Area Profiles


Colac


Colac is superbly positioned on the doorstep of the Otway Ranges National Park, and the magnificent Great Ocean Road. The area teems with natural wonders, including waterfalls, rainforests and to Volcanic Lakes, Craters and plains in the North. Predominantly Colac was founded in 1837 for its incredible ability to produce excellence in the agricultural area. Today Colac is the key commercial, industrial, and service centre for the Shire and surrounding region with a population of 12,000. Apollo Bay is the other major urban centre with a permanent population of 1,000 which swells to 15,000 during the summer season. The current shire population is 21,316.  

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Barongarook


Driving South from Colac the road begins to rise as you pass through Elliminyt. As you rise over the hill and begin the first few bends you have a breath taking view of the mountains standing between you and the coast. You are in Barongarook as soon as you leave Elliminyt but you do not pass through the centre of the town unless you turn off of the main Gellibrand Road onto Barongarook Road. The local primary school and a tennis club are the extent of the township.

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Beeac


Beeac is a township approximately 20 km northeast of Colac, named after a tribal leader whose headquarters were in the nearby Warrion Hills. It was also was also the aboriginal name for salt water or salt lake, referring to the high salt levels in nearby Lake Beeac. The town was surveyed in 1864 and by the end of 1860s a community was settling and the area was a significant wheat-growing area. A salt works was established to exploit the salt in the lakes and wine was also grown. From the turn of the twentieth century Beeac was a thriving business centre with numerous shops and trades, school, a Mechanic's Institute, a post office, a hospital and two hotels. The railway came to the town in 1884 connecting Beeac with Colac and Ballarat. The impressive Roman Catholic church, now no longer in use and very visible on the right as you enter Beeac from Colac, was built in 1924. The first Methodist church, measuring 16 ft x 14 ft, was built in 1862 at a cost of £85. It later became a Sunday ...

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Beech Forest


Beech Forest is situated high on the Otway Ranges off the Great Ocean Road between Lavers Hill and Forrest. Part of the road leading to Forrest and Apollo Bay is known as Turtons Track and is one of the highlights of the area with a winding dirt road leading through tall rainforest.There are several waterfalls in the area including Hopetoun, Triplet and Beauchamp falls.A sealed road leads to Colac and Lavers Hill.

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Birregurra


Birregurra 'By the Barwon' at the foot of the Otway Ranges and edge of volcanic plains, only 30 minutes from Lorne on the Great Ocean Road. Birregurra has a population of approximately 688.  A Post Office opened in the area on 1 October 1858 and was renamed Mount Gellibrand in 1894, a few days before another office nearby was opened as Birregurra. The town is host to the Birregurra Weekend Festival and Art Show which will celebrate its 11th year in October 2010. The festival showcases local food and wine as well as art and music, with local talent such as Jack Simpson. It starts each year at around the month of October. A produce market is held on the second Sunday of each month where local vendors sell cakes, jewellery, plants, fresh fruit and vegetables and arts and crafts. Organisers hold a barbecue for patrons of the market. The town is full of cafes, serving food and coffee, a local butcher, with local meats and a range of clothes shops.

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Camperdown


Camperdown lies within the 'Lakes and Craters' region, sitting at the foot of Mount Leura which together with nearby Mount Sugarloaf are part of a large extinct volcanic complex known as the "Leura Maar".[9] To the immediate west are the deep volcanic crater lakes Bullen-Merri and Gnotuk while to the east is the crater lake Purrumbete popular for its Trout and Chinook Salmon fishing. It is the starting point of the Crater to Coast Rail Trail which, when completed, will reach Port Campbell. It currently terminates in Timboon. The town is renowned for its classic historical buildings. Central is the 103-foot (31 m) high Gothic Manifold Clock Tower, built 1897, which sits in a wide Elm lined median between the dual carriageways of Manifold Street, named in honour of one of the pioneer pastoralists. Tower, avenue, Boer War memorial, Soldiers' memorial, memorial cross and JC Manifold statue are all listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. Among the many other classic buildings are the 1...

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