Terang began as a simple slab hut erected on the eastern edge of Lake Terang in 1840 by Donald McNicol, an employee of Niel Black of the nearby Glenormiston run. The settlement which followed became the town of Terang. The first European settlers found abundant fish, bird and animal life at the lake. Lake Terang disappeared over time and was eventually drained and is now home to a host of recreational facilities.
Terang grew slowly, dependant on the fortunes of the grazing country it served. By 1887 the railway from Melbourne had arrived, connecting through to Warrnambool 2 years later. The original station was completed in 1889.
Terang boasts a large number of notable historic homesteads, however most are privately owned such as Keayang and Dalvui.
Princes Highway passes through Terang along a broad, oak-lined boulevard landmarked at the Melbourne end by the distinctive Post Office built in 1902. At the western end of High Street stands the impressive Gothic-style Thomson Memorial Church built in 1894.
Nearby, Noorat is the birthplace of author Alan Marshall of I Can Jump Puddles
fame, which recounts his childhood in the town. Mount Noorat is Australia’s largest dry volcanic crater, and this perfect crater is unique in the southern hemisphere.