If you are feeling a bit ambitious, but yet don't want to travel too far from Melbourne, I have found the place for you! Mount Buangor State Park.
If you check Trip Advisor, you will see both good and terrible ratings, the latter because this location is indeed forgotten. National Parks dont seem to want to promote it, so there is an absence of signage both to get to, and within the park. We asked for directions at one of the local shops in Beafort, but it really wasnt too helpful and resulted in countless u-turns on the Western Highway. You do need a bit of determination to both find it, and find your way through it. A GPS will save a lot of family arguments and angst.
To get here, head west from Melbourne and through Ballarat. We always stop in Beaufort, a small historic town with the most lovely bakery! Stock up, in case you spend longer at the park than you intend, and you probably will! Head out on the Western, and just set the GPS, if you hit Ararat you have indeed travelled too far!
The National Park is multi faceted, with wooded camp grounds deep in the Australian forest, as well as dry arid trails (as pictured). There are also a number of lookouts and towers, (perhaps forestry for bush fire spotting?), but we are yet to successfully locate them. We have walked in search of some minor waterfalls, but still beautiful trails. And we have been lost in the darkness here, (when not using GPS), with the experience of wallabies leaping over the bonnet of the car from an incline. There is definitely the touch of Jurassic Park about this place.
Just make sure you do have plenty of fuel! Its proximity to Melbourne means that after a day in the wilderness, you will indeed feel you have gotten away from it all, and yet, you can get home relatively quickly (possibly stopping in Ballarat for dinner on the way home)!