15 Fun Places to Visit in Colac, Australia

Places to Visit in Colac
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The tiny town of Colac is in a prime location, just beyond the Western Victorian Volcanic Plains and the northern slopes of the Otway Ranges.

As a result, a wide range of natural features, including enormous freshwater and saltwater lakes, volcanic craters, a biodiverse rainforest, lush fern-bedded gullies, picture-perfect farms, and windswept heathland, are located nearby.

Where Is Colac?

Colac is situated on a vast, fertile volcanic plain halfway between Geelong and Camperdown. The region, bordered by numerous sizable lakes and volcanic craters, is mainly used for agricultural and pastoral reasons.

The area around Murray Street is the central hub of Colac’s bustling business district. It has a few historically significant structures, such as the post office (1876), shire hall (1879), and the former Regent Theatre. (1925).

Memorial Square is located in the centre of Colac and faces Murray Street. This park area has been set aside as a tribute to those who served in the First World War and includes a stunning stone memorial, rotunda, playground, BBQ pits, and large lawn areas.

The attractive, UNESCO-listed Colac Botanic Gardens are situated on the edge of Lake Colac, Victoria’s largest freshwater lake, and were first planted 150 years ago. Both on Murray Street, the city’s main thoroughfare, and outside in the countryside at homesteads built as far back as the 1840s, the city boasts more than its fair share of historic buildings.

Best Places to Visit in Colac, Australia

1. Colac Botanic Gardens

Around Lake Colac’s shoreline is one of the state’s most significant botanical gardens. The gardens that welcome you now were created by two renowned botanists and landscape architects, Daniel Bunce (1813-1872) and William Guilfoyle (1840-1912), who worked on this project in the 1860s.

Numerous species, including a magnificent Huntingdon elm, a vast pagoda tree, and four Tecate cypresses, are only found in older botanic gardens. Ancient oak trees shade a 1.1-kilometre highway that circles the property, and on its northern side is a lookout from which you can see the lake and the Warrion Hills in the distance.

Serpentine trails lead you through enormous species like a magnificent Bunya pine, and you can stop for a break at the Botanic Cafe, which was once the curator’s residence and was built in 1924.

2. Red Rock

The water-rich landscape north and west of Colac has a dramatic natural history. This is a complex Quaternary volcano with a network of craters and mars that picked the area like a massive historical battleground.

Red Rock’s current appearance dates back 8,000 years; the most recent eruption was no older than 5850 BCE. Lake Coragulac and Lake Purdy Guluc are two of the biggest crater lakes in this volcanic area, which is one of the largest in the world and contains brackish water overall.

At the Red Rock Lookout, which also offers views across the enormous sweep of the salty Lake Corangamite, you may observe this great terrain and learn more about the factors that led to it.

3. Great Otway National Park

The northern edge of the national park that encompasses Cape Otway and much of its hinterland is close to Colac. This creates a breathtaking variety of landscapes, from the lush fern-covered gullies, rainforest-covered hillsides, and waterfalls closer to Colac, to the craggy promontories, windswept heathland, and picture-perfect beaches on the coast.

Later on this list, we’ll review a few activities you can do in the park. Still, it is just the tip of the iceberg in a region home to charming coastal hamlets, a sizable koala population, various walking and bike trails, and the majestic Cape Otway light station.

The 104-kilometre Great Ocean Walk will take you through the park and allow you to see dolphins, seals, and migrating whales between May and October. Those untamed seascapes are waiting for you there.

4. Memorial Square

Following World War I, a block of Murray Street was designated as a commemoration place, guarded by a regal monument inaugurated in 1924. This sandstone temple-like building, which features a pediment and two Corinthian columns, has been refurbished with plaques commemorating more recent conflicts.

A more contemporary memorial to those who participated in World War II and the Korean War is on Murray Street. It has a low wall, two thin columns, and a memory pool. 

Look for the Lone Pine nearby. It was planted at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra from the seed of an Aleppo pine, which was itself planted from a seed from a cone brought back from Gallipoli. The Memorial Square, which has a dome and a playground on the west side, is also a welcome area of greenery close to Colac’s stores, cafes, and restaurants.

