

Unfortunately, all the noise outside, which continued past 2 am, kept us awake most of the night (the boys yelling and shouting and laughing) and all the forest birds and parrots waking up at 5 am woke us up early… so that when we awoke, it was almost as if we had hardly slept at all.

Photos du rainforest bientot....

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