Warrnambool is one of the few cities which doesn’t rely totally on tourism and with a population of 30,000 plus it means a diversity of accommodation, restaurants and entertainment. It is a competitive market place so, generally prices in Warrnambool, both for accommodation, entertainment and restaurants are a little bit cheaper. The main central business district (CBD) is spread over 16 city blocks ( 4 x 4 ) and located about 2 kilometres from the beach.
Take a Walk
Start the day by taking a pleasant stroll along the Warrnambool's foreshore - there is a 3 kilometre walking path (called “The Promenade” by local bureaucrats) which extends from the breakwater to Hopkins Point and takes in views of Lady Bay. This is a very popular walking spot at this time of year, and no better way to start the day - even better take your shoes off and walk along the beach .
A Hearty Breakfast
Warrnambool has any number of excellent restaurants in the CBD that serve breakfast, but if you have just finished you walk along the beach and want to eat breakfast beside the sea, then the obvious choice is either the Pavilion Restaurant at the breakwater or Simons which is located in the Warrnambool Surf Lifesaving Club.
Play with the Kids
For anyone with children. the Lake Pertobe Adventure playground is the ideal way to fill in a morning, with acres of open space, swings, slides, sand pits and numerous other activities you can easily fill in a few hours. Part of the Lake Pertobe Park includes a natural wetlands area with a walking path around the perimeter. It is a pleasant 30 minute walk to to do a circuit of the wetlands section .
A River Cruise
One hundred years ago the Hopkins river was the centre of the cities outdoor activities and before beach bathing became popular everyone congregated around the river. Boating, fishing and swimming and cruising the river were all popular, and although these days the beach is the big attraction, the Hopkins is still attract many visitors. The Hopkins river is home to the local water skiing and rowing clubs plus a local cruise company who run two hour cruises along the river. The restored Proudfoots Boathouse complex includes bars, a restaurant and function room and a popular daytime dining spot where you can eat and drink next to the water.
A Place To eat Your Kermonds Hamburger
The number 1 “Must Do” for anyone visiting Warrnambool is to have a Kermonds hamburger, undoubtedly Australia’s most unique tasting hamburger.
But after you’ve purchased your hamburger then where do you eat it? - at the tiny tables in the Kermonds shop, or in the car, juggling your hamburger and cans of drink while sitting behind the wheel. Well the ideal place is the Warrnambool Botanic Gardens, close to the centre of the city with manicured lawns, shady trees and tables and seats to sit at. Even if you don’t buy a Kermonds hamburger the gardens are an ideal picnic spot. Warrnambools botanic gardens are superbly maintained and very popular with locals so if you are looking for a location to sit down and eat or just relax then the botanic gardens are just one block from the highway just north of the Fire Station.
Flagstaff Hill is Warrnambools living museum and encapsulates the settlement of the coastal regions of Victoria. Although Flagstaff Hill is a fictional port (the real Port of Warrnambool never looked anything like Flagstaff Hill), it does have all the elements of a 19th Century coastal port.
Flagstaff Hill authentically preserves the maritime history of Warrnambool and the Great Ocean Road. You can easily spend quite a few hours wandering around the Village.
Entry cost about $16 for adults and $6.50 for children but Flagstaff Hill do allow visitors to return the following day to see anything they have missed so essentially it is a two day visitor pass .
On the highway, about a kilometre east of the CBD is a vacant factory site surrounded by elaborate gardens. This was the headquarters of the Fletcher Jones clothing company. David Fletcher Jone was a unique and inspirational man and a visit to the gardens to find out more about FJ might lift your spirit
David Fletcher Jones left school before his 13th birthday and worked in a small market garden before enlisting in the army and serving in France during WW1 a shell burst just metres away, left him severely injured and he was told by army doctors that he would never work again. In spite of his injuries, a scant education and a profound stammer, went on to become the worlds largest clothing manufacturer. Now some 40 years after his passing, the Warrnambool manufacturing facility has gone and the factory he built has been sold to a developer .
Dine Out in Style
Warrnambool does not advertise itself as the restaurant capital of Australia, but for a city its size it does have an extraordinary number of eating establishments, there are over 30 within 200 metres of the town hall. Not only is there a large number but the city has a wide diversity, such as Italian, Indian, Thai, Mexican, Latvian, Chinese along with an array different dining style from fine dining through take away pizza, fish and chip. The bottom end of Liebig St has the largest group of restaurants but there are many more scattered around the city. So in the words of Molly Meldrum, “do yourself a favour” and finish off your day by treating yourself to an evening out.
1/ Warrnambool Town Hall facade on the Warrnambool PAC (Performing Arts Centre) at the bottom end of Liebig St
2/ Hotel Warrnambool and the Capital Cinema in Kepler St
3/ Hopkins River with the Hopkins River Cruise boat on the left and Proudfoots Boathouse on the right