Cape Clear is a rural village on the Scarsdale-Lismore Road, 33 km south-west of Ballarat. It is thought that it was named after Cape Clear, Ireland, from where a local miner or miners had emigrated.
Cape Clear was near the southern limit of the Woady Yaloak gold diggings, generally in the direction of the Woady Yaloak River, south from Smythesdale and Linton. Mining began in 1863, lapsed, and revived in the 1890s when gold was found further south at Pitfield Plains. A school was opened in 1865.
In 1903 Cape Clear was described in the Australian handbook:
There are numerous mullock heaps between Cape Clear and Pitfield Plains, where mining ended by 1920.
There are two sites on the Register of the National Estate: Glenfine homestead (1873), and an unusual private cemetery at the Naringal property, established in 1841 by William Rowe when he took up the pastoral run.
Cape Clear has a hotel, a store, a hall and a primary school (11 pupils, 2014). Its census populations have been:
J.G. Roberts, Cape Clear, Smythesdale, 2003