Situated within the third largest volcanic plain on earth, the Western District has plenty to offer those wanting a volcanic rock fix! Shaping much of South West Victoria’s landscape; the volcanic features include stony rises, old lava flows, numerous volcanic cones and old eruption points that together create quite the unique visual landscape that we see today.
Penshurst Volcanoes Discovery Centre
Feed the hunger for knowledge and discovery at the Penshurst Volcanoes Discovery Centre. The passionate volunteers will take you on a journey to the centre of the western volcanic province with displays, videos and interactive activities for visitors to explore.
Penshurst’s very own resident volcano Mt Rouse is responsible for the rocky landscapes surrounding Penshurst and as far as Port Fairy. Explore the crater-lake that sits at its base and discover the many plant and wildlife species that call the crater home. Take your time and enjoy the view from the summit. Here you will enjoy a 360degree view taking in the dominate landscape of the Grampians mountain ranges and the western district volcanic plains.
Mount Napier is the youngest volcano in the state of Victoria, last erupting only 30,000 years ago creating what we have today. This State Park is located in the Kanawinka province and is best experienced from Harman’s Valley.
Harman’s Valley Lookout
Situated along the Hamilton-Port Fairy Road and only a mere 8km from the Byaduk Caves (the most extensive set of lava caves in Australia), Harman’s Valley is the ideal rest stop when discovering the world’s third largest volcanic plain. This Valley showcases one of the most significant examples of lava flow, constricted by a valley, in the world. With a number of information boards at the location, you will find yourself discovering even more interesting facts about the area and the other volcanic features that arose from the Mt Napier eruption.
See how landscapes have been manipulated by lava flow at two iconic waterfalls in Victoria’s South West. Fed by the Wannon River, Nigretta Falls is a multi-channel segmented cascade of water, guided by patterns in the rhyolitic volcanic rock. See the red toned rocks up close and personal after following the staircase to the bottom or take it all in from above at the viewing platform. With Wannon Falls only 10km away why wouldn’t you visit both? Watch on as water plummets over the hardened basalt lava that forms the waterfalls edge as it encompass its 30-metre cliff face.
Hungry for more? Stop by the Hamilton and Grampians Visitor Information Centre where you can collect an abundance of volcanic feature handouts all dedicated to the Kanawinka region, Australia’s most extensive volcanic province.