Every now and then we find ourselves with the irrepressible urge to get back to nature - to just drop everything and take a drive to the middle of no-where. Pitch a tent, light a fire, crack open a bottle or two.
While many have tried, the desire to nick off for some fresh mountain air doesn't easily budge. The only thing to do is block out a few days in your diary, pack the car, and head for the hills. And I know some great hills to head for.
Lerderderg State Park is a no-fuss camper's dream, located only 65 kilometres west of Melbourne. Its 20, 546 hectares of bush spans some 20 kilometres between Bacchus Marsh and Blackwood, and is divided diagonally by the Lerderderg River.
The best place for camping in the park is along the river at Obrien's Crossing. Here you are tucked deep inside a 300 metre gorge, where phone reception is non existent, and the closest thing you'll have to remind you of home is the basic flushing toilets 100 metres away on top of the hill.
Set up camp around one of the numerous cement campfire holes dotted along the river, and relax while dinner roasts on the fire.
If you have a spare day or two to explore by foot, it is well worth following the river downstream along the East Walk track. The gorge is recognised for its geological history, with sediment and slate dating back 500 million years. Also a hot spot for gold mining back in the day, the crumbly remains of an old water race used for rinsing gold can still be seen along the river.
If bush bashing doesn't take your fancy, you could always go for a swim, drop a line to see if the Brown Trout are biting, or head out with your camera to try and spot the koalas and kangaroos that inhabit the area. There is plenty to do.
Whether it's a low maintenance trip you're after, or time to go exploring, you really can't go past Lerderderg State Park.
Please note: While Victoria can boast some of the best natural water in the world, it's best to bring your own from home. And always check the weather before heading off to Lerderderg - the river is subject to flash flooding after heavy rain.