Our Environment

Located in Victoria’s south-west, the Colac Otway Shire is diverse and beautiful, with volcanic lakes, craters and plains in the north; hinterland forests of the Otway Ranges running through the centre; and the Great Ocean Road coastline in the south. The lush rainforest and internationally recognised waterways and Great Ocean Road coastline all make Colac Otway Shire a place people want to live, work and visit. The region is widely regarded as one of the most picturesque municipalities in Victoria.

Colac is the key industrial, commercial and service centre for the shire and is situated on the southern shoreline of Lake Colac, on the Princes Highway, 138 km south-west of Melbourne. Apollo Bay is the other major urban centre in the shire.

A large proportion of the shire is National Park, containing some of the most significant environmental assets found in Australia.  Some of these include: Lake Colac, Lake Corangamite Nature Reserve, Colac Bird Reserve and sanctuary, Red Rock Reserve and the Great Ocean Road. For more information on these environmental reserves, including what facilities are available for visitors, please visit Council’s Parks and Recreation page.

Environmental diversity within the shire

Bioregions reflect natural boundaries and relationships between biodiversity assets and natural resources. There are four bioregions in the shire:

• Victorian Volcanic Plain

• Warrnambool Plain

• Otway Plain

• Otway Ranges.