Pop. 31,000 , Location: 270 kilometres west of Melbourne
Few places can boast such a beautiful location as Warrnambool. Nestled into the rising contour of the coast amid green dairying countryside, the city overlooks the deep blue of the Southern Ocean. The only city on the rugged Shipwreck Coast, Warrnambool has had a long and colourful history linked with the sea. Today much of this history is on show at the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village. With original buildings, lighthouse and a recreated port complete with ships, the museum provides a fascinating insight into the nineteenth century life of the city. There are many shipwreck relics on display including the famous porcelain peacock washed up from the tragic wreck of the Loch Ard in 1878.
Warrnambool is known as Victoria’s southern right whale nursery – these giants return to Logans Beach every June to September and can often be seen just 100 metres off the shore.
Located on the wide sweep of Lady Bay, the city has marvellous beaches that attract crowds during warmer months. In the cooler parts of the year, the beach is a great place to stroll with interesting coastal features, including Pickering Point, Thunder Point and Point Ritchie around the mouths of the Merri and Hopkins rivers. Explore numerous coastal reserves and walking tracks with secluded beaches and rocky points, penguin colonies, and some good places for fishing and bird watching. Nearby Lake Pertobe adventure playground and park is a favourite place for fun and relaxation opposite the main beach.
The city has a thriving arts and events scene, excellent restaurants serving the best of the freshest local produce and a relaxed café scene, most evident at the bottom end of Liebig Street.
THINGS TO DO :
~ Visit Logans Beach whale nursery to see giant southern right whales and their calves (usually June – September)
~ Sail back in time at Flagstaff Hill, the re-created nineteenth century port Experience "Shipwrecked", the stunning sound and laser show at Flagstaff Hill Follow the Shipwreck Trail and discover the treacherous history of the coastline between Moonlight Head and Nelson
~ Go fishing – surf, river and estuary
~ Enjoy a swim at Lady Bay beach
~ Unravel the mystery of the Mahogany Ship
~ Enjoy a walk, bike ride or skate along the beachfront promenade
~ Take time out for fun at the 86 acre Lake Pertobe adventure playground
~ Delight in the colour and perfume of the Botanic or Fletcher Jones gardens
~ Discover Warrnambool Art Gallery
~ Join the café culture for great food, coffee and wine
~ View abundant native wildlife at the Tower Hill State Game Reserve.
MAJOR EVENTS :
Speedway Sprintcar Classic – January
Wunta Wine and Food Fiesta – February
Acme Field Days, Allansford – February
Easter Sprintcar Spectacular – April
Warrnambool Racing Carnival, including Grand Annual Steeplechase – May
Southern right whales arrive, Logans Beach – June
Fun 4 Kids Festival – June–July
Southern right whales and calves leave Logans Beach for Antarctica – September
Warrnambool Agricultural Show – October
Carols by Candlelight – December
Directions: Warrnambool is located 270 kilometres west of Melbourne. Travel by car via the Princes Highway or Great Ocean Road. Daily rail or coach services are available from Melbourne