Warrnambool Travel Guide

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Proudfoots Boathouse Restaurant

Proudfoots Boathouse Restaurant

Mandy McCaffrey

Warrnambool means between two rivers in Aboriginal, and that is where it's located. Placed snugly between the Merri River and the Hopkins River, it is a moderate sized sea side town on the west end of the Great Ocean Road. It was once a major whaling and sealing station, but nowadays it's an industrial and commercial centre. It has a nice relaxed atmosphere and can offer its visitors entertainment, culture and nature.

The Victorian coast was once infamous for its dangers. Many a sailing ship found out about the reefs and the fog the hard way. You can see artefacts of many wrecks in the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum. But the sea has more to offer than dangerous reefs. Logan's Beach, Levy's Beach and Second Bay offer some great surf spots, and Lady Bay is an exellent place to go swimming.

The most spectacular thing in Warrnambool is perhaps to see the whales. Every year between June/July and October, Southern Right Whales come from the Antarctic region to the warmer waters of Logan's Beach to calve. The whales often swim close to the beach (up to 100 meters) and can be seen from the dunes, the beach, or the special whale viewing platform.

Warrnambool even has it's very own mystery. In 1832 an ancient shipwreck was discovered before the coast. In 1880 this so-called Mahogany wreck was lost again, presumably covered under drifting dunes. Later, very old Portugese maps of the Australian coast were discovered, suggesