Colac is a town in the
western district of Victoria, Australia, situated approximately 150 kilometres south-west
of Melbourne on the southern shore of Lake Colac. It is approximately 40 km inland from Bass
Strait and is on the Princes
Highway, which is the alternative route from Melbourne to
Adelaide and part of
Australia's circumnavigational Highway 1, which is reputed to be the
longest road in the world.
At the 2006 census
, Colac had a population of
For thousands of years clans of the Gulidjan
people occupied the region of Colac,
living a semi-nomadic life.
The area was first settled by Europeans in 1837 by Hugh Murray, and
proclaimed a town, Lake Colac, in 1848. The Post Office opened on 1
July 1848 as Lake Colac and was renamed Colac in 1854.
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The railway through
was opened in 1877, and extended from 1883 as part of
the line to the south west of the state. A number of branch lines
also originated from the town, the narrow gauge branch line to Beech Forest and
opened in 1902 and closed in 1962, and the Alvie line
opened in 1923 and
closed in 1954. The Irrewarra-Cressy line
towards Ballarat also ran from Colac between 1889 and
Gardens in Queen Street located on the shores of Lake
Colac, were established in 1868, and remodelled in 1910 by William Guilfoyle and include a huge
diversity of plants with many old and rare trees and a rose
arbour. As one of the gateways to the Otway Ranges, Colac is an entry point to some of Victoria's most
The Twelve Apostles
, Shipwreck Coast
and the Great Ocean Road
are all readily accessible
on sealed roads.
A plaque on the southern side of the Memorial Square commemorates
two historic speeches given on consecutive nights in Colac,
beginning on September 5th 1914 with the then Federal opposition
leader, Andrew Fisher
, and followed
the next night by Prime Minister Joseph
. The two speeches declared Australia's commitment to
follow Britain into World War I
Fisher declaring "Australia will stand by the mother country to our
last man and our last shilling" and Cook's famous reiteration that
"If the old country is at war, so are we."
In the Summer of 2008-2009, Lake Colac completely dried up. Due to
high rainfall in August and September 2009, the lake is somewhat
restored to its former condition.
The local railway
is served by V/Line
services on the Warrnambool line
town is also located on the Princes
Colac is the home of the annual "Cliff Young Australian 6-day
". The event has been going for over 20 years and is a
running/walking event. It is held on the Memorial Square which is
right in the Heart of Colac and attracts entries from all over the
With a wealth of natural resources, such as agriculture and timber,
Colac has a strong manufacturing background, with major local
employers including Bulla Dairy
, CRF Colac Otway
Pty Ltd, Fonterra
Cororooke, and AKD Softwoods.
While historically the region supported numerous successful
brickworks, nowadays the major primary industries are agriculture
such as the dairying, beef, lamb and finewool merino
Colac has its own newspaper, The Colac Herald, published on
Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. Colac is serviced by a number of
local radio stations: 3CS
1134AM, MIXX FM 106.3
MHz, and Otway FM 104.7 MHz& 99.1MHz.
digital & analogue terrestrial television services are received
via UHF from Ballarat Lookout Hill, in addition to the Ballarat
service, a local repeater on nearby Warrion Hill
provides an alternative source of ABC & SBS located on VHF / UHF
FM radio services direct from Melbourne can be received in Colac
but signal levels are low. Television services direct from
Melbourne can be received in Colac but large antenna arrays must be
used with mixed results.
Colac is serviced by Austar
Television delivered by DTH satellite transmission, via Optus
C1 Ku Band Satellite located at 156E.
Colac has two Australian Rules
football teams competing in the Colac & District
,Colac Imperials and South Colac, and a team
(Colac Tigers) competing in the Geelong Football League
Colac has a horse
, the Colac Turf Club, which schedules around four
race meetings a year including the Colac Cup meeting in February.
It also has a picnic horse racing
, Colac St Patrick Picnic, which holds its one race meeting
a year in March.
Golfers play at the Colac Golf Club on Colac - Lavers Hill Road,
Colac also has a swimming club which trains swimmers and has
athletes competing at Region, State and national
Colac also has a baseball club, the Colac Braves,a team which
competes in the Geelong Baseball Association winter competition and
the Pan Pacicific Masters Games on the Gold Coast. The Colac Braves
also have a Junior Baseball League for children aged 5 to 15.