The Batesford countryside is generally flat to undulating with good soil, suitable for small-farm agriculture. Orchards and vineyards were planted, and the Moorabool Valley had over twenty Swiss vignerons until the phylloxera disease devastated the industry in the 1870s.
During 1858-62 Batesford was the site of major bridge works. The road bridge was replaced with a five-span structure, considered to be one of the finest of its kind. A larger railway bridge costing over one million pounds, with nine basalt piers, was built a short distance upstream. During construction a temporary township of Moorabool housed the workforce. Nothing remains of it, although it is now recorded as a rural locality. During this time Batesford had its peak population.
Batesford has five structures on the Register of the National Estate: the inn, Laurence Park, the five-span bridge and the Innisfail and Lynnburn homesteads (1850s). Other buildings, including the Presbyterian church (1857), add to the built landscape. The river valley has market gardens, and the area has become suitable for rural and residential living, with close proximity to Geelong, The Idyll vineyard is at Moorabool.