With this 4 day, 3 night suggested itinerary you’re in for a whale of a time in the city by the sea.
Duration: 2 hours
Optional: 11.30am tour (complementary with ticket)
Bookings Required: Day & Night pass to Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum and Village*
Price for Day and Night Package: Adult $45.65
Start your time in town by talking to the locals at the Visitor Information Centre. As a staff member finds your tickets for the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum and Village, marvel at the foreshore view from the balcony and take a ‘first stop’ photo.
Flagstaff Hill was built around the 1858 state heritage listed Warrnambool Lighthouse and is now home to Australia’s richest collection of shipwreck artefacts from some of the 200 ships known to have been wrecked along this coast. You’ll transport yourself back to the 1800s and experience the viewpoints of passengers making the journey to Australia by boat, wonder how a lighthouse keeper and his gaggle of children lived in such a small home, and question how the Loch Ard Peacock statue, now valued at $4.5 million, was able to make it through a shipwreck unscathed.
The precinct with its stone buildings, gorgeous gardens and pretty little walks creates a romantic aesthetic to immerse yourselves in, allowing feelings of relaxation, wanderlust and a little romance to set in from the get-go.
Note: This itinerary includes the Day and Night package at Flagstaff Hill, which is recommended to be booked at least 2 weeks in advance due to sound and light show popularity. However, if the sound and light show does not appeal, regular day tickets can be purchased at the time of visit at the front desk. Bookings can be made via www.flagstaffhill.com
Fishtales — 63 Liebig Street
A local favourite with one of the biggest all day menus you’ve ever seen, this eclectic and vibrant cafe serves food from across the globe. Dine in or takeaway – head back to Flagstaff Hill to eat lunch with a view. Walk-ins accepted. Bookings recommended during busy periods.
Lake Pertobe — Pertobe Road, Warrnambool
Duration: 45 minutes
Drive down ‘the Cutting’ and you’ll find yourself with caravan parks, beach parking and picnic areas on your left and the much-loved Lake Pertobe wetland and Adventure Playground on the right. Stroll along the paths and cross the bridges for a self-guided tour of the wetlands, keeping a close eye out for wildlife. For those keeping their inner child at bay, let it burst out and have a go on the playgrounds, you’re on a holiday after all.
Further information: Pick up a free ‘Birds of Lake Pertobe’ guide from the Visitor Information Centre
Walk from surf club to Granny’s grave — 76 Pertobe Road
Duration: 1 hour (4km)
Take in the ocean as you stroll along the promenade from the Warrnambool Surf Club to Granny’s Grave and back. Park at the Warrnambool Surf Carpark and find your way to the boardwalk. Take in the afternoon beach-goers and enjoy your views of the water as it dips in and out of the sand dune foliage.
You’ll find the headstone of ‘Granny’ at the top of a hill, which commemorates Agnes Ruttleton, the first European woman buried in the area in 1848. It’s no wonder the monument was established there when you see the view it is privy to.
If you’re keen for a quick dip before checking in to your accommodation, the surf club beach is Warrnambool’s main swimming destination.
Alternative Activity: To truly stretch your legs, hire a bike and cycle the foreshore. Run by local cyclist Luke Pretlove and his family, Cafe Cycles is a bike themed cafe and bike store located in Liebig Street. Hire a bike, and explore the foreshore to Granny’s grave and beyond.
Deep Blue Hotel and Hot Springs — Worm Bay Road, Warrnambool
The Deep Blue Hotel and Hot Springs is surrounded by expansive ocean views that will have you instantly relaxing and ready for your rejuvenation experience. It provides the perfect setting to enjoy your getaway.
Grape & Barley — 150 Timor Street, Warrnambool
Experience a variety of high class local, domestic and international wines conveniently located in Warrnambool’s CBD. Relatively new to town, but already considered an asset, this locally owned and operated businesses is the perfect place to unwind.
