10 REASONS TO VISIT WARRNAMBOOL THIS WINTERby I AM WARRNAMBOOL
1. Whale Watching
From May to September, our winter is a whale’s summer, and the giants of the deep journey from the Antarctic for their annual babymoon, breeding, birthing and raising their calves in our backyard. The Whale Trail through Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Portland, also known as the ‘whale corridor’, is one of the only places in the world where whales breed within 100 metres of the shore. Southern Right, Humpback, Blue and the occasional Orca, like to slap, spyhop and tail throw their way back to this stretch of coast year after year. Logans Beach Whale Nursery in Warrnambool, is one of the only places in the world where you can watch Southern Right mothers and calves frolic just 200m from the shore.
2. Hopkins Falls
The largest and most picturesque falls on the Hopkins River, Hopkins Falls are set against lush dairy country. The falls are among Victoria's widest at an impressive 90 metres with excellent views to be had at either the viewing platform or at the foot of the falls. They make an ideal picnic, fishing and walking spot, with gas BBQs and toilets provided. Best viewed in winter or after heavy rainfall, they falls are not without their charms in the warmer months.
3. Flagstaff Hill by Day
By day, Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village is a maritime village and museum is the best way to understand the history of the Shipwreck Coast. Flagstaff Hill is the holder of Victoria's largest maritime and shipwreck collection, its feature pieces are the $4 million Loch Ard Peacock, a priceless relic from the wreck Loch Ard that in 1878 was lost at the now famous Loch Ard Gorge. It offers guided tours once daily, and a Conexu guided tour application for Iphone or Android phones. The village set on 10 acres boosts over 40 buildings, brought to life by the volunteer characters in costume. You’ll swear you’ve stepped back in time.
4. Flagstaff Hill by Night
Nightly on dusk, Tales of the Shipwreck Coast takes you on a journey through the ages. Experience three epic true stories told through light projections onto a nine-metre water wall. From local creation stories of the Gunditjmara people, to our colourful whaling past, then to the most notorious Shipwreck on the Great Ocean Road, the wreck of the Loch Ard. Don’t just learn about the history, experience it.
5. Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve
Just ten minutes from Warrnambool, you will discover the naturally diverse offering of the exquisite Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve. The ideal place for visitors to experience the Australian bush, enjoy magnificent scenery and landscapes. Get up close and personal with some of Australia's most iconic native birds and animals including emus, koalas, kangaroos, echidnas, wedge-tail eagles and other native animals. Tower Hill also hold many culturally significant artefacts of the traditional owners. Join a tour to learn more about Aborignal culture, bush tucker or even how to throw a boomerang!
6. Deep Blue Geothermal Pools
The Deep Blue Hotel and Hot Springs is your place to relax, rejuvenate and replenish. Victoria’s first hot springs hotel nurtures your holiday aspirations with over 80 guest rooms, ocean view suites and four penthouse apartments with magnificent ocean vistas. Take to the waters at the bath house, immerse yourself in the naturally therapeutic geothermal mineral water with health restoring minerals, salts and heat. Indulge with a relaxation massage and organic skin and body spa therapies. Replenish at the Deep Blue Dining and Bar with a full buffet or a-la-carte breakfast and in the evening, dine on fresh, organic, locally sourced produce and sumptuous seafood.
7. Childers Cove
At the western end of the 12 Apostles coastline is a small cluster of accessible beaches including Childers Cove, Murnanes Beach and Sandy Cove. Even when the most popular sightseeing spots are very busy these hidden treasures are often virtually deserted. Part of the reason is that the road to Childers Cove is not prominently marked. About 15 kms west of the Bay of Islands viewing area on The Great Ocean Road is the turn off onto Childers Cove Road. It is a narrow sealed road for a further 6 or 7 kms to the group of coves and beaches. The only traffic on Childers Cove Road is an occasional farm vehicle. The road is through open farmland so quite an easy drive.
8. Thunder Point
Thunder Point is probably the best place in Warrnambool to watch the sunset. Located just off MacDonald Street, this is the place to enjoy some of the best coastal views in the area. The carpark faces the ocean, so if the weather is chilly you can still enjoy the vista without leaving your car, though the best views are had on the viewing platform. At the far end of the carpark is a trail which leads to Shelly and Levys Beaches with their myriad rockpools, rocky outcrops and sandy beaches laced with glistening crushed shells.
It’s about a one kilometre walk from the Thunder Point carpark with a few hills and sometimes uneven terrain, so is not suitable for anyone with limited mobility. Much like Childers Cove, these beaches attract far fewer visitors than their beauty deserves, and that forms part of their appeal.
9. Horses at Worm Bay
Racehorses galloping and swimming at the Warrnambool beach have been part of the morning vista for decades. From 8am most mornings you can behold the equine spectacle even on the chilliest days. Warm up at the nearby Pavilion Cafe and Bar where you can take in the view with a warm coffee in hand - starting the day the Warrnambool way.
10. Great Ocean Road Day Trips
Perfectly situation, Warrnambool an ideal hub for day trips. Set up camp in the biggest and only city of the Great Ocean Road, and enjoy any number of short drives to iconic sightseeing locations. Take your pick: Port Fairy a leisurely 20 minutes drive, or in the other direction London Bridge is 45 minutes, the famed 12 Apostles is 55 minutes, the Otway Rainforest is 2 hours, Erskine Falls at 2 hours and The Cape Otway Lightstation can be found in 2 hours and 20minutes. Even the Grampians or Budj Bim National Park can be reached in just over an hour. The scenery on the wide open road, whether it’s rolling green pastures with cows to boot or the sight of wild southern ocean is breathtaking and definately worth the ride.