Into the woods. A family story session in the Great Otway National park with Geelong photographer Michelle McKay.


Stevenson Falls, Great Otway National Park.

Stevenson Falls, Great Otway National Park.


When I was a child and the weather was fine, sometimes we’d drive into the mountains. 

To me it was a magical place.

The shadow of the mountain stretched across the land, resting against the surrounding fields like a cool sheet and from the second we left the sealed road and hit the tree line it was like we’d entered and enchanted space. 

Somehow it felt sacred. 

We’d wind the windows down and the crisp green air would greet us. It seemed we’d somehow grow more alive in that moment; as if the smell and the wind that stroked at our skin awoke our souls and tickled every one of our otherwise tired senses. 

We'd enter the forest, and we were awake.

The old Datsun would creep along the track, using every inch of the narrow and winding road to avoid the gallery of potholes and bumps. Then we’d swerve into the gutter and scramble to wind our windows when fellow adventurers raced past us down the mountain, lifting the dust in their wake.

There were a few special spots we liked best to visit, but my favourite was home to a dam. It was over a century old and so very beautiful.

We’d wander through the ferns and climb the moss covered boulders, and in the summer we’d dangle our bare legs off the dam and into the river, or collect the smooth stones from the clear bed of the creek. 

It was a romantic place. A whimsical place. A place of restoration and wonder.

How could one not feel renewed by the forest?


Now I’m grown, those almost mythical and endlessly majestic mountain trees still leave me breathless.

I like to take my children to see them.

I want them to see that magic exists. 

That the world is a place of miracles.

I want them to know they will always have a home in the woods.

I photographed this stunning story session in the Great Otway National Park, just over an hour outside of Geelong. It is so worth the drive. Isn't it magical? Enjoy these gorgeous highlights.

Another of my favourite locations for story sessions is the beach. See an autumn beach session here.

Get in touch to enquire about availability for your own family story session.