Tower Hill, just to the west of Warrnambool, is one of the most fascinating geological formations in Victoria. It has an important place in local Aboriginal history and it teems with wildlife.
Tower Hill is an enormous volcanic crater rimmed by beds of volcanic ash. The swampy floor of the crater is punctuated by conical hills which, after good rains, virtually become islands surrounded by a shallow lake. The inside of the crater, and the island-hills are now a wildlife reserve and there are substantial populations of native birds and wildlife. It's easy to see koalas, kangaroos, emus and much more.
When you think of winter holiday destinations, you don’t automatically think of the beach do you? Well in Victoria, many people do, and the reason is to welcome home some VIW’s (very important whales) from their long migration up from the colder antarctic waters.
Middle Island is located just off the Warrnambool foreshore and has a unique tale to tell.
Home to a colony of Little Penguins for many years in early 2005, a sharp decline in numbers was noted and it is believed at this time only 10 Little Penguins remained. Due to the close proximity of the island to the shore with the shifting sands over the years foxes began making their way to the island at low tide and devastated the Little Penguin colony.
The official opening of the Port Fairy to Warrnambool Railway line took place on 25 February 1890. The last train came in September 1977. Railway Place was the site of the Station, The Goods Shed and the Station Master’s Cottage both of the latter still remain.
The Warrnambool - Port Fairy Rail Trail is a continuous 37.32km walking/cycling pathway which meanders through a highly scenic, diverse and relaxed part of south-west Victoria. Encompassing historical, agricultural, Indigenous and nature-based themes, it is a 'must do’ for anyone visiting the region.
In the 1880s, the Port of Warrnambool handled more cargo than the Port of Melbourne and was a thriving deep sea port. In 1874, a plan was approved by Government to provide protection to shipping by constructing a breakwater utilising huge concrete blocks weighing 32 tons each.
The blocks were transported to the breakwater site by a specially built railway line, and construction was not completed until 1890.
Rich in volcanic soil and river flow, Warrnambool provides refuge for plenty of the regions native flora and fauna. Exploring outside of the famed national parks will often uncover hidden gems away from the crowds.
Pick your own adventure and walk, bike or drive to some of the local parks, gardens and rivers. Don't forget the picnic basket and rug.
The Thunder Point walk is an outstanding walk alongside the coast and coastal wetlands, with great views of the Merri River estuary, and a rocky shoreline. From the Breakwater, walk towards the river and the white sands of tiny Stingray Bay at the river mouth. During low tide, this sheltered area is ideal for a swim or a picnic.
A footbridge takes you across the river to Thunder Point Coastal Reserve with its weathered sandstone cliffs and rockpools. The walk continues to Pickering Point and Shelly Beach.