Shorter walks that are great for little explorersby LEAH TATTI
Follow your local guide Leah Tatti as she shares some of your favourite places to explore with her young family.
Breakwater to Surf Club
Park at the Breakwater car park at the end of Pertobe Road. You could stroll out along the upper or lower levels of the Breakwater wall, viewing the spectacular Southern Ocean on your right and the tranquil waters of Lady Bay on your left.
On your way back, make your way toward the beach and onto the sealed promenade. You may wish to leave the promenade from time to time to enjoy the sand or wade on the waters edge. Once you reach the surf club, turn left and cross over Pertobe Road at the traffic lights to the Adventure Playground. To return to your car, either re-trace your steps or walk up tree-lined Pertobe Road to the Breakwater car park.
Granny’s Grave to the Flume (weaving in-and-out of sand dunes)
Park at Grannys Grave beach carpark on Hopkins Point Road. Head in along the footpath, just up ahead you’ll see a sign for Flume beach and a beach shower. Just before the shower, look to your right and you’ll see the start of a trail amongst the shrubs. It’s worth mentioning here that you could also begin this trail from Flume Beach car park (track starts adjacent to the train line at the top of the carpark hill), or make a loop of it, going or coming back along the beach or footpath.
This walk is approx. 1km long – one way. It provides a beautiful wide path, plenty of room for little people to roam and explore and offers a welcomed dash of solitude if you’re looking to avoid the more travelled footpath. As usual in Warrnambool, there are stunning views to appreciate, looking all the way to the Breakwater.
At the end of the trail is a gate with a small opening at one end. You will end up at the top of Flume Beach carpark. Heading down into the carpark will again take you to the beach footpath, following the path left will take you back to Grannys Grave. Following the path right will take you to Lake Pertobe and importantly, to coffee – with The Beach Kiosk, Simon’s and The Pavillion all close by.
Thunder Point to Shelly Beach
The Shelly Beach walk is the perfect way to get your ocean fix along a beautiful boardwalk. The path is plenty wide most of the way, gravel underfoot and with just one or two small inclines. Along the way there is the occasional seat if weary little legs need a rest stop.
After a short walk in, veering to the left, is a lookout spot marked by 2 white timber posts leaning against each other in an A-Frame. For some, this shorter distance may be far enough to stretch the legs, admire the scenery and get your exercise fix, especially for those with very young children who are insistent on walking.
For those who continue on, Shelly Beach isn’t too far away. During the walk, at times you’re surrounded by the coastal shrubs with only the sound of the ocean hinting that it’s over your shoulder. At other times you’re looking out on breathtaking coastline, rolling, breaking waves and a horizon that reminds you how small we really are.
Closer towards the beach the path does narrow, a pram or bike trailer would likely struggle or be unable to cruise through these sections. However, anyone with a bike with a child seat attached would be able to enjoy the ride all the way to Shelly Beach.
Whilst the initial landing area of Shelly Beach is more of a rocky ledge than a sandy shore, there are enough little spaces that will provide sensory experiences for eager little hands and feet. Families with older children make their way down to the shore littered with tiny shells, exploring closer to the water’s edge.