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The fertile soil has rendered it a highly productive agricultural, pastoral and dairying district noted for its onions, potatoes, cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep and milk products.Evidence of the area's long-established prosperity is evident in a number of fine colonial homesteads which still exist in a district known as the lakes area.The first European in the area was pastoralist Hugh Murray who disembarked at Geelong in 1837 with his sheep and horses and other pastoralists who headed west together.Thomas Austin stopped at what is now Winchelsea while Murray continued west, settling adjacent Barongarook Creek on the southern shore of Lake Colac later in 1837.Colac (including Birregurra, Gellibrand and Forrest) Small rural service centre with good access to the Great Ocean Road.Colac is a commercial and civic service centre of about 14 500 people located at the eastern edge of the world's third-largest volcanic plain which is scattered with craters and cones.He later moved to Geelong where he built 'Morongo' which has long been a girls' school.

'It was a scene of surpassing beauty and rural loveliness...The settlement at Colac, one of the earlier townships in the Port Phillip district, emerged around a coaching inn which was established in 1844 at the southern end of the lake (at what is now the corner of Hesse and Murray Streets).The site was surveyed in 1844 and small plots of land were made available the following year when a general store and blacksmith's were established.It is 148 km west of Melbourne on the Princes Highway, at an elevation of 134 metres.Prior to European settlement the area was occupied by the Kolijon or Coladjin Aborigines and the town's name is thought either to derive from this tribal name or from a Kolijon word.

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