Stop over at Colac to experience small-town magic. The humble town is the gateway to the great Otway national park and hosts the Red rock volcanic fields just nearby. Stay over for the best toasties and serene picnic spots in the greenest patch.
Along the road less taken path, one of our recent finds was a small town of Colac, Victoria. En route the Great Ocean Road, the silent town that was once famous for forestry and farming. With the typical feel of a small town, the Shire Colac is a quaint town that sleeps early and wakes to dawn. Sheeps and horses along with beautiful green meadows dot the land area. You will be charmed by the countryside that prompts you to take a break from the mundane.
Colac is a small town in the Western part of Victoria between Geelong and Camperdown. this is the entryway to the Otway national park that leads all the way to the great Ocean drive, which belongs to the Otway Shire. Situated 151 km from Melbourne, the place can be reached by a car or by train. You can also get around here with a caravan ( prebook for caravan parking).
What to see in and around Colac?
Colac is a beautiful small town that has the phenomenal Otway national park in its vicinity. It unassumingly hosts the third-largest volcanic fields in the world. Here are a few ideas you can choose to do around Colac.
Colac botanical garden- surrounded by lush greenery, the botanical garden in Colac is a beautiful escape for city dwellers. Enjoy the calm, to be one with nature in this lush green space that has been curated since the 1860s.
Memorial square- within walking distance from. The area is a small patch of green with a small tower. The memorial square is the World War 1 Remembrance site.
Lake Colac –with a 33 km perimeter, lake Colac forms the largest freshwater lake in the state of Victoria. It is a beautiful spot for fishing and other recreational water activities (kayaking) that has been formed as a part of the volcanic activity. Set up a picnic blanket or the Cafe nearby for a relaxing afternoon.
Red Rock volcanic fields- drive out 12 kilometres to reach the volcanic grounds dating back 8000 years. The red rock volcanic grounds are the third largest volcanic plains. 40 eruption recorded in this area has left a massive area of craters that have transformed into lakes and the cinder cones forming the margin. The red lava flows are covered in lush greenery over the years. Filled with flowers you can easily count up to 7 volcanic craters. The lookout provides a 360-degree view of the region. However, it is not suitable for strollers and wheelchairs. Enjoy the picnic space and the fantastic views.
Lake Corangamite- this is a saltwater lake, also in the volcanic plains formed along this region. With 234square kilometres, this is Australia’s largest Saltwater lake. Enjoy the lakeside for it habits the picturesque volcanic plains of the red rock. This three-times saltier than seawater lake is home to migratory birds and pelicans.
Otway fly treetops –the zip line through Otway national park or walk to enjoy the beauty of this trail. They both are just half an hour away from the town of Colac. Watch out for the larger koalas, the colourful birds and the shy wallabies as you swing by.
Where to eat at Colac?
The small town has cute old-style cafes. What is important about these places are the lovely locals who have a chat with you. We had the best tomato cheese toastie ever in Routleys Bakery.
You can enjoy a sit down at the Botanical cafe or pack a picnic to head to the Redrock area.
There are numerous Asian-style eateries in Colac like Mango Thai or Fusion. In fact, there are so many places where you can have a good bite at here.
Climate and costume
The weather in Victoria depends on the wind. Follow the weather patterns before you plan your travel. To be on the safe side, keep a light all-weather jacket and dress in layers. We experienced sunny weather, yet with cold winds that blow.
Travelling with kids and elderly
The small town may not have all the things that you are used to in a city. However, most paths are disability-friendly and stroller friendly. Refer to the specific site to see more. I would highly recommend bug repellents as there looked to be many, but nothing caused us any issues. Still, it is a good option to keep. Though the mask mandate has been relaxed, keep some handy along with some sanitiser. These are pretty similar to Coraki that we visited earlier.
If you love travelling as a road trip en route to the Great Ocean Road or just taking yourself out of Melbourne for a day, you will love a quiet stopover at Colac. We enjoyed our stay and hence shared some ideas we tried out. The views and ideas are researched on personal grounds and have no affiliation with any of these places. So, hope we serve as a neutral guide to your journey. Feel free to reach out to ask any more you need to know about this route. We are heading to more in and around Melbourne, so stay on with us, Subscribe to our content so you can read the latest. Tag us #mildlyindiantravels if you are making a stopover. If you are in Sydney, reach out!