Pirron Yallock is a small township about 17 km west of Colac on the Princes Highway (A1). The name is derived from the aboriginal word for 'little water' or 'creek'. Perin Alleck Border Police Station was located here in the 1840s on Richardson and Scott's station.
The Reserve is located in Lake Pirron Yallock and consists of a number of small islands supporting scrub, reeds, tussock grasses and eucalypts. Although the drought of 2006-7 has lowered water levels and hindered their activity, the islands which are formed of peat, actually move about on the water surface, believed to be propelled either by wind power or fluctuations in the underlying water temperature.
The reserve is home to koalas and some 16 species of waterbirds which can be observed along the walking track to the Lake leading from the carpark. A nature walk map is available from the Colac Information Centre.
The Floating Islands Flora and Fauna Reserve photographed in November 2007. Drought has taken its toll, the lake has pretty much dried out so the islands have nothing to float on. Additionally the walking track is neglected and overgrown. There is a carpark on the Princes Highway but little signage to indicate where the walking track is.
When the land in the area of Hawks Nest Road was surveyed the plan set out a grid of straight roads, but as settlers tried to negotiate the difficult terrain the tracks that developed twisted and turned between the lava ridges and hollows. Whereas other roads were later straightened with the aid of modern earth moving equipment and others tracks disappeared altogether, Hawks Nest Road has survived, still with the irregular profile of an early farm track.
The road runs through a farming landscape that has changed little since it was originally subdivided as small dairy farms in the 1860s. Alongside the road are several simple buildings from the era including a former creamery and the primary school that was attended by Richard McGarvie, who later became Governor of Victoria. In places there are extensive views across farmland with cattle sheds and stockyards and well-preserved dry stone walls are visible from the road. Views from the road are of a constantly changing panorama across an almost intact nineteenth century farming landscape scattered with trees and patches of woodland.
Vegetation alongside the road includes significant remnants of the open woodland
that once covered much of the Western District.
Hawks Nest Road leaves the north side of the Princes Highway (A1) a short distance west of Pirron Yallock and rejoins it near Pomborneit. In many places the road is very narrow with a rough, unpredictable surface and should be driven with great caution.