Warrnambool, Victoria: Wikis


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Warrnambool, Victoria.JPG
View over Warrnambool
Warrnambool is located in Victoria
Population: 28,150 [1] (46th)
Established: 1855
Coordinates: Coordinates: 38°23′S 142°29′E / 38.38°S 142.48°E / -38.38; 142.48
Time zone:

 • Summer (DST)



Location: 265 km (165 mi) from Melbourne
LGA: City of Warrnambool
County: Villiers
State District: South-West Coast
Federal Division: Wannon
Mean Max Temp Mean Min Temp Annual Rainfall
17.9 °C
64 °F
9.6 °C
49 °F
741.9 mm
29.2 in

Warrnambool is a regional city on the south-western coast of Victoria, Australia, located in the municipality City of Warrnambool, with a population of 28,150.[1] It is at the western end of the Great Ocean Road, but is more quickly reached along the Princes Highway, 265 kilometres and 3 1/2 hours from Melbourne by road or rail.



The word Warrnambool comes from the local Indigenous Australians name for a nearby volcanic cone. It has been interpreted to mean many things including “land between two rivers”, "two swamps" or "ample water".

The treacherous coast near the city is known as the "Shipwreck Coast" and evidence suggests the first ships to arrive were among the earliest international explorers. The legend of the Mahogany Ship is strongly linked to the city.

Many believe the first Europeans to discover the area were Portuguese sailors, who surveyed the coastline nearby and possibly marooned near the site of the present town as early as the 1500s, however this is currently unproven. French explorer Nicholas Baudin recorded coastal landmarks in 1802. The area was frequented by whalers early in the 19th century. Matthew Flinders sailed the coast in the Investigator, and Lieutenant James Grant in the Lady Nelson also explored the area.

The first settlers arrived in the 1840s in the Lady Bay area, which was a natural harbour. The town was surveyed in 1846 and established soon after, the Post Office opening on 1 January 1849.[2]

During the Victorian Gold Rush, Warrnambool became an important port and grew quickly in the 1850s, benefiting from the private ownership of nearby Port Fairy.

It was gazetted as a municipality in 1855 and became a borough in 1863. Warrnambool was declared a town in 1883 and a city in 1918.

Post Offices opened at Warrnambool South in 1937 (closed 1973), Warrnambool East in 1946, and Warrnambool North in 1947 (closed 1975).[2]


Warrnambool Harbour looking north from the breakwater

Warrnambool is a popular tourist destination, with about 715,000 visitors each year. It is also a comprehensive regional service centre. The mainstay of the economy is agriculture and its support industry (particularly dairy farming and associated milk processing). Other major industries and services include retail, education, health, meat processing, clothing manufacture and construction.

The Fletcher Jones and Staff Pty Ltd clothing factory opened in 1948 and was closed in 2005.[3]

As well as the spectacular views from the Great Ocean Road, there are several beaches nearby, some of which are used for surfing. In the winter months, Southern Right whales are regularly seen in the waters near the city at the Logan's Beach nursery, and boats make whale-watching tours.


The City's main education centres include Deakin University Warrnambool Campus, the South West Institute of TAFE, government and private primary and secondary schools, and pre-school centres.


War memorial

The Warrnambool Botanic Gardens feature wide curving paths, rare trees, a lily pond with ducks, a fernery, a band rotunda, and was designed by notable landscape architect, William Guilfoyle.

The post office and lighthouse date back to the early days of settlement.

Eleven suburbs surround the CBD of Warrnambool: North, South, East and West Warrnambool, Brierly, Sherwood Park, Merrivale, Dennington, Woodford, Bushfield and Allansford, though only the four latter are recognised as localities of the city.

There are several bars and hotels in the city including The Flying Horse Bar and Brewery, the Seanchai, Warrnambool Hotel, The Whaler's Inn, The Royal, The Western, The Caledonian, Mac's, Rafferty's Tavern, The Gallery, The Loft, The Victoria, The Fishbowl, Your Break and, just out of town, The Junction Hotel.

The Warrnambool foreshore is a popular swimming area, and is adjacent to the Lake Pertobe parklands. A number of caravan parks are also located in the area.

