Red Rock is a dormant volcano near Alvie in western Victoria which offers spectacular views of lakes, craters and dramatic landforms that are the result of volcanic action over thousands of years. It is believed to be a younger volcano than others nearby such as Tower Hill near Warrnambool, Lake Purrumbete near Camperdown, and Mt Elephant at Derrinallum. The views from the lookout are breathtaking: craters, lakes, hills and folds that rise dramatically out of the earth, and a patchwork of farms that thrive on the rich volcanic soil.It’s no wonder they call this “Lakes and Craters Country”.
On Coragulac Hill near the peak of Red Rock, is the War Memorial for Alvie and Dreeite servicemen who fought “for God, King and Country” as stated on the stone memorial. As I stood and read the names, I was very aware of the fact that it was exactly 100 years ago that some of these men were fighting and dying for our freedom. I spent two minutes in silence and finished with “Lest We Forget”. It just seemed like the right thing to do.
A path along the foreshore and up to the rotunda contains bricks engraved with dedications and messages from local people. This was definitely my favourite.
The artwork is in the shape the footpad of the Tachyglossus, a now-extinct relative of the echidna. It includes totems of the local Gulidjan/Kolacgnat tribe as well as a boomerang, a gum tree leaf and an outline of Red Rock, a dormant volcano visible on the other side of the lake. It is surrounded by native grasses and plants, and a stone wall that represents British settlement.
In the early Autumn, the Hopkins River meanders lazily through the beautiful farmlands of western Victoria, gurgling and spilling gently over these rocks and falls near Cudgee, just north of Warrnambool. The water level is so low that some parts of the stream are cut off, forming rock pools in the river bed above the falls. Cows graze along the banks and drink from the cool, fresh stream.
When the river is high and fast, the falls are turbulent and powerful, and the stream below is far too deep and unsafe for cows to graze so close to its banks.
The no-through road runs along the eastern ridge of the northern end of Devils Gully. You can see right across the gully to the farms, feedmills and the road to Warrnambool on the other side. Walking down the road, the gully opens up to afford views of patchworked farm paddocks and the trees that line fences and laneways. Old farm buildings and an abandoned house add authentic rustic character to the scenery.
The Stony Rises are found between Camperdown, Pirron Yallock and Cobden in Victoria’s Western District.
The fields are full of volcanic rock, a testament to the fact that the dormant volcanoes in the area were once far more active than they are now. Ever since settlement, local farmers have used these rocks to create stone walls that divide their farms into paddocks. While some have fallen into disrepair, others are still maintained and used today.
Lake Purrumbete is one of the volcanic crater lakes near Camperdown and Cobden in the Western District of Victoria. It is well known among those who love to fish, but many other people have never heard of it.
Moorhens are common in western Victoria, nesting on the edges of lakes and farm damns.
The Lake Edge Cafe is on the western shore of the lake. It offers lunches and a range of delicious home-made cakes, tea and coffee, cool drinks, and is licenced to serve wine and beer. There’s plenty of parking, and whether you sit inside or out on the deck, you get a great view of the beautiful lake and surrounding scenery.