Dart & Marlin — 218 Timor Street, Warrnambool
Local craft beers, fine wine, and delicious cocktails are the specialties at The Dart & Marlin. The historic 19th century stone building is complete with a fireplace, courtyard, dining room, and
function space providing the perfect backdrop to your next night out. Bookings are recommended to avoid disappointment.
Bohemia Cafe — 127 Kepler Street, Warrnambool
Bohemia Cafe & Bar is a restaurant that has a reputation for having an amazing breakfast and lunch menu. It has a warm and inviting vibe and is a favourite restaurant for many locals. Their team of chefs pride themselves on presenting seasonal food that not only looks great, but tastes amazing. Walk-ins only. Menu changes seasonally.
Childers Cove — 608 Childers Cove Road, Mepunga
Duration of self-drive and exploring: 2 hours
This place is an unknown gem. Whilst not on most bucket lists, Childers Cove, Murnanes Beach and Sandy Cove should be near the top of yours.
The cruisy 25 minute drive leads you to 3 beautiful coves with large seas and surf, sandstone stacks and colourful sandstone and limestone cliffs, with Childers Cove being the main attraction. A photographer’s playground, walking on these beaches is one of those rare experiences of solitude mixed with awe at the forces of nature.
Not overly popular with families due to the at times big surf, stairs and soft sand, you’ll likely only find yourself amongst the company of only a few others, who will also be awed by the cliffs, coves and coloured water.
Bonus Activity: Take advantage of new local business Mako Ocean Adventures operated by former fisherman Mat Pettit, runs boat tours of the Middle Island area and out to Childers Cove. The Childers cove trip has 6 stops along the way before an express run home. For that adventure feeling and to see the coastline from a perspective so little have, give Mat a call on 0438 481 886.
Childers Cove & Sandy Bay Tour – Cost $80
Duration: 1.5 hours
Great Ocean Road Cheese Factory (Monday — Friday 11am-3pm) — 5330 Great Ocean Road, Allansford
Duration: 1-2 hours
After a morning of adventures, it’s time to sit down and enjoy each other’s company. Heading back in the direction of Warrnambool, you’ll pass through the suburb of Allansford, home to the famous Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory. Only recently reopened due to covid-19 restrictions, locals and tourists alike have missed this treasured place. The cafe’s provides an exciting range of classic brunch and lunch dishes. Walk off your food high by browsing the cellar and expand your mind at the free Dairy History Museum.
Kermond’s Burgers — 151 Lava Street, Warrnambool
Started in a caravan in 1949 and now located in the heart of Warrnambool over 70 years on, it is still a popular choice for your traditional hamburger. Everything is done by hand and burgers are made to order in any combination you desire. Limited seating due to it being a takeaway shop.
Logans Beach — Logans Beach Road, Warrnambool
Duration: 30 — 60 minutes
Take in your surrounds as you enjoy the scenic route from Cheese World to Logan’s Beach, taking Hopkins Point Rd instead of the highway. Prepare yourself for one of the most stunning views Warrnambool has to offer.
Logans Beach is a surfer’s paradise all year long and a playground for Southern Right Whales between May and October. Whales migrate annually from Antarctic waters to the warmer, sheltered waters of Logans Beach to calve, making the beach internationally significant and protected. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting during whale season, we recommend rugging up and bringing some patience, as while these creatures are giant, they also run on their own schedules!
Whale watching tip: If your goal is to see whales, it is best to visit early in the itinerary, as if there are no sightings, you can return each day for a look. We recommend visiting the platform for approximately 30 minutes.
Logans Beach is a stunning backdrop and very picturesque even without whales in the foreground. The platform allows for ample views down both coastlines, and you’ll feel all your worries fly away with the wind. True to mother nature’s nature, the colour of the water and surf conditions can change drastically from day to day, so if you ever have a spare moment, it will never be wasted here.
