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South West Victoria

A path beside Lake Colac in Colac in South West Victoria


  • Agriculture
  • Food processing
  • Forestry
  • Tourism
  • Health
A waterfront view of Geelong in South West Victoria


  • Health and allied health
  • Advanced mining
  • Social and community services
  • Tourism and hospitality
  • Education and research
  • Agriculture
A view of the Hamilton township in South West Victoria


  • Agriculture
  • Mineral sands
  • Forestry
  • Health
  • Horticulture and viticulture
At view of the foreshore in Portland in South West Victoria


  • Manufacturing
  • Timber
  • Fishing and aquaculture
  • Agriculture
  • Horticulture and viticulture
The beachfront at Warrnambool in South West Victoria


  • Dairy processing
  • Meat processing
  • Education
  • Tourism
  • Retail

Hover over a major town to see employment opportunities. Select a major town to be taken to a webpage with more information.

Living and Working in South West Victoria

If your occupation features on our Occupation Lists, you may be eligible to apply for Victorian Government nomination for a Skilled Migration visa and migrate to South West Victoria.

The Twelve Apostles in South West Victoria

Victoria’s South West region

The South West’s economic strengths include agriculture (wool, cattle), forestry, horticulture, automotive, aluminium smelting and tourism. Stunning places to visit include:

  • the Otway Ranges temperate rainforest, with a 25 metre high tree-top walk
  • the Great Ocean Road - the famous road following the coast to the South Australian border

The region is home to some of Australia’s leading schools and university campuses.

Major towns in South West Victoria

Major Towns Population Key facts Major industries and employers



Located on the banks of Lake Colac, Colac is a bustling hub, servicing towns and villages across the region. The area is rich in natural wonders, including one of the largest volcanic plains in the world and the spectacular Otway ranges.

From its beginnings as a commercial centre for the region, Colac is a transport and service hub for agriculture, food processing and forestry.

As a gateway to the Otways, tourism is also important.

Drysdale-Clifton Springs


Located on the stunning Bellarine Peninsula, these twin towns are located close to the facilities of Geelong and dozens of beautiful local beaches.

Geelong provides the main employment for Drysdale-Clifton Springs residents.



Geelong is Victoria’s second largest city with easy access to Melbourne by car and express trains (45 minutes).Geelong has education facilities among the best of any Australian city, with prestigious schools, TAFE and university campuses.

Geelong’s diverse manufacturing and processing sector includes:

  • food
  • automotive (manufacturing design and research),
  • textiles
  • metal products (aluminium), petroleum
  • cement,
  • chemicals
  • timber
  • engineering.

Health, education and tourism are also major activities in Geelong.



Often called the ‘wool capital of the world’, Hamilton is a pleasant city located in Victoria’s Western District. The city is notable for its grand buildings, majestic homesteads and fine landscaped gardens.

In addition to wool production, agricultural activities include beef cattle, a variety of crops, including canola, wheat and barley, horticulture and timber.

Manufacturing, particularly mineral sands, and health are key activities.



Within easy reach of Melbourne, Geelong and Ballarat, Lara is notable for its spectacular views of the You Yangs granite peaks. It offers relaxed country living with good access to city facilities.

Geelong, Melbourne and Ballarat provide the main employment for Lara residents.



Leopold is the gateway to Victoria's historic and scenic Bellarine Peninsula. Built on a hill, Leopold offers magnificent views of Lake Conneware and easy access to local beaches.

Geelong provides the main employment for Leopold residents.

Ocean Grove - Barwon Heads


Both are thriving holiday resorts near the mouth of the Barwon river.

Ocean Grove is the largest town on the Bellarine Peninsula, enjoying the whole range of river and ocean activities.

Geelong provides the main employment for Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads residents.



Portland has the only deepwater port between Melbourne and Adelaide and is a major export centre for the region’s produce as well as an important fishing port.

Portland was Victoria’s first permanent European settlement.

Portland is one of South West Victoria’s most important commercial and industrial hubs and a major export point. Key industries include manufacturing, timber, fishing aquaculture, agriculture, horticultureviticulture.



Home to the world famous Bell's Beach, Torquay is a focal point for all things related to surfing. The town offers a relaxed, coastal lifestyle a short distance from all the facilities available in Geelong.

Torquay is the centre for tourism and hospitality based on the surf coast and a world recognised leader in the surf and lifestyle technologies.



Warrnambool is one of Victoria’s major dairy farming centres and the largest coastal city outside Port Phillip Bay.Warrnambool’s rugged ‘Shipwreck Coast’ is also a migration path and nursery for giant southern right whales.

As well as a developing tourist industry, Warrnambool’s economy is based on:

  • a major retail and business centre.
  • primary production and food processing
  • quality education facilities from pre-school to university
  • community, health and governance services
  • manufacturing.