Colac in Victoria is situated between Geelong and Camperdown on a huge rich volcanic plain. The area is mainly used for agricultural and pastoral purposes, and is surrounded by many large lakes and volcanic craters.
The fertile volcanic soil has helped produce an agricultural, pastoral and dairying district. The area is noted for its onions, potatoes, cattle, pigs, sheep and milk products. Colac is located on the southern shore of Lake Colac, one of more than 50 lakes in the district. It’s an ideal place for bushwalks, pleasant walks through the impressive Botanic Gardens and along the shore of the lake. It is also an ideal destination for those wishing to explore the beauty of the Otway Ranges and their forests.
Colac’s busy commercial centre is primarily based around Murray Street. It features a few buildings of historical significance including:
Fronting Murray Street within the heart of Colac is Memorial Square. This block of parkland has been dedicated to those who served in the First World War. It features a striking stone memorial, fountain, rotunda, playground, BBQ facilities and expanses of lawn.
Colac fronts the southern shores of Lake Colac – the largest natural freshwater lake in Victoria. This lake is popular with swimmers and boating enthusiasts. It includes a number of foreshore walking trails, jetties and boat ramps. There is a bird reserve in the wetlands off The Esplanade which attracts a diverse range of bird life to the lake. Located on the lake foreshore is the Tachyglossus mosaic which was developed by local artists and the community. It represents local indigenous flora and fauna and symbols of the region.
The Colac Botanic Gardens are perched on an elevated 12 hectare allotment above the lake and were established in 1910. The gardens contain many historical trees, shady picnic areas, a playground and cafe. From the gardens, scenic views across Lake Colac can be enjoyed.
A short drive north-west of Colac, via the villages of Cororooke and Coragulac, is the Red Rock Scenic Reserve. A couple of lookouts provide views over the Red Rock extinct volcano and Lake Corangamite – Victoria’s largest inland lake. There are also good views south-east across farming land towards Lake Colac.