5. Walking Heritage Tour

The fact that most of Colac’s rich historical legacy is concentrated on both sides of Murray Street is a convenient feature. (Princes Highway). Most of these beautiful older structures were constructed between the turn of the 20th and the middle of the 19th centuries when the city and its wealthy families benefited from an agricultural boom.

The architecture along Murray Street encompasses a variety of styles, with exquisite Victorian Italianate civic and government buildings, as well as Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco. Modern facilities and signage occasionally hide some true beauty.

One is the Parkers’ car dealership, decorated with the names and logos of GM brands from before the Golden era in a Spanish Mission design. A further treasure is the Art Deco McMahons, which has a tower over its entrance and is located at the Murray and Hart Streets intersection. The visitor centre has a map of Colac’s history you may purchase.

6. Lake Colac

In front of the Botanic Gardens, Victoria’s largest freshwater lake is accessible. You might visit Lake Colac’s coast and find no water because the level depends on weather patterns over several years. In 2009 and 2016, severe droughts caused the lake to dry up, creating the unusual sight of the Colac Yacht Club Jetty ending nowhere.

The lake is a summertime hotspot for picnics, strolls, barbecues, endless water activities, and birdwatching, thanks to the thousands of waterbirds drawn to these shores when there is water. When the discharges of Barongarook and Deans Creeks were blocked during the Pleistocene and Tertiary Periods, much before the time of Red Rock, volcanic activity resulted in the formation of Lake Colac.

7. Old Beechy Rail Trail

A narrow-gauge railway line from Colac to the small settlement of Beech Forest ran into the Otway Ranges for 60 years, from 1902 to 1962. A rail trail was created along the line, debuting between 2005 and 2015 in pieces. More than two-thirds of the 45 kilometres of the Old Beechy Rail Trail are on the tranquil, empty trackbed of the ancient railway, and only 15 kilometres are on peaceful local roads.

You’ll pass through rolling hills with farms and little areas of the rainforest during your stroll. Many sawmills constructed their tramways in the forest during the first half of the 20th century, and the trail still has evidence of their sidings.

8. Coragulac House

The gorgeous area surrounding Colac is filled with lovely historic estates and homesteads. A convenient one is Coragulac House, close to Red Rock Scenic Lookout. This is undergoing a protracted repair; it was founded in 1873 by the Pastoralist Robertson family.

A vast Entrance Hall with a vaulted, cedar-panelled ceiling, wallpapers embossed with the Robertson crest, an Art Nouveau chandelier, and a massive oak mantelpiece with duelling dragons in hammered copper are just a few of the exquisite original details you’ll witness. A guided tour of the property is available, and at the conclusion, you are free to leave the group and explore the area on your own. A light meal or morning and afternoon tea can be arranged.

9. Tarndie

You may reach one of the state’s oldest still-existing homesteads by taking the Princes Highway east for a short distance. Tarndie, short for Tarndwarncoort, has been owned and operated by the Dennis family since at least 1840, and its historic structures bear the Cornish heritage of the family.

The Polwarth sheep, a dual-purpose meat and wool breed, were developed in Tarndie and first bred by Richard Dennis in 1880. The estate’s current flock of high-quality wool-producing sheep is descended from the original Polwarth sheep raised more than 140 years ago. You can stay the night on the farm or drop by for a short visit to explore the 400m Farm Trail and learn more about the flock and the intricacies of wool production. The Farm Shop, which offers a variety of wool goods and custom yarns, is a must-visit.

10. Beeac Windmill Park

Along with kangaroos, dirt roads, and the earth’s natural red colour, windmills are one of the most distinctive features of the rural Australian countryside. Even though they are iconic, these devices that have long been used to mill grain and pump groundwater have slowly lost their usefulness and may eventually vanish from the landscape.

The Beeac Windmill Park, located on the bank of the same-named lake, protects a tiny forest of windmills built by six different regional manufacturers between the 1890s and the 1940s. With the aid of old photos, several of these structures have been put back together. A kiosk and informational plaque provide background information on windmills’ history, creation, and applications.

