Pyrenees Shire was formed on 20 January 1995 by the amalgamation of nearly all of three shires west of Ballarat and Maryborough. The shires were Avoca, Lexton and Ripon (centred on Beaufort). Several of the townships, Avoca, Beaufort, Redbank and Snake Valley, were active gold mining centres in previous generations. The shire’s area is 3432 sq km.
Avoca is about 10 km east of the Pyrenees Range, part of the scattered elements of the Dividing Range which end with the Grampians.