Colac is situated between Geelong and Camperdown on a huge rich volcanic plain. The area is mainly used for agricultural and pastoral purposes, and is surrounded by many large lakes and volcanic craters.
Colac's busy commercial centre is primarily based around Murray Street. It features a few buildings of historical significance including the post office (built in 1876), shire hall (1879) and the former Regent Theatre (1925).
Fronting Murray Street within the heart of Colac is Memorial Square. This block of parkland has been dedicated to those who served in the First World War and features a striking stone memorial, fountain, rotunda, playground, BBQ facilities and expanses of lawn.
Colac fronts the southern shores of Lake Colac - the largest natural freshwater lake in Victoria. This lake is popular with swimmers and boating enthusiasts, and includes a number of foreshore walking trails, jetties and boat ramps. There is a bird reserve in the wetlands off The Esplanade which attracts a diverse range of bird life to the lake. Located on the lake foreshore is the Tachyglossus mosaic which was developed by local artists and the community and represents local indigenous flora and fauna and symbols of the region.
The Colac Botanic Gardens are perched on an elevated 16 hectare allotment above the lake and were established in 1910. The gardens contain many historical trees, shady picnic areas, a playground and cafe. From the gardens, scenic views across Lake Colac can be enjoyed.
A short drive north-west of Colac, via the villages of Cororooke and Coragulac, is the Red Rock Scenic Reserve. A couple of lookouts provide views over the Red Rock extinct volcano and Lake Corangamite which is Victoria's largest inland lake. There are also good views south-east across farming land towards Lake Colac.