Station Street in Forrest
|Population||170 (2006 census)|
|LGA(s)||Colac Otway Shire|
The railway to the town was opened in 1891 and closed in 1957, as a branch line from Birregurra. It serviced the townships of Deans Marsh, Murroon, Barwon Downs, Yaugher and Forrest. At Forrest numerous tramways ran off into the nearby bush. These lines were used to bring the freshly cut timber to the rail head, and the associated sawmills of which there were 4 in Forrest and nearby Yaugher. All of these mills are now closed.
Originally called Yaugher, the name was changed to Forrest when the township was established. The Post Office opened as Yaugher on 27 July 1891 and was renamed Forrest a few weeks later on 15 October 1891.
The town football team was established in 1891, and is still going strong to this day, competing in the Colac & District Football League. Consisting of a "pub", general store and 2 guesthouses, Forrest is the gateway to the Otway Ranges. 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.
After the cessation of logging in the Otways, the Government of Victoria made funds available for the creation of dedicated Mountain bike trails in the Yaugher area, in order to replace the logging industry. Mountain biking was seen as an addition to the already plentiful eco-tourism industry. Mountain biking now makes up a large portion of the economy in Forrest. The area now has over 60km of sign posted "single track".
Forrest is home to the following annual Mountain Bike Events
- Forrest Festival - 2 day multi stage event
- Otway Odyssey - 100k event
- Forrest 6 Hour - 6 Hour event by teams and individuals
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Forrest, Victoria.|
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Forrest (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2007-07-27.
- Sid Brown (March 1990), "Tracks Across the State", Newsrail (Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division)): pages 71–76.
- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 2008-04-11
- Full Points Footy, Forrest, retrieved 2008-07-25[dead link]