30 November 2020
Warrnambool's Best Beachesby BETHANY LEWIS
After the world slowed down in 2020, visitors are now seeking slower and deeper travel experiences. Did you know there are over 20 beach adventures waiting for you in and around Warrnambool? Here we’ve listed them from east to west, so next time you visit Warrnambool we invite you to stay a little longer and go a little deeper.
Before you travel, remember:
● always swim between the red and yellow flags
● never to swim alone
● stay behind the barriers at all times
● Maintain social distance
● Take your rubbish with you
1. Murnanes Bay
25 minutes drive from Warrnambool along the Great Ocean Road, this local favourite features limestone stacks protruding from the water. Here you can have the iconic Twelve Apostle experience from the shore free from the crowds. The waves are wild here so swimming is not advised but it is a brilliant place for a beach walk or a photo.
2. Childers Cove
Nestled just around the corner from Murnane's Bay is Childers Coves. Words can not do this place justice. From the top of the cliff the view is breathtaking and if you follow the stairs to the sand you will experience a whole new world of calm. This protected cove is a lovely spot to dip the toes.
3. Magic Rock
Like the name suggests this place is magical. The Great Ocean Road is famous for its rock formations but have you ever seen one like this? Magic Rock is a tilted top heavy rock that doesn’t look like it should be able to stand, but stand it does. The whole landscape of this area is breathtaking and worth a visit, particularly at sunset!
4. Lake Gillear
Known by locals simply as Lake Gillear, this stretch of coastal cliff face is more accurately named the Bay of Islands Coastal Reserve. The entrance to this wonderland is found just past Lake Gillear. It’s not a place for swimming but it’s the perfect place for breathtaking views, photography and walks - if you like going off the beaten track.
5. Logans Beach
A favourite spot for Southern Right Whales in Winter and experienced surfers. The purpose built whale viewing platform is the perfect place to take in the views, watch a whale or the surfers catching big waves. If you fancy a challenging walk on soft sand, descend the stairs. The beach feels endless, if you walk to the east for long enough you might discover the secret caves.
6. Blue Hole or “The Dog Beach”
The eastern edge of Hopkins River mouth is marked by the Blue Hole car park, you can either follow the path to the beach to witness the wild waves and walk your way to the whale nursery, or, follow the river. This section of river is known as the dog beach, our 4 legged friends roam on or off leash all year round, splashing in the calm shallow waters of the Hopkins River or digging in the golden sand. Humans can swim here too.
7. Moyjil/Point Ritchie
The western edge of the Hopkins River mouth is called Point Richie, but Moyjil is its traditional Gundijimara name. From the car park and lookout the view is breathtaking, take the stairs to the sand to marvel at the ancient rock formations. But tread carefully this is sacred land.
8. Granny’s Grave
Getting its ominous name from the gravestone monument erected in the dunes (you’ll have to read the plaque for the full story). Atop the hill at Granny’s Grave you can enjoy one of the most breathtaking views in towns. This section of beach is also a top spot for experienced surfers.
9. The Flume
A favourite spot for intermediate surfers and a great spot to stop on the foreshore boardwalk to enjoy the view. Why not grab yourself a ‘Flume Doom’ Tshirt from the local surf shop to remember your visit.
10. Main Beach
The safest place to swim is between the red and yellow flags at the Warrnambool Main Beach. Here the waves are fun, there are no rocks and there’s plenty of room for everyone. It’s close to everything, toilets, showers, parking, cafe, kiosk and Lake Pertobe.
11. McGennans Beach
Tucked away between the Beach Kiosk and the Breakwater, this sheltered section of surf is a favourite for beginner surfers, boogie boarders, body surfing and swimming. The waves are kind but still fun, there are no rocks and loads of parking!
12. Worm Bay
Just west of McGennans Beach, Worm Bay is home to the baby waves. It’s perfect for young families or those who want to have a gentle splash. Again, no rocks here and ample parking that you can access behind the skatepark.
13. Breakwater and Jetty
This area is a Fisherman’s paradise and it makes for a gorgeous photo too. On the eastern side of the mighty breakwater the water laps calmly with no breaking waves, the water is extremely salty here so swimming is not ideal but that doesn’t stop some from jumping off the jetty when there are no fisherman around. Arrive at sunrise and you’ll catch the racehorses early morning swim.
14. Stingray Bay
Snug between Viaduct Road and Middle Island is Stingray Bay, a go-to sunset location. Between the wall of rocks and large limestone islands this beach can feel quite protected and safe but there are dangers if you wade too far towards the islands, so please take care here.
15. Merri River Mouth
The Merri River mouth meets Stingray Bay, the water in this channel is shallow and calm, the bridge above also creates some lovely shade on sunny days. This is a great spot to supervise little ones as they look for tadpoles, splash and swim.
16. Pickering Point
Often overshadowed by its popular neighbour Thunder Point, Pickering Point boasts stunning views of Stingray Bay and Warrnambool. It’s also the access point to one of Warrnambool’s most stunning cliff top boardwalks. The boardwalk will lead you to stairs that meet the sand, on low tide the rock pools and caves found at the foot of the stairs are a magical place to explore, especially with kids in tow.
17. Thunder Point
A powerful name for a powerful place, Thunder Point is an absolute must visit. From the carpark or lookout enjoy 180 degree views of the wild southern ocean. If you want to explore off the beaten track look no further than Thunder Point Coastal Reserve, enter the walking track from the car park and follow your feet. You will also find an impressive mountain bike track nestled in the shrubs.
18. Shelly Beach
Many locals are still just discovering the beauty of this hidden beach. A 2km-ish walk from the Thunder Point car park along the Mahogany Trail. Along the dirt track the landscape changes dramatically, you will lose sight of the ocean at times and when it reveals itself again it’s a truly magical experience. Enjoy the deserted island vibes of this untapped wonder and remember to tread carefully, steering clear of cliff edges that are not as stable as they appear.
19. Levy’s Beach
Moderate fitness is suggested for this beach adventure. The hike to the sand from Levy's car park is, well, a hike. When you do find the ocean it’s a steep climb down the sand dunes to the shore, the steepness seems only to increase on the returning incline. Don’t let it deter you, this untouched beauty is well worth the effort.
20. Killarney Beach
Follow the Princes Highway for 20 minutes through rolling green pastures toward Port Fairy, turn left at the Antique Shop and follow your nose to Killarney Beach. This hidden gem is breathtaking. The large volcanic rocks that decorate the edges of the turquoise bay, keep the water a little bit warmer than other swimming spots. It’s also an ideal place for fishing.
So there you have it, 20 beach adventures waiting for you in Warrnambool. To plan and book your trip head to visitwarrnambool.com.au
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