across the Flagstaff Hill complex
Major port on the coast of Western Victoria
Warrnambool is a coastal city located on Lady
Bay 260 km south-west of Melbourne via the
Princes Highway and 21 metres above sea-level.
It is bounded by two rivers: the Merri to the
west and the Hopkins to the east. Both reach the
ocean on opposite sides of the city. Warrnambool
is an important manufacturing and distribution
centre although it has managed to retain a
relaxed seaside feel. Its natural advantages
render it a popular family destination in summer
and tourism is certainly a major aid to the
local economy. The current population is 28 000.
Warrnambool is known for its rugs and
blankets. Other local industries include
milk-processing and dairy product plants
(including one of Australia's largest), a
woollen mill which dates back to 1874 and the
Fletcher Jones clothing company which has its
national headquarters here.
Warrnambool is noted for its safe, sheltered
beaches, its moderate climate, its parks and
gardens, one of the finest racecourses in the
state, and Logans Beach where southern right
whales come within view of the shoreline to give
birth each year between June and October. Surf,
rock, sea and river fishing are popular,
particularly at Levys Beach, Killarney Beach and
the Hopkins and Merri rivers, and there are
several fishing competitions in the course of
the year. The sizeable Warrnambool campus of
Deakin University has also ensured a decent
nightlife for the city.
Warrnambool's name comes from the language of
the Kuurn Kopan Noot people who occupied the
area for thousands of years prior to European
settlement. It is said to mean 'two swamps'
though another interpretation is 'ample water'.
The first known European to visit Lady Bay
was the French navigator and explorer Nicolas
Baudin in 1802. Whalers and sealers utilised the
bay on a seasonal basis in the 1830s and Lady
Bay was surveyed and named by whalers in 1844.
Permanent European settlement in the area
began with graziers such as the Boldens and
Thomas Manifold in the early 1840s. 'Rolf
Boldrewood' (a/k/a Thomas Alexander Browne),
arguably Australia's first novelist of note,
camped by the mouth of the Merri River for six
months while overlanding stock in 1842. His
account of this experience was recorded in Old
Melbourne Memories (1884).
The townsite began to emerge in the 1840s
around Lady Bay which served as a natural
harbour. A survey was carried out in 1846 and
the township proclaimed the following year when
the first land sales also occurred. Although it
initially lost inhabitants to the 1850s
goldrushes Warrnambool soon began to gain from
the increased economic and demographic activity.
The Warrnambool Examiner was established in
1851. J.F. Archibald, who later founded the
Bulletin, started work on the Examiner in 1871,
The first jetty was built in 1850 and
Warrnambool emerged as an important port for the
shipping of wool, wheat, potatoes, onions and
dairy produce from the surrounding area. It
benefited from the fact that the port at Port
Fairy was privately owned. Warrnambool became a
free port in 1854. It was gazetted as a
municipality in 1855 (with a population of
1500), became a borough in 1863, a town in 1883
and a city in 1918.
shopping centre area in Warrnambool
Although lighthouses were built on Middle
Island and Lady Bay Beach in 1859 there were
numerous shipwrecks in the area. One wreck,
frequently sighted to the west of town until
1880, was thought to be the remains of a
16th-century Portuguese vessel though it has
since disappeared, presumably beneath shifting
dunes. The greatest loss of life involved a
motor launch called the Nestor which sank in
Hopkins River, near Warrnambool, in 1921 with
ten lives lost.
The lighthouses were moved to Flagstaff Hill
in 1871-72 and gun emplacements were added in
the 1880s, as they were at many coastal sites in
Australia, due to widespread contemporary fears
of a Russian invasion.
A local woollen mill was established by
public subscription in 1874. It burned down in
1882 and reopened in 1910 and is still operating
A breakwater was built from 1876 to 1890 but
chronic silting problems (caused or at least
exacerbated by the breakwater) caused the mouth
of the Merri River to almost close up and the
natural harbour was rendered virtually unusable.
In 1912 an attempt was made to dredge it and the
breakwater was extended. However, after 100
metres were added, it collapsed and the project
was abandoned. Consequently the port virtually
ceased to operate in the 1920s. An attempt to
reactivate it in 1944 failed. However, the
silting up effectively extended the beaches,
increasing its attractiveness to holiday-makers.