Moyjil / Point Ritchie — Point Ritchie Road, Warrnambool
Duration: 45 minutes
Just a 3 minute drive from Logans Beach is the Hopkins River Mouth area, home to the ‘Blue Hole’ and the rocky headland known by the local indigenous Gunditjmara people as ‘Moyjil’. You’ll feel a sense of significance at this site, as for thousands of years, Indigenous people visited this area to
gather food from the river and ocean to feed their families. It is a place of great connection – take the time to slow down and breathe in the salty air.
HOT TIP — remove your shoes and savour the feeling of bare feet on sand.
Bonus Activity: As you travel back towards the CBD, make sure you take Flaxman St to see Gutsy the Wombat, a chalk drawing by Jimmi Buscombe made famous when his sneaky neighbour put a clear-seal over the top preventing Jimmi from washing it off! Jimmi is now a beloved local that has several street art pieces around town. Watch the video about how Gusty the Wombat came to exist here (we promise you’ll have a laugh).
Foreshore Explore — Viaduct Road, Warrnambool
Duration: 35 – 45 minutes
A choose your own adventure experience, after parking at the Breakwater Precinct decide if you’d rather go on a hand-in-hand walk along the Warrnambool Breakwater, look around the white domes that, fun fact, once were aquariums, or exploring the Stingray Bay area. A popular spot for wedding photos, the Bay is home to the mouth of the Merri River, and provides an excellent view of Middle Island, home to the famous little penguins and Maremma dogs. This little island put Warrnambool on the world stage when the movie Oddball was created, starring Shane Jacobson!
If you’re fancying a dip, Worm Bay (located next to the breakwater) and the left hand side of Sting Ray Bay are also popular swimming locations for those preferring less waves and calmer waters.
Seasonal Bonus Activity: Middle Island Project information sessions are often run during the school holidays.
Pickering Point Boardwalk
Duration: 45 — 60 minutes
For a view that will take your breath away, the cliff top boardwalk is your next destination. Marvel at the might or calmness of the Southern Ocean as you feel the salty air brush through your hair. If the timing is right, the ocean will reveal a fascinating expanse of rock pools home to many little underwater species and glistening seaweeds. The ‘boom’ you hear in the distance is the waves as they crash into Thunder Point, your next place of wonder if you choose to keep following the path.
Optional Activity: For those keen for an extra walk take the Shelly Beach gravel path leading from Thunder Point. This will take you to some extra lookouts, providing views further down the coastline, and to Shelly Beach. Sit and watch the rugged waves clash against each other as they meet the shoreline, and explore the myriad of shells left along the beach. An additional 40 minute return walk.
Wet weather alternatives: Did you know there’s a running joke that Warrnambool can experience 4 seasons in one day? If the rain catches you, drive along the above route and see the beaches and river mouth from the car, alternatively accessing Thunder Point carpark via Stanley & MacDonald Street. Whilst a car view is never as surreal as in-person exploring, it is still a highlight and not to be missed. After all, this drive loop is a favourite among locals!
Pippies by The Bay — 91 Merri Street, Warrnambool
Delight your senses by sitting on the balcony and breathing in the fresh sea air while treating yourself to a glass of wine with lunch or dinner. Pippies by the Bay caters for all tastes and budgets with a seasonal menu which includes fresh local seafood.
Bundy’s Bar & Bites — 67 Liebig Street, Warrnambool
Let the legendary Bundy cook for you! A mouth-watering menu including a variety of pub classics to speciality Sri Lankan meals, an evening at Bundy’s will be memorable. Bookings recommended but walk-ins accepted.
Flagstaff Hill Sound & Light Show — 89 Merri Street, Warrnambool
Duration: 1.5 hours
Booking: Day & night package ticket continued*
As part of your day and night pass to Flagstaff Hill, it is time to enjoy the sound and light show Tales of the Shipwreck Coast. Immerse yourself in the stories of our volcanic plains, the whaling industry and the famous Loch Ard shipwreck. You’ll leave the show with a sense of wonder, appreciation and knowledge of why our coastline gave itself a reputation that inspired fear and trepidation among mariners and passengers.
