Also spellt as 'Stoney' Rises. This is the area to the southeast, south and southwest of Lake Corangamite, distinguished by the vast number of basalt rocks covering the landscape as a result of volcanic activity as recently as possibly 5,000 years ago.
Because of the difficulty of clearing the land and the often undulating topography, some parts of the Stony Rises are still much as they were before white settlement.
An early romantic vision of the Stony Rises by Eugene Von Guérard, painted in 1857.
From the collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
The volcanic activity of the Western District shaped a landscape of plains covered with basalt rocks. The land needed clearing so it was logical to put the rocks to good use. As a consequence the most impressive network of dry stone walls in Australia was constructed, and many are still intact today. Although there is evidence they were being built as early as the late 1840s, most appeared after the Gold Rush and the introduction of the rabbit.
Dry stone walling is a highly skilled craft passed on through the generations.