Meanwhile the railway arrived in 1890 and the
Merri River Water Supply Scheme provided a
reliable water supply to the town in 1893.
The Fletcher Jones clothing factory opened in
1948 with an unusual degree of staff involvement
in management decisions. Warrnambool is still
the headquarters of the company which is a major
A footnote to the town's history involves
'Waltzing Matilda' - one of Australia's
best-known tunes and lyrics. A woman named
Christina Macpherson attended the Warrnambool
races in 1894. There she heard the Warrnambool
garrison artillery playing the Scottish tune
'Bonnie Wood of Craigielea'. She was a friend of
Sara Riley, the fiancee of 'Banjo' Paterson, and
it is from Ms Macpherson's piano repertoire that
Paterson is said to have heard 'Bonnie Wood'
which he allegedly adapted to his lyric for
'Waltzing Matilda'. Others have questioned
whether this particular melody is the one that
is most commonly known today.
Annual events include the Summer Music
Festival in January, the Wunta Fiesta (a
celebration of seafood and wine) in February,
the Victorian Heritage Festival in March, a
racing carnival in May which includes the Grand
Annual Steeplechase (Australia's longest horse
race), the Rhapsody in June Music Festival, the
Warrnambool Show and the Melbourne to
Warrnambool Road Cycling Classic in October and,
in November, the City Art Show at Emmanuel
College Hall in Ardlie St and Federation Fair at
the Botanic Gardens. Undercover markets are held
every Sunday morning at the showgrounds in
Koroit St. The Hillside Market venue is the
showgrounds in Koroit St on the second Sunday in
Things to see:
The Warrnambool Visitor Information Centre is
located in the middle of town, at 600 Raglan Pde
(the highway), tel: (03) 5564 7837, or free-call
(1800) 637 725. Children aged between 5 and 15
can obtain a copy of the Kid's Country Treasure
Hunt Guide which follows a trail map to various
attractions. There is a simple quiz based on the
hunt and a lucky dip prize for correct answers.
There are brochures dealing with the attractions
of the so-called 'Shipwreck Coast', as well as a
Whale Watcher's Guide.
Surrounding the centre is Swan Reserve, a
recreational area featuring fine native gardens.
Warrnambool Heritage Walk: Spence and
A Heritage Walk brochure is available from the
information centre from whence the walk
commences. From Raglan Parade turn into Spence
St. To the right is St John's Presbyterian
Church, built of local sandstone in 1875. It
features a memorial plaque to the shipwreck
Enterprise. The 24-metre tower was a marker for
ships coming into Lady Bay.
Opposite, at the corner of Spence and Kepler
Sts, is 'Ierne' - a two-storey residence built
Continue along Spence St and turn left into
Jamieson St. To the right is the primary school,
initially built in 1876. Opposite are a series
of Victorian villas, some dating back to the
Warrnambool Heritage Walk: Fairy St
Continue along Jamieson St, cross Raglan Parade
and enter Fairy St - a commercial avenue along
which produce once headed en route to the port
tramway and, from 1890, to the railway terminus.
To the left are a series of two-storey
buildings, many dating from the 1880s when they
served as lower floor stores with upper storey
residences. No.181 across the road was once a
cordial factory and 165 was an hotel. At Fairy
and Lava Sts is a building with a wheat sheaf
motif to indicate it was originally a bakery
(1892). Outside no.121 is an old cast-iron
Warrnambool Heritage Walk: Koroit St
Turn right into Koroit St. By the Henna St
corner walk through the lych gate on the right
into the grounds of Christ Church, built 1854-56
with the tower added in 1882.
Return along Koroit St. To the right is
Ellerslie College - a rare example of a carved
Cross back over Fairy St. To the left are the
offices of the Warrnambool Standard. The oldest
section (eastern end) dates from 1872.
Turn right into Kepler St. No.95 is
classified by the National Trust (note the
plaque). On the other side of the road, a little
further on, are the Federal Chambers (1897). The
nearby Masonic temple, with its Doric pillars,
dates from 1870.
At the corner of Kepler and Timor Sts are the
former Bank of Australasia (1850) which is now a
nightclub (note the plaque) and the Western
Hotel (1869), once a Cobb and Co staging post.
