Australia is a beautiful country, with a wide variety of natural places open to discovery.
During my brief stint in Australia, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit one such forest nestled in an area known as Gippsland. I not only got to visit this natural beauty but had the chance to immerse myself in the sights and sounds of nature by staying overnight at the natural reserve.
This was a camping trip organized by some wonderful mates of mine from the apartments where I was staying at. We left for the two hour trip to the falls just before dawn, in a convoy of cars filled with food and camping gear.
The car offered some warmth on that cold July day, as I enjoyed the beautiful sights passing me outside the car window. As the drive progressed, the two story urban buildings gave away to isolated farmhouses surrounded by wide open farmlands housing cows and horses.
Soon, we entered some windy roads shadowed by tall standing mountain ash trees on both its sides. We then drove up to the remote Toorongo reserve and went for a short hike to find the falls. We often formed a human chain during the hike, for support on the slippery pathways. As the forest opened up, we were stunned into silence looking at the sight of a powerful jet of streaming waterfalls. I stopped along the hike at certain places to completely take in the moment, as I often like to do in places such as these.
Noticeable and appreciable additions in places like these, are the metal/wooden bridges and walkways for visitors, to avoid trampling on sensitive biodiversity.
After our short hike around the waterfalls, we proceeded to the campsite at the foothills of the green mountains to set up camp. On that weekend, we had the company of around three other groups of locals in the campsite, as the place is often unknown to tourists. We then split up to help set up, as some friends set up the tents while others started cooking the dinner.
While we deliciously cooked bbq and noodles it was the perfect time to bond amongst the fresh mountain air and away from technology.
Around the bonfire
As the sun went down behind the mountains post dinner, and the temperature dropped below five degrees, everyone rushed to wear their jumpers, jackets, and caps.
What came next was quite predictable as all camping experiences are incomplete without a bonfire.
We had an intimate one where we pulled up seats or coolers around the fire for a light round of games while munching on some s’mores. After retiring early for the night, we huddled into our sleeping bags blessed with a priceless view of twinkling night stars and full moon.
While it was a cold night in the tent, the whole experience was quite thrilling and we woke up the next day just before sunrise.
As the fog lifted above the mountain peaks we packed up our tents, ensuring not to leave behind any garbage among such a beautiful place.
This camping experience was one of a kind and reminds me to say yes to more such exciting opportunities that may come my way.