Lake Bolac

Overview

Our township takes its name from a scenic 1460 ha freshwater lake situated south of the Glenelg Highway only 200km west of Melbourne in the beautiful Western District of Victoria, Australia Ideal for boating, sailing, windsurfing, swimming, and camping, the Lake is also popular for fishing, offering eels, trout, redfin and yellow belly.

Our town is dotted with historical sites. A heritage walk provides an interesting narrative of the town's past.

Information and Business Centre

We offer:

Community Bank - 2pm-5pm Weekdays
Centrelink Access Point and Medicare Easyclaim facility
Photocopying, colour printing, scanning, binding, laminating, shredding
Burn CDs & DVDs. Print digital photos and save on disk
Public Access Computers - broadband internet coming soon
Tourist Information and Historical Displays
Local arts, crafts, music, and books for sale
Furnished Office and Board Room for hire

Open

10.00am 5.00pm Weekdays
10.00am 4.00pm Weekends

Address - 2110 Glenelg Highway PO Box 12 Lake Bolac 3351
Website - www.lakebolac.com.au
Email - lbibc@bigpond.com
Phone (03) 5350 2204
Fax 03) 5350 2214

History

"Now to Then” – a brief history Information supplied by The Lake Bolac & District Historical Society. Aborigines have lived in the Lake Bolac district since “time immemorial”. The local tribe was known as the Bulugbara [pronounced Boolucburrer] and they called the freshwater lake, “Boloke”. Lake Boloke was a magnificent meeting place during the eeling season, when upwards of one thousand aborigines would gather to feast on the eels.

The 1860’s and ‘70’s saw much development within the township, with the construction of the hotel, two [2] stores, blacksmith shop, school, both Catholic and Presbyterian churches, and a number of private dwellings. Most of these buildings were constructed from locally quarried bluestone, and most are still in present day use. These buildings are a fine example of the skill of the stonemasons of the day.

Lake Bolac continued to grow in significance as a service centre for the surrounding farming community, and by the end of the century a Post Office and Hall had been built. The year 1903 saw the subdivision of the remaining 22 000 acres of Lake Bolac Station and this resulted in an influx of new farmers to the district. A further sale of the township blocks took place around this time, and this resulted in the first development on the eastern side of Montgomery Street.

The early part of the 1900’s saw a National Bank and Bank of New South Wales open, and in addition, a butcher shop, bakery, fruit and lolly shop, and saddlery were constructed in Montgomery Street. World War I saw many Lake Bolac residents “answer the call”, with eight [8] paying the supreme sacrifice. Following the war,Soldier Settlement Farms were created by the subdivision of large stations such as Narrapumelap. Fourteen [14] servicemen were settled south of Lake Bolac, working under harsh conditions.

A new Hall was built in 1922 as a memorial to World War I soldiers.With the advent of World War II, a Flax Mill was constructed at Lake Bolac to produce war products such as canvas.Land Army Women, and later immigrant workers were employed at the mill to work alongside local residents. The Millbegan operation in 1942, and Lake Bolac became renowned for its’ flax production, the highest quality in the State.The Mill closed in 1959.“Water” came to Lake Bolac [from the Grampians] in 1970, and the township was connected to the system, giving a regular supply for the first time.

In 1957, a Higher Elementary School opened to cater for the growing number of school aged children, following on from the establishment of soldier settlement estates in the district for World War II veterans.The High School was constructed near the Lake, and became a P-12 College in 1998, when the Primary and Secondary Colleges amalgamated.Lake Bolac residents enjoy sport. Horse racing, hare coursing, and rifle shooting were contested in the early days. Football was first played in 1875, tennis in 1896, and golf in 1917. These sports have been based at a number of locations over the years, including the old recreation reserve near the salt lakes.The current recreation complex was opened in 1980, and is now “home” to all sports.

The Lake has also been a wonderful source of recreation for the local residents who number approximately two hundred and fifty [250] and visitors alike. Activities conducted from its’ shores have included band recitals, picnics, power boat carnivals, yachting regattas, and fishing competitions.The Lake has even provided the basis of a commercial eel operation.Today Lake Bolac is known as the “Home of Aquatic Sports”, with thousands camping on its’ shores each year.Tourism continues to grow in significance to the economy of the township, balanced with farming as the main industry of the district.

Books about Lake Bolac

“Legends of the Lake the Pioneer Histories of Eight Lake Bolac Families” Edited by Karen McIntyre. Published by the Lake Bolac and District Historical Society in 1999.

“After the Boolucburrers” by Mary Green 1966 Available from the Historical Society

“People of the Plains, Two hundred years of history of the Knight, Jowles, Veale and Hunt families of Lake Bolac, Victoria and Taranaki, New Zealand” by Margaret Miller 1983.