*Please note that the time of the Sound & Light show varies each month as it is dependent on the time of sunset, as the show projectors require darkness in order for images to be seen.
Pavilion Cafe & Bar — 50 Viaduct Road, Warrnambool
The Pavilion Cafe and Bar is a roomy and modern building with floor to ceiling windows and a beach view balcony, overlooking Warrnambool’s main beach, Lady Bay, Merri Island and Middle Island. The Pavilion Cafe and Bar specialises in global and contemporary cuisine offering breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea. All cakes and pastries are made on premise and the coffee is excellent.
Bonus Activity: Watching the racehorses along the beach
Take advantage of the Pavilion’s balcony and beach front access to revel at the race-horses working out along the beach and enjoying the reward of swimming in the cool waters, which happens right in front of you!
Tower Hill — 725 Princes Highway, Tower Hill
Duration: 2.5 hours (includes 15 minute drive to and from location)
Optional Tour: 10.00am and 1.00pm — Adults $60.00
Time to be transported to the bush as you delve into the crater at the Tower Hill wildlife reserve, an extinct volcano formed some 30,000 years ago. You’ll have the incredible opportunity to get close to koalas, emus, kangaroos and birds as they roam freely.
As Victoria’s first national park, it’s no wonder the magnificent scenery will continue to wow you, and you’ll have a laugh as the cheeky emus go from picnic table to table looking for someone’s lunch to steal. Climb the crater walk for stunning panoramic views or get closer to the lake from the boardwalk.
The reserve is free entry, but if you are interested in a more in depth experience, there are various ticketed tours that run throughout the day. Explore your bush tour options here towerhill.org.au
Tip: After lunch stop by the local IGA supermarket and pick up some Worn Gundidj Tower Hill inspired Bush tucker wattle seed ice-cream for a delicious treat.
Browns Depot Bakery — 106 Koroit Street, Warrnambool
Your next location is a stunning picnic area, so grab a light lunch from Brown’s to takeaway. A family run bakery where everything is made on site, select from a range of pastries, breads, sugary snacks or the quality sandwich bar. Be wary though, you’ll have to fight the locals to the front of the line!
Hopkins Falls — Hopkins Falls Road, Cudgee
Duration: 1.5 hours (includes 15 minute drive to and from location)
Heading inland, prepare yourself for a stunning sight. 90 metres wide and plunging 12 metres over dark basalt rocks, the curtain-like Hopkins Falls is the perfect destination for a romantic picnic and road-trip feeling. Enjoy the views from various levels and make sure to take a photo or two — this waterfall is very photogenic. Unpack your lunch in the picnic area and enjoy the soundscape of rushing water as you gaze across the lush farmland.
Deep Blue Hot Springs — Worm Bay Road, Warrnambool
Duration: Session times vary from 1.5 — 3 hours depending on time of day
Price: From $33 – $57 depending on session time
In case all of your worries haven’t drifted away yet, it’s time to float away, hand-in-hand at the award-winning Deep Blue Hotel and Hot Springs sanctuary. Harnessing natural geothermal water, let your mind wander to a therapeutic state while your body absorbs the health restoring minerals, salts and heat of the natural earth. With 15 geothermal pools to explore, you’ll experience bliss and the sense of adventure simultaneously.
For couples seeking a more intimate experience, Deep Blue offers twilight sessions where strictly no children are allowed entry. (For couples preferring this option, please take this afternoon as an opportunity to sit down and rest, or leisurely explore the town).
Proudfoots by the River — 2 Simpson Street, Warrnambool
Situated in a historic boathouse on the banks of the majestic Hopkins River, Proudfoots By The River offers Warrnambool’s only on-the-water dining experience. Take in the picturesque views while you enjoy a meal in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
Something (more) Casual:
Bojangles — 61 Liebig Street, Warrnambool
A much-loved Italian dining and takeaway destination with a mouth-watering a la carte menu. From traditional and gourmet pizzas, tender meals, delicious entrees and an infamous ‘Death by Chocolate’ desert, this is an intimate experience for couples. Locals love looking at the angel paintings on the walls!
