A small Hamilton Highway town, Lismore lies just a few kilometres from the northernmost lakes in the Colac Lakes system. There are more than 50 lakes in the chain that spreads across the huge sweep of volcanic plains to the north of Colac.
The largest lake, Corangamite, is three times saltier than the ocean and only a species of minnows which have an extreme tolerance to salt can survive in its waters. Lake Corangamite’s Vaughan Island is a privately-owned sanctuary and pelican breeding ground.
In contrast, Lake Tooliorook, which is just 9km south-west of Lismore, is a popular fishing and aquatic playground which also supports a wide variety of waterfowl.
Lismore, which is 28km west of Cressy, is equidistant from Geelong and Warnambool. Ask the locals for directions to one of Australia's few remaining private chapels to the south of the township. The bluestone kirk was built in 1867 by pioneer settler Adam Swanston Robertson from his memories of the Gothic Revival chapels in his native Scotland. Roberston and his workers worshipped in the small church.