Tom Ballard's Favourite Places in Warrnambool


Australian comedian and presenter Tom Ballard, grew up in Warrnambool. He's co-hosted the triple j breakfast show, has taken his live stand up across the globe, and is the host of  'Tonightly with Tom Ballard' on ABC Comedy. Join Tom as he guides you through his hometown favourites.  

The Botanic Gardens

If you love natural splendour, rotundas and giraffe/swing hybrids, then these are the gardens for you. They’re so beautiful and well maintained, I think the city is really lucky to have them. I have a lot of very happy memories of seeing outdoor theatre here, being enchanted by those massive trees and harassing ducks.

The perfect place for a picnic or to learn about the natural world or to steal free food from a wedding. 


Day Kitty

Lovely staff, really great coffee and delicious food. I always try to make it along here when I’m in town and feel sophisticated and healthy and smug.


The Breakwater

Nothing makes me feel more at home than walking along the Breakwater and looking out across the bay and watching the waves crash on the rocks below. Sure, it’s technically a poorly designed concrete eyesore that resulted in environmentally destructive silting, but it’s ours, y’know?

On a good day you’ll have a lovely chat with a fisherman and maybe even see an adorable seal. For free!


The Dart & Marlin

I’ve only recently been along to this very cool bar to drink nice wine and scoff down some pizza and I loved it. It’s so cosy and welcoming and the beer battered cauliflower was perfect. PLUS it has a cool basement performance space that you get to by PULLING BACK A BOOKCASE LIKE IN THE COOLEST OF SPY MOVIES. 

Down there I’m told they host great musos and even the occasional comedy night (I am yet to attend or perform there but I look forward to going and heckling a lot). 


Lighthouse Theatre

I was always thankful that I grew up in a town with a theatre like this (known as the Performing Arts Centre back in my day) because of my crippling need of attention and affirmation from strangers. I got to perform countless of times on this stage across musicals and plays and Eisteddfods and looked on from the audience at everyone from Franciscus Henri to Ross Noble. It has a very special place in my heart and is still host to fantastic performances, both local and touring.



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