11. Sunday Markets

On the third Sunday of each month, the Colac Rotary Club hosts a famous market at the Showgrounds. The market showcases the most excellent foods and crafts from Colac and Otway and is open from 10:00 to 15:00 (10:00 to 14:00 from May to September).

The selection varies, but typically there will be a line-up of food sellers and handcrafted chocolate, various preserves, fresh produce, jewellery, plants, and apparel. There are plenty of kid-friendly games and entertainment during the market’s monthly rotary BBQ.

12. Otway Estate

A combined vineyard, brewery, and cidery is located in the beautiful Otway Rainforest just south of Colac. The estate’s cafe and bar serve all this fantastic wine, beer, cider, wood-fired pizzas, and the renowned Forbidden Fruit cider.

In 1983, the vineyard established its first vines. Shiraz (with overtones of plum and berry) and Cabernet Sauvignon are two red wines that thrive in this region of Victoria’s environment. (full-bodied and fruit-forward). The estate’s craft beer label, Prickly Moses, uses pure Otway rainwater to produce various beers, including pilsner, stout, pale ale, brown ale, hefeweizen, and saison.

13. Otway Fly Treetop Adventures

This breathtaking treetop stroll makes the 40-minute drive into the Otway Ranges worthwhile. The elevated walkway spans 600 meters of the canopy and is suspended 25 meters above the ground in a rainforest. You’ll receive breathtaking views of the Otway Ranges and an unparalleled view of the vegetation and animal life of the rainforest.

The views are even more spectacular atop the 45-meter Spiral Tower or the cantilevered platform extending over Young’s Creek. On the Rainforest Ranger Trail, kids may discover the rainforest’s secrets. If you’re looking for excitement, the Otway Fly Zipline Tour offers a network of ziplines in the forest canopy ready to be used.

14. Lake Corangamite

The much bigger Lake Corangamite is located west of Lake Colac. The Western District Lakes RAMSAR site includes this lake, Australia’s largest permanent saline lake at 23,000 hectares. Fish and waterbirds that once inhabited this area in great numbers have been put off for a long time by the increased salt levels as the waters have receded in recent decades.

However, the salinity and lake level can change annually, and there can occasionally be significant concentrations of migrant waders like red-capped plovers on the coast. Any other time, you can come here to observe the sunset from Red Rock on the east side and get a sense of the immensity of the lake.

15. Colac Visitor Information Centre

One of the two authorised visitor information centres for the Otway Region is located in Colac. This is a crucial resource for Colac, the Otway Ranges, the volcanic plains of the Western District, and the farming between them.

You can look through the extensive collection of pamphlets and brochures or ask one of the friendly staff members for advice on anything from lodging to paranormal activities, food and drink routes, scenic drives, and hiking and bicycling paths. The centre’s gift shop is also stocked with adorable locally-made items for taking home.

FAQs

What Is The Fame Of Colac?

The famed Otways National Park, a rainforest with a fantastic display of flora and animals, is what most people today know it as.

Is Colac A Rural Community?

A rural, residential, and resort area is Colac Otway Shire. The Shire’s 3,400 square kilometres of territory comprise State Forest and National Park, including beaches, lakes, craters, waterfalls, and rainforests.

What Does The Term Colac Mean?

Colac, a mountain in the Dolomites of Italy. New Zealand’s Colac Bay. A vessel of the Royal Australian Navy named HMAS Colac. Traditional East Slavic bread known as kalach, also known as Colac in Romania, is famous in Hungary, Romania, and Serbia.

Last Words

Places To Visit In Colac are very worthy. Colac is a city in Australia’s Victoria State. It is well worth a visit due to its numerous popular attractions, such as Colac and Red Rock and Otway Fly Treetop Adventures. Most people today know it as the entrance to the well-known Otways National Park, a rainforest with an impressive array of flora and fauna.  

This charming little town, just two hours drive from Melbourne, has caught the attention of locals and tourists with its many attractions. Colac has a lot of local history and beautiful forestry, so there is much to see and do there. Let’s take a look at the reasons why Colac is worth a visit on its own.

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Hi, I'm Md Abid Hasan. The owner & content editor of Travellye.com. Travellye.com is a travel blog that covers road trips, day trips, and destinations guide.

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