Red Rock Reserve climb

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The Red Rock Reserve is located 17 km north-west of Colac.  It is a major Volcano site which has seen many violent volcanic eruptions that have resulted in the craters and lakes found in the area.  Around 40 ‘eruption centres’ have been identified in and around the township of Alvie, near Colac.  Some of these eruptions helped to form some of the biggest lakes in the area such as Lake Purdiguluc, Lake Werowrap and Lake Coragulac.  Red Rock Reserve itself is made up of several large Maar craters, and a very popular tourist attraction.

The Red Rock Reserve was named after the distinctive outcrop of volcanic ash, and this reserve offers the choice of two very scenic climbs.  Both offer impressive views of the surrounding areas, volcanic craters and lakes that the region is renowned for.

Start of the climb: corner of Red Rock Road Reserve and Corangamite Lake Road (Alvie).

Both climbs are the same distance and start from the same spot.  Given they’re so short you should try to drop down and do both climbs in the one ride.    Whichever climb you choose, they both have gradients which hit double-figures and are a lot harder than the average gradient suggests.  Both climbs offer amazing views, including Lake Coragnamite which is the largest permanent salt water lake in Australia with a surface area of 25,160 hectares and lake Colac which is just as impressive with a surface area of 2,778 hectares and a circumference of 33 km.  The views of the surrounding areas are just as impressive.

This is a climb which is perfect to go and watch either a sunrise or sunset.

Climb 1 (Western lookout)

Distance: 1.1 km
Average gradient: 3%

Click here for link to the Strava segment.

This is the most popular and easiest of the two lookouts.  There is a short and sharp pinch leading up to the turn-off for the Soldier memorial.  Followed by a 400 meter flattened out section.  The last 300 meters is quite brutal leading up to the lookout car park.   There are impressive views from the car park, and a set of stairs leads to a secondary lookout where you can take in 360 degree views of the surrounding area.

Climb 2 (Soldier memorial)

Distance: 1.1 km
Average gradient: 4%

Click here for link to the Strava segment.

This is the harder of the two climbs with the steepest gradients and little respite in-between.  The turnoff for the soldier memorial is 850 meters to the left of the climb where you will find the gradient going well into the double figures and a real grind.  This climb offers much more spectacular 360 degree views of the surrounding areas.  The Soldier’s memorial signifies the end of the climb.  As you can see in the photo above the road continues onto a second lookout.  There is less than 50 meters of climbing to get up to that lookout and you will feel every single meter of it.  That last pinch is brutal.

Red Rock Reserve climb

  • Offers incredible views (photos are a must)
  • Last erupted 8,000 years ago
  • Use extreme caution if climbing on a windy day
  • Soldiers memorial (south lookout)
  • For the wine lovers, Red Rock Winery is located at the base of the climb


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