Bonus Activity: There’s not much better than dinner and a show! Take advantage of the myriad of shows, productions and musicians that pass through the Lighthouse Theatre, located at the bottom end of Liebig Street in the CBD.
Fresh Markets — Pertobe Road, Warrnambool
If you’re lucky enough to visit Warrnambool on the 1st or 3rd Sunday of the month, you’re in for a treat at the Fresh Market in Lake Pertobe. You’ll find breakfast and probably lunch amongst the many vendors and food trucks, as well as local creators, artisans and designers selling many products that will catch your eye. Grab yourself some fresh produce to go.
In the alternative weeks of the month, rise and take a leisurely stroll down Liebig St, letting your eyes and nose direct you to your place of indulgence. Warrnambool is home to many family run cafes and restaurants that are all someone’s ‘favourite’ or ‘go-to’ place. You’ll be surrounded by other visitors and locals doing the same, as Sunday mornings in Warrnambool are a treasured time.
Walk around town
Warrnambool’s CBD has a range of local shops, boutiques and chain stores, so you’re sure to find something unique. Whilst there are car parks spanning across the CBD area, we’d recommend parking along Liebig Street and explore the CBD via walking, that way you won’t miss a thing.
For those with specific cultural interests, here’s a couple of options:
The Street Art Trail is an exciting experience for all, with many of Warrnambool’s alleyways, nooks and crannies now hubs of gorgeous, colourful creations. Ask a local to take a photo of the two of you, we guarantee it’ll be picture-frame worthy! For those who like a plan, the Warrnambool Visitor Information Centre has a map showing where each bit of artwork is located. You’ll have to head out of the CBD to find everything, and if you have the desire and time, it’s highly recommended.
Warrnambool is home to many historic buildings and the CBD provides a cluster of sites which can be appreciated as you dally through the city streets. Pick up a hardcopy map at the Warrnambool Visitor Information Centre or download the electronic copy here. The old post office is especially charming and very popular for wedding photos.
Fish & Chips
There’s plenty of fish and chip shops around town, all salty and delicious. Depending on where in town you are, ask a local for their recommendation and directions to the closest one (there’s a few in the CBD alone!). We recommend taking your parcel and finding a spot with a view.
Fletcher Jones Gardens & Markets — 83 Flaxman Street, Warrnambool
Duration: 1.5 hours
Walk through a piece of significant Warrnambool history as you visit the old Fletcher Jones clothing factory, now home to a beloved market and an in-the-process-of-being-built Motor Museum. Whilst the gardens here are beautiful, they hold a greater story, being built to increase employee satisfaction and engagement back in the mid-1900s.
Explore the stalls as you wait for something to catch your eye amongst the antiques, clothing, decor, handmade crafts and locally made products. This is an especially good activity if rain decides to make an appearance!
Warrnambool Visitor Information Centre (Optional) — 83 Merri Street, Warrnambool
If you’re a sentimental person and would like your own treasure to take home with you, the Warrnambool Visitor Information Centre stocks a large range of both classic and classy Warrnambool and Great Ocean Road memorabilia. Those after something Australian-made, rest
assured there will be something unique and of quality waiting to be found. Feel free to ask the staff for suggestions, they are well versed in what goes flying off the shelves.
Now’s the time we say thank you for stopping by and exploring our beautiful part of the world. If you’re wanting to make a road trip out of the drive home, ask a staff member at the Warrnambool Visitor Information Centre for their recommendations on tourist attractions and good rest stops to stretch the legs. It’s essential to break up your trip with some rest stops, you want to make it home safe and as relaxed as when you left Warrnambool.
Remember, Warrnambool is seasonal and there’s always a new experience… so we’ll see you again soon, right?
Explore everything about a region by selecting a location.
Sign up to get the latest deals, tours & events along the Great Ocean Road
Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.