Flora and fauna

Logan's Beach on the eastern side of the city is recognised as a nursery site for the Southern Right Whale Eubalaena australis. Most years one, two or three adult female whales arrive between late May and August, giving birth within days of their arrival. The young whale calf is then reared at the site, usually departing with its parent by mid to late September. Besides the Southern Right whale, the coastline is also visited by Australian Fur Seals, Fairy Penguins and the Common Dolphin. During the winter and early spring albatross cruise along the coastline and can be sighted from Thunder Point, a popular coastal lookout in the town.

Middle Island has a colony of little penguins. Fox predation reduced numbers significantly. In 2005 only 4 penguins were remaining in the colony. Warrnambool City Council introduced a world first program using Maremma dogs to guard the penguins. This program has supported the re-establishment of a colony of over 100 penguins in 2009.[4][5][6]


Warrnambool can be accessed by road by the Princes Highway and the Hopkins Highway. It is at the western end of the Great Ocean Road.

Rail and bus services also operate to Melbourne and Geelong. Trains call at Warrnambool's two stations, Warrnambool in the city and Sherwood Park in the city's outer east at Deakin University operating seven days a week. A daily container freight service is run by small operator El Zorro, which took over the service after the withdrawal of Pacific National in 2008.[7]

Local buses cover Warrnambool's city and suburbs and extend to the nearby towns of Port Fairy and Koroit. V/Line buses connect Warrnambool with Portland, Mount Gambier, Ballarat and Hamilton.

Events and culture

Overview of the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum
Lighthouse at the Maritime Museum
Looking up from the water at the Maritime Museum

Warrnambool is home to the Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic, a prestigious race which attracts Australian and international drivers on the Australia Day long weekend.

The city is also the finishing point of the Melbourne to Warrnambool Classic cycle race. It is the longest one-day bicycle endurance race in the world, held every October since 1895 to be the world’s second oldest bike race.[8][9]

Warrnambool has a horse racing club, the Warrnambool Racing Club, which schedules around twenty race meetings a year including the Warrnambool Cup and Grand Annual Steeple three-day meeting in the first week of May.[10] The Woodford Racing Club also holds one meeting at Warrnambool racecourse. The Grand Annual steeplechase has 33 more jumps than any other horse race and is one of the longest steeplechases in the world.

The Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club also holds regular meetings.[11]

The Wunta festival held in Warrnambool every February is one of south-west Victoria's major community festivals. It incorporates a wide range of entertainment for all ages.

The Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum is in Warrnambool. It includes a model of an 1800s port village and collections of material salvaged from some of the shipwrecks in the area, most notably the Minton peacock salvaged from the Loch Ard.

From 1 to 3 September 2008, the city hosted, along with Melbourne, the 2008 Australian Football International Cup, featuring 14 nations from around the world playing Australian rules football.[12] The sport is highly popular in Warrnambool which has a competitive local league and is the origin of many high profile AFL players. The city has three Australian Rules football teams playing in the Hampden Football League (North Warrnambool, South Warrnambool and Warrnambool).[13]

Golfers play on the Warrnambool Golf Club course on Younger Street.[14]

Notable people from Warrnambool

Sister City

See also


External links


Simple English

Warrnambool is a city on the south-western coast of Victoria, Australia. About 32,000 people live in the city.[1] It is at the western end of the Great Ocean Road. It is also on the the Princes Highwaywhich links Melbourne and Adelaide. Warrnambool is 265 kilometres and 3 hours from Melbourne by road or rail. The name Warrnambool is an Indigenous Australian word meaning "water between two rivers", "two swamps", or "plenty of water".[2]

There are daily trains to Melbourne, via Geelong, and buses to Ballarat, Hamilton and Mount Gambier, South Australia.[1]

The average maximum temperatures are 22 C in summer and 14 C in winter.[1]

The Mahogany Ship

It is possible that the first European people to come to Warrnambool arrived in the 1500s. There is a wrecked ship in the sand dunes near Warrnambool which historians believe is an early Portugese ship.[3] It may have been part of an expedition in 1522, led by Christovao Mendonca.[2] The wreck was first seen in 1836, but the last sighting was in 1880. Tt is now covered in sand, and its exact location is now unknown. It is just one of the 80 wrecked ships along the coast.[3] There are 29 wrecks in Lady Bay at Warrnambool.[3] The first recorded exploration of this part of the Victorian coast was by the French explorer Nicholas Baudin in 1802.[2] During the 1830s whaler hunters lived on the coast during the whaling season.[2]

Early settlement

Farmers began to settle along the coast during the 1840's. In 1846 the town was surveyed and laid out, and the first land sale was held in 1847.[2]



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