Post Office (1870)
Warrnambool Heritage Walk: Timor and
Gilles Sts (including History House)
Turn left into Timor St. The buildings on the
left, for 100 metres (down to no.234), were
rebuilt in the 1880s to replace some buildings
from the 1850s. The pair of shops at 220-222,
with their Tuscan pilasters, date from c.1860.
Turn right into Gilles St which features old
civic buildings such as the courthouse (1871),
the old police station, stables, lock-up and
residence(c.1850), the post office (1870) and
the old bluestone customs house which is now an
art gallery featuring changing exhibitions of
paintings, sculpture, prints, ceramics, glass,
jewellery and textiles. It's open Wednesday to
Sunday and public holidays from 11.00 a.m. to
5.30 p.m. or by appointment, tel: (03) 5564
At the end of Gilles St is History House
which features a range of items pertaining to
local history - photographs, documents and other
records. It is based in a stone cottage built in
1876 for the caretakers of the Hot Sea Baths
which were supplied with sea water pumped from
Lady Bay by windmills, then heated. It is open
on the first Sunday of the month from 2.00 p.m.
to 4.00 p.m. and every Sunday in January, or by
appointment. A gold coin donation is
appreciated, tel: (03) 5562 6940.
Return to Timor St and continue eastwards.
Nos 162-166 date from 1872. The Whalers Inn was
built in 1856 as the Commercial Hotel and
extended in 1876. It is the city's oldest
Performing Arts Centre
Warrnambool Heritage Walk: Warrnambool
Regional Art Gallery and Arts Centre
Also at the corner of Timor and Liebig Sts is
the Warrnambool Regional Art Gallery,
established in 1886. The north-western corner of
the building is the former Steam Navigation
Company office (1886). The gallery features a
range of 19th and 20th century works: Australian
and European, including Arthur Boyd's Portrait
of Max Nicholson. It is open daily from noon to
5.00 p.m., tel: (03) 5564 7832.
Adjacent is the Performing Arts Centre. It
features theatre, ballet, opera and other forms
of music and a foyer with a major tapestry and
embroidery display, along with changing
exhibitions, tel: (03) 5564 7885.
From the intersection continue a short
distance along Timor St to the Regal Shoppe
(1859) which once housed the first National
Warrnambool Heritage Walk: Cannon Hill
Return to the intersection and turn left into
Liebig St. At the roundabout cross the road and
walk along Artillery Crescent to Cannon Hill
which offers excellent views of Lady Bay and
Lake Pertobe. It is named for the World War I
howitzers and the anti-aircraft gun. A marble
marker commemorates the likelihood of early
Portuguese exploration in the area. There are
coin-operated barbecues, a rotunda, car parking
and a war memorial (1925).
Warrnambool Heritage Walk Concluded
Return to the Art Gallery and continue north
along Liebig St. Many of the two-storey
shop-residences in the lower half of the block
date from the 1870s though they have been
altered over the years. Note the two protective
hub stones as you pass the first laneway. Near
the top of the hill are buildings dating mostly
from the 1880s. At the Koroit St corner is a gas
lamp standard which has been restored.
Turn left into Koroit St then right into
Kepler St. The Warrnambool Club dates from
1875-77. Cross Lava St. To the left is St
Joseph's Catholic Church (1872 with an 1886
spire) which is surrounded by a fine bluestone
and iron fence. The original Catholic Church
still stands at the corner of Kepler St and
and the lighthouse keeper's cottage
which houses the Shipwreck Museum
Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village
On the rise which overlooks Lady Bay is
Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village - a recreation
of a late 19th century coastal port. At the
entrance there is a whaleboat and a theatrette
which plays some genuinely interesting films and
documentaries relating to maritime themes free
of charge all day (some date back to the 1920s).
Other features are an elaborate local tapestry
which depicts historic themes and the Schomberg
Diamond. An encrusted lid was brought up from
the site of the 1855 Schomberg shipwreck in
1975. Some time later, when it was cleaned up,
the diamond ring was found in the moulded top of
The path leads on to the recreated village.
