LOCAL ATTRACTIONS

Local Attractions

Explore Local Attractions

THE GREAT OCEAN ROAD

Take a short drive from Warrnambool to one of the world’s most rugged and spectacular coastlines. Sights include The Twelve Apostles, Gibson’s Steps, London Bridge, Loch Ard Gorge, The Arch, The Grotto, The Blowhole, The Bay of Martyrs and The Bay of Islands. No wonder this dramatic coastline caused 180 ships to come to grief and is consequently now known as The Shipwreck Coast. Walkways and steps have been erected for your comfort and safety in order to provide you with easy access to each breathtaking view. Photographic opportunities abound. This coastline is equally stunning whether it is visited on a sparkling, sunny, summer’s day or on a wild, windy winter’s day. Exploring the delights of this coastline from Gibsons Steps to The Bay of Islands can take many happy and enjoyable hours.
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SOUTHERN RIGHT WHALE NURSERY
View these huge, wild Southern Right Whales in their natural habitat at Logans Beach, in Warrnambool, where they return every winter to give birth to their young in peace and safety. It is truly a situation to be treasured, protected, appreciated and enjoyed. They remain with us for approximately 3-4 months from June to September before returning to the Antarctic when the baby whales are old enough and strong enough to survive the colder waters. A very large, tiered viewing platform with disabled access has been erected on top of the sand dunes at Logans Beach to enable whale-watchers to more easily observe the habits and antics of the whales. Seating has also been built into this structure. The whales are easily seen with the naked eye but, naturally, can be studied more closely with binoculars. Cameras with standard telephoto lens can provide good photographs.
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LAKE PERTOBE
Spend a happy family afternoon at Lake Pertobe Adventure Playground. It is a spacious wonderland of lakes, ducks, paddle-boats, slides, swings, flying foxes, a maze, barbeques, islands, quaint little bridges, rides and more – right by the foreshore. Kick the footy, play some cricket, let the children run free and use up some of their abundant energy while you relax in the sunshine. You may enjoy a pleasant stroll around the lake while observing the birdlife or simply chill out on a park bench and watch the world go by. Switch off. Leave your cares behind.
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SWIMMING AND SURF BEACHES
Splash in the shallows or swim and surf in the waves at Warrnambool’s beaches. Our Lady Bay beach offers protected swimming as well as the opportunity to enjoy surfing, yachting and windsurfing. Surf lifesavers patrol the beach in the summer. Beyond the Breakwater at the mouth of the Merri River is Stingray Bay, a beautiful and very popular sheltered bay where you can wade across, at low tide, to Middle Island, which is home to a colony of Fairy Penguins. Stingray Bay is not patrolled. Logans Beach is a very popular beach for surfers but it is also not patrolled. Local knowledge is advisable. However, it is a beautiful beach for long seashore rambles both in the winter and the summer.
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TOWER HILL STATE GAME RESERVE
Visit our dormant volcano, Tower Hill. It formed approximately 30,000 years ago in a violent eruption which created the outer rim of the volcano and subsequent smaller eruptions formed the internal hills that can be seen today. A causeway provides access to the internal hills which are surrounded by a lake that fills with water after heavy, prolonged rain. This water sanctuary is enjoyed by many species of birds including black swans. The hills are covered with thick, green vegetation which provides a lush haven for kangaroos, koalas and some very tame, cheeky emus that have been known to steal meat from visitors’ barbeques. A steep path takes you to the top of the highest peak which provides energetic walkers with a 360 degree view of the surrounding countryside. Centuries old geological activity is fascinatingly evident in the cliff faces at the entrance to the Reserve. An Information Centre provides visitors with a history of the area and of the Koroit gundidj people, whose descendants retain special links with this district.
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FLAGSTAFF HILL MARITIME MUSEUM
Go back in time. Visit Flagstaff Hill, which is a recreated maritime village that is set on 10 acres and reflects the pioneering atmosphere of an 1870s coastal port. Experience firsthand the perils of early sea travel as you explore The Gravesend Theatre, audiovisual presentations, interactive displays and the relics and treasures recovered from various shipwrecks in the Great Circle Gallery. A key feature of the Gallery is the priceless Minton earthenware statue, the Loch Ard Peacock, Australia’s most valuable shipwreck relic. Transported from England to Melbourne aboard the clipper the Loch Ard in 1878 for display at Melbourne’s Great International Exhibition of 1880, the life-sized Loch Ard Peacock was washed ashore in a packing crate, just days after its namesake ran aground and sank.
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SHIPWRECKED! SOUND AND LASER SHOW
Marvel at the wonder of the “Shipwrecked” Sound and Laser Show which is presented nightly at Flagstaff Hill. “Shipwrecked” is a complete theatrical experience magically bringing to life the tragic story of the Loch Ard disaster in 1878. This multi-million dollar sound and laser show tells the tale of the ship’s demise and the miraculous survival of only two young passengers, Tom Pearce and Eva Carmichael. The images are projected onto a 9-metre high aquascreen. The grand finale features the world famous Loch Ard Peacock.
THE PROMENADE
Stroll, walk, jog, run, ride, skate or roll along Warrnambool’s award winning Foreshore Promenade which stretches 5.7 kilometres from the Lady Bay Breakwater along the coastline, across the Hopkins River, to the famous Southern Right Whale Nursery at Logans Beach. This purpose-built walkway rises and dips and twists and turns along the coastal foreshore among the tussocky sand dunes at the back of the Lady Bay beach. Sometimes it is a wide concrete path, sometimes it is a long wooden structure built across a low point. At all times it is a very pleasant experience to wander along enjoying the fresh air, the exercise and the seaside views which appear at every bend. For much of this walk it is easy to imagine that you are nowhere near a town at all, much less a large and busy town like Warrnambool.
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HOPKINS FALLS
Enjoy the Hopkins Falls from the vantage point of the viewing platform or walk the short distance down the path to the base of the falls. These falls are an easy, short drive only 13km north-east of Warrnambool. They are set against lush green dairy country and make an ideal picnic spot with gas barbeques, wooden tables and bench seats and toilets. The flow of the falls varies from a raging, frothy, spray-producing roar in the winter to a gentler (but very photogenic) display in the summer. For a few days in early summer each year, the baby eels migrate upstream over the falls.
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