Baronga Motor Inn is on the Princes Highway and only two minutes’ walk from Colac’s CBD – making it a great stepping off point for exploring the Otways, the Great Ocean Road, and the Lakes & Craters country.
We’re ideally located for exploring Ballarat to the north, Camperdown and Warrnambool to the west, Geelong to the east, and the Great Ocean Road and Otways to the south.
Colac is a great starting point for day trips down to Lorne and the Great Ocean Road, the Twelve Apostles, the Otways’ famous walks and waterfalls, the Otway Fly, Apollo Bay and Cape Otway Lightstation.
Colac is a friendly, small country city which prides itself on its large number of independent retailers.
The town is set on picturesque Lake Colac, Victoria’s largest natural freshwater lake, which is part of an impressive series of young volcanic lakes and craters. The shores of Lake Colac are just a few minutes’ walk from Baronga Motor Inn. Watch flotillas of pelicans glide in to land on the lake, spoonbills scouring the lake bed for nourishment, and black swans cruising the waters.
Adjacent to the lake is Colac’s 150-year-old Botanic Gardens, which can be enjoyed on foot or from your car.
Colac also boasts one of Victoria’s oldest golf clubs, which is set on a hill overlooking Lake Colac. The club is open to non-members.
Country race meetings are held regularly throughout the year at Colac Turf Club, with the biggest race day of the year on the Saturday prior to Christmas.
It’s worth taking a short drive to Red Rock scenic look-out where you can enjoy 360 degree views of the volcanic plains and see the 30,000ha Lake Corangamite.
Two of Victoria’s best-loved resort towns, Lorne and Apollo Bay, are Great Ocean Road meccas for those who enjoy surfing, swimming, shopping, people-watching and dining out. They are both within one hour’s drive of Baronga Motor Inn.
Icons of the Great Ocean Road, the amazing Twelve Apostles stand in the powerful waters of the Southern Ocean with the dramatic backdrop of sea-cliffs sculpted by weather and relentless waves.
Plunging waterfalls amid peaceful cool, temperate rainforests are a highlight of any trip to the Otways. Some of the best known waterfalls are Stevenson Falls near Forrest, and Beauchamp, Hopetoun and Triplet Falls near Beech Forest. About 45 minutes’ drive from Baronga Motor Inn.
The latter three waterfalls are all in close proximity to the Otway Fly, the tree-top walk, which is the longest structure of its kind in the world. A 45m high stairway ascends through the understorey of Myrtle Beech, Blackwoods and Mountain Ash to emerge among the crowns of these giants of the forest. The climb and views are breathtaking.
Melba Gully, just off the Great Ocean Road near Lavers Hill, is called “the jewel of the Otways”, for its pristine beauty. Melba Gully is one of the wettest places in Victoria, with an annual rainfall of more than 2000mm. The gully is a dense rainforest of Myrtle Beech, Blackwoods and towering tree ferns. There is an understorey of low ferns and mosses which at night are lit up by glow-worms.
The Otways are a walker’s paradise. Apart from short-walks to waterfalls and scenic viewpoints there is also the Old Beechy Rail Trail, which starts in Colac and ends at Ferguson. This 50km walk follows the path of the fabled Beechy Line railway which carried timber and dairy products from as far as Lavers Hill to Colac in the days before reliable roads made it to the Otways.
The Great Ocean Walk, on Victoria’s spectacular Great Ocean Road coastline, stretches 100km west from Apollo Bay to just 1.5km short of the Twelve Apostles. The world-class walk passes through Great Otway National Park and overlooks the Marine National Park and sanctuary. It was designed so walkers could step on and step off the trail at a number of places, completing short, day or overnight hikes.
Lake Elizabeth, near Forrest, is also popular with bushwalkers. A loop walk track encircles the lake, which is home to platypus and many bird species. Just 35 minutes’ drive from Colac, Forrest is also a mecca for mountain bike riders. There are 16 trails designed around the village which showcase the district’s natural beauty – traversing towering eucalyptus forests, heathy scrub and ferny gullies. The trails were built for real mountain bikers with some catering for beginners.
The picturesque heritage town of Birregurra, which dates to the 1860s, is only a 20 minute drive from Baronga Motor Inn and is a favourite with people looking for a ‘country experience’. Known as the town of churches, Birregurra is home to local gourmet produce, cafés, restaurants, antiques, galleries, giftware and a heritage walk.
For information on the above listed locations and attractions, or to find out more about what this plentiful region has to offer – contact the Colac Visitor Information Centre (03 5231 3730) on the corner of Murray and Queen Streets, Colac. The VIC is just a couple of minutes’ walk from the Baronga Motor Inn.