Each building portrays an important aspect of
19th century port life. Some are original
buildings, including the chart room, two
operating lighthouses and the lighthouse
keeper's cottage which houses the Shipwreck
Museum. The Upper Lighthouse and outbuildings
(1859) were moved here from Middle Island in
1871-72, and the Lower Lighthouse was erected on
Lady Bay Beach in 1859, dismantled in 1871 and
the light placed atop an obelisk at Flagstaff
Hill. The hill receives its name from the
occasion in 1854 when a flagstaff was placed on
the hill as a navigational aid and it too has
been preserved here. The fortifications on
Flagstaff Hill were completed in 1887. They were
installed to defend against a feared Russian
Recreated buildings, using authentic
materials, include St Nicholas Seamen's Church,
the Steampacket Inn, the Bank of Australasia
(which is staffed by actors in period costume on
Friday afternoons), a brass foundry, newspaper
office, ship chandler's office, slipway,
steam-powered workshop, shipping agent, Masonic
lodge, gaol, sailmaker's loft, cooper's
workshop, armoury and officers' huts, port
medical officer's surgery, school house, bond
store, and a public hall which features an
outstanding lifelike and lifesize earthenware
statue of a peacock from Minton Potteries. It
was being transported from England to Melbourne
aboard the Loch Ard clipper for the 1880
International Exhibition when it sank in a gorge
Port Campbell with only two survivors. The
statue washed ashore virtually unharmed in its
There is also a working blacksmith's, a
shipwright's workshop, a leadlighter, a
photographic studio, a glassblower and, in the
December-January school holidays, there are
re-enactments in period costume on a daily
The small lake features two restored ships -
Rowitta (a Tasmanian steamer) and Reginald M (a
sailing cargo ship). There is also a gift shop,
family history research facilities, gift and
souvenir shops, a tearoom, restaurant and bar.
The village is open from 9.00 a.m. to 5.00
p.m. daily, tel: (03) 5564 7841. A free pass is
issued for a second day if visitors feel unable
to complete their exploration in one day. It is
located by the roundabout at the corner of Merri
St and Banyan St.
From the roundabout, Pertobe Rd heads down to
the ocean, past Lake Pertobe Adventure
Playground - an award-winning 35-ha playground
constructed on reclaimed swampland. There is a
lake with suspension bridges leading across to
islets and there are paddleboats, small family
motorboats, a timber maze, a flying fox, swings,
a fort, giant slides, walking tracks, bird
hides, picnic-barbecue areas and mini-golf.
Pertobe Rd leads past a carpark adjacent Lady
Bay Beach (there is also a pedestrian entrance
off Merri St). This is the town's main beach. It
offers safe swimming, windsurfing and yachting
opportunities. The 3.4-km Lady Bay Promenade is
an easy walk with great views.
When Pertobe Rd reaches a T-intersection, turn
left into Viaduct Rd. To your right is the mouth
of the Merri River and offshore is Middle
Island. Viaduct Rd ends at the breakwater - a
popular promenade and fishing spot. There are
boat ramps and a yacht club nearby.
Stingray Bay and Middle Island
The small bay into which the Merri River empties
is known as Stingray Bay which is a small,
sheltered and very attractive site offering safe
swimming at the mouth of the Merri River. It is
noted for its brown trout fishing.
Middle Island lies a very short distance
offshore. It is home to a small fairy penguin
colony. Access is by wading at low tide.
Visitors are asked to keep to the designated
tracks and not disturb the penguins.
Thunder Point Coastal Reserve and Shelly
Stingray Bay is at the eastern edge of Thunder
Point Coastal Reserve which constitutes the land
to the west of the Merri River estuary. It
contains an Aboriginal midden deposit consisting
of numerous distinct layers dating back some
3000 years. There are also walking tracks, rock
pools, native birds, tiny inlets and lovely
views over the ocean and rocky shoreline. It is
a popular spot for fishing, skindiving and
birdwatching. To get there return along Viaduct
Rd and turn left into Stanley St which leads
across the river. At the T-intersection turn
left into McDonald St which leads to a lookout
at the reserve. A walking trail leads west to
Shelly Beach which is a noted spot for shell
Levy's Point Coastal Reserve
Further west is Levy's Point Coastal Reserve, a
lovely and little-used surf beach off Swinton
Street. It offers excellent fishing and surfing
opportunities though there are dangerous rips.
Access is via the dunes. Swinton St leads on
past a carpark to a 4WD track.
Payne Reserve is a recreational area on the
banks of the Merri River near the West
Warrnambool bridge (off Drummond St or The
Esplanade). There are amenities.
Hopkins River Estuary
The mouth of the Hopkins River, on the eastern
side of the city's beachfront, is a popular
fishing spot. There are beautiful cliffs, rock
formations and plenty of rock pools. A driving
track and a walking trail lead off Hickford
Parade to the Hopkins River Lookout at Point
Ritchie on the western side of the estuary.
Off Hickford Parade, via the sand dunes, is
Granny's Grave where Mrs James Raddleston - the
first white woman to be buried in the area - was
laid to rest in 1848. The monument was erected
Just up from the estuary, on the western
bank, there are boat ramps. Boating, waterskiing
and swimming are possible. At the end of Simpson
St (cnr Otway Rd) is the Hopkins River Boat
House which dates from the late 19th century.
Classified by the National Trust this attractive
timber structure features scalloped bargeboards
and frilled lacework valances on the verandahs
and balconies. It is now a restaurant, tavern
bar and tea room called Proudfoots on the River
and it is open daily, tel: (03) 5561 5055.
Warrnambool River Cruises also depart from
the Boat House. They explore the Hopkins River
and are of 90 minutes duration, tel: (03) 5562
If you take the bridge across to the eastern
side of the river there is an immediate right
turn off Hopkins Point Rd into Blue Hole Rd. The
latter leads to the recreational area known as
the Blue Hole.
If you turn left off Blue Hole Rd into Logans
Beach Rd it leads to the whale viewing platform
at Logans Beach which is known as Australia's
southern right whale nursery owing to the fact
that the whales (as they have done for hundreds
of years) come to within 100 metres of the
shoreline to give birth each year between June
and October. The calves are five or six metres
in length at birth. The southern right whale is
black, has no dorsal fin and features crusty
white-grey outgrowths on its body known as
callosites. The name reflects the fact that they
were considered the 'right' whale to hunt as
they swam slowly, close to the shore, floated
when killed and yielded much oil and whalebone.
By 1935, when they became a protected species,
there were thought to be only about a thousand
in existence. Their numbers have increased since
that time but not dramatically.
Prospective visitors should call the
information centre first to see if the whales
are in the area. Even if they are, they may not
be visible at Logans Beach, so prepare for
multiple visits. Binoculars are recommended.
Visitors should use the facilities provided and
keep off the fragile vegetation and dunes. A
whale watcher's guide is available from the
town's information centre.
Logans Beach is also a noted surf beach.
The Ullmann Studio
If you do not turn into Blue Hole Rd but
continue east along Hopkins Point Rd then, at
no.440, you will find the studio of Robert
Ullmann, a wildlife artist of considerable
renown who produces paintings, prints, cards and
portraits. He is open most days from 9.00 a.m.
to 5.00 p.m. or by appointment, tel: (03) 5565
Other Arts and Crafts Centres
The Potter's Wheel is the shopfront studio of
Ken Sadler who makes functional stoneware. It is
located at 74 Liebig St and is open Monday to
Saturday, tel: (03) 5562 4525.
In House Stables is a gallery/giftware shop
which also serves lunch and coffee. It is in
Marfell Rd and is open Wednesday to Sunday and
public holidays, tel: (03) 5561 5640.
Bud Knackstest at The Silversmith
manufactures jewellery made to your designs. He
is located at 106 Lava St and is open every day
but Sunday, tel: (03) 5561 5683.
Patchwork, quilting and embroidery, supplies
and classes are available at Warrnambool's
Patchwork Shop in Koroit Cottage, 134 Timor St.
They too are open every day but Sunday or by
appointment, tel: (03) 5562 0186.
Warrnambool Botanic Gardens
The Warrnambool Botanic Gardens were fostered by
Ferdinand Von Mueller, responsible for the
Melbourne Botanic Gardens, and designed in 1877
by his successor, R.W. Guilfoyle. It features
winding walkways, a lily pond full of
waterbirds, a fernery and band rotunda. It is
located at the corner of Botanic Rd and Queen
St, tel: (03) 5564 7800.
Fletcher Jones Gardens
These quirky, colourful and very popular
landscaped gardens and floral displays were
created on an old quarry site when the company
built its factory here in 1948. Within the
award-winning gardens are a hawker's wagon,
wishing well and waterfall. They are floodlit at
night and are located at the corner of Flaxman
St and Raglan Parade.
Built in 1890, the unusual Wollaston Bridge
consists of a timber deck superstructure
suspended from steel cables which are strung
between square tapered stone towers. It is said
that cables from Melbourne's early cable trams
were used in the construction. The bridge was
erected over the Merri River to improve access
to the private estate of Sir Walter Manifold. It
is located in Wollaston Rd at the northern end
Warrnambool Trout Farm
Further along Wollaston Rd is Warrnambool Trout
Farm which supplies all necessary equipment for
fishing. Fish-feeding, smoked trout, pate, yabby
sales (seasonal), barbecue facilities and a
function room are available. They are open
weekends and public holidays and every day
during school holidays from 10.30 a.m. to 5.00
p.m. Group bookings are available after hours by
appointment, tel: (019) 943 396 or, after hours,
(03) 5562 7772.
Head east along the highway for 12 km then turn
right onto the Great Ocean Road and it is 2 km
to Cheeseworld which features a cheese and wine
cellar and restaurant. There is also an
historical display and souvenir sales. It is
open weekdays from 8.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.,
Saturday from 8.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and Sunday
from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m., tel: (03) 5563
Cheeseworld is located at Allansford,
established as a private town by the Allan
family who built a Presbyterian church and a
pise schoolhouse which is still in use. Dairying
developed late in the 19th century and the
town's dairy co-op was one of the state's first.
Cudgee Creek Wildlife Park
16 km east of the Warrnambool CBD, via the
Princes Highway, is a signposted turnoff on the
left to Cudgee. If you take this turnoff, cross
the railway line then take the first left
(signposted) it leads to Cudgee Creek Wildlife
Park, a seven-acre property which is home to
deer, wallabies, kangaroos, emus, monkeys,
crocodiles and a walk-through bird aviary. It is
possible to feed the animals and there are free
gas barbecues. Cudgee Creek is open daily from
10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. in December and January
and from Tuesday to Sunday for the rest of the
year, tel: (03) 5567 6260.
Tower Hill State Game Reserve
Tower Hill State Game Reserve (614 ha) is
situated in the crater of an extinct volcano
which formed thousands of years ago when a
violent eruption created the funnel-shaped
crater which was later filled by the lake with
its various small islets. Aboriginal relics
found in volcanic ash indicate Aboriginal
occupation from the time when the volcano was
still active. The first known Europeans to sight
the hill were the party of Captain Baudin in
By 1860 the original charm and integrity of
the crater had disappeared as European settlers
cleared the land and started to graze cattle.
However, five yearsearlier, the painter Eugene
Von Guerard had painted Tower Hill without its
desecration and this painting was so accurate
that in 1961 a regeneration program was started
using Von Guerard'spainting as a model. Today
Von Guerard's painting is housed in the
Warrnambool Regional Art Gallery. This process
encouraged the return of kangaroos, many koalas,
wombats, sugar gliders, possums, echidnae,
numerous waterbirds (including Cape Barren
geese, musk ducks, spoonbills and chestnut
teals) and some very bold emus which enjoy the
picnic area (feeding is strictly prohibited).
It is located 15 km west of Warrnambool
adjacent the Princes Highway. Access is via a
sealed scenic one-way road which leads off the
highway and past a lookout area before it
proceeds over a land bridge to the main body of
land which is virtually surrounded by Tower Hill
Lake. It continues on past a picnic area with
toilets and barbecue facilities and the Natural
History Centre which outlines the geology and
history of Tower Hill. Rangers are occasionally
available to help with enquiries. Guided tours
(nocturnal and diurnal) can be booked. The
centre is open daily from 9.00 a.m. to 4.30
p.m., tel: (03) 5565 9202.
The picnic area is the starting point for the
Lava Tongue Boardwalk -a 30-minute wetland walk
which leads to a bird hide and a second
boardwalk. It also connects with the Whurrong
Loop Track (one hour) which focuses on
Aboriginal foods. The picnic area is also the
start of the Hat Island Habitat Loop Track (a
revegetation walk of 45 minutes), the Journey to
the Last Volcano (a geological walk of one hour)
and the Peak Climb (for orientation and
geological purposes). All are easy-going treks
except the latter.
From the centre, the access road leads on by
the inner lake shore, past another good
birdwatching area then reaches a junction from
whence there are good views. A right will take
you back to the highway while a left leads onto
a road that follows the rim of the volcano
around the outer edge of the lake.
Hopkins Falls, 13 km north-east of town, are
particularly splendid after a good rain.
However, they are always good for picnicking,
fishing and walking. There are wood-fired
barbecues and toilets and, for a few days in
early summer each year, elvers migrate upstream
and struggle over over the falls, tel: (03) 5562
2111. To get there head north off the Princes
Highway into Jamieson St which eventually heads
north-east out of town as the Hopkins Highway.
About 2.7 km from the Princes Highway there is a
signposted right turn into Wangoom Rd. Simply
follow this until you see another
brown-and-white sign directing you into Hopkins
The Cottage Rose Display Garden
En route to the falls is the village of Wangoom
(7 km north-east of Warrnambool) where you will
find the Cottage Rose Display Garden which
features almost a hectare of roses including
every David Austin variety of rose in Australia.
It is open from Friday to Sunday between
November and the end of January. Appointments
can be made at other times but it is closed
between May and September, tel: (03) 5567 1168.
Sherbourne Rose Maze
In Spring Flat Rd at Wangoom is Sherbourne Rose
Maze which features over 1000 roses, including
ground cover, floribunda, hybrid tea, standard
climbing, pillar and miniature roses. Lunches
and teas are available in the Garden Tea Rooms
during opening hours. Bus groups are welcome.
They are open every day but Monday from November
to the end of April from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00
p.m., tel: (03) 5567 1175.
Rundells Mahogany Trail Rides offers horse rides
of varying duration along the beach as well as
full-day pub rides, tel: (03) 5529 2303. They
are located in Millers Lane at Dennington.
Historic Shipwreck Coast Trail
The Shipwreck Trail covers a 110-km stretch of
coastline between Moonlight Head in the east and
Port Fairy in the west within which 163
shipwrecks are known to have occurred. The trail
is marked along the Great Ocean Road by road
signs which lead to information plaques
overlooking shipwreck sites. It takes in Loch
Ard Gorge where the Loch Ard sank. A brochure is
available from the information centre.
The Mahogany Walking Track
The Mahogany Ship was first sited by Europeans
in 1836 when two shipwrecked sealers sighted an
ancient wreck with dark timbers amidst the sand
dunes to the west of the present townsite.
Others noted its existence until 1880 and it is
now presumed lost under shifting sands.
Deliens World Map, published in 1567,
delineated the southern coastline of Australia
to a point 6 km west of Warrnambool. Historians
have speculated that it is the result of a
secret 1522 Portuguese voyage, featuring three
ships, headed by Christovao Mendonca. This has
led to speculation that the Mahogany Ship is a
wreck from this voyage. As a consequence the
state government offered a $250 000 reward in
1992 for its rediscovery and a search is in
The Mahogany Walking Track is a 22-km trail
which extends from Warrnambool to Port Fairy,
past the possible site of the ship. This strip
of coast was once coastal forest but was cleared
for agriculture by early European settlers. The
walk starts at Thunder Point Coastal Reserve or
may be joined and exited at other points to
reduce its length. The track is marked with
treated pine posts featuring distinctive
triangular Alcoa Landcare symbols. It takes
visitors to the best vantage points and ensures
the protection of the most fragile areas. A
guiding brochure, available from the information
centre, considers appropriate preparations, as
well as the flora, fauna, geological history and
ecology of the area.
There are two excellent books on the Great Ocean
Road which we strongly recommend to anyone
planning to spend extended time in the area.
Explore The Great Ocean Road has very
detailed information on all the attractions and
excellent maps of the towns and the coastline.
It is an ideal companion if you are going to do
some bushwalking or you want to reach beyond the
regular tourist destinations. See http://walkabout.fairfax.com.au/fairfax/booksMaps/booksMaps00018.shtml
for more information.
Great Ocean Road: A Travellers Guide has been
written by a photographer consequently the
pictures are excellent and his focus has been on
providing detailed information on the
accommodation and attractions in the area. It
has a comprehensive listing of all the Bed and
Breakfast and Guest Houses along the road with
photographs and prices. Very handy if you are
planning to stay somewhere other than a motel or
caravan park. See http://walkabout.fairfax.com.au/fairfax/booksMaps/booksMaps00019.shtml
for more information.
Both can be ordered from the Walkabout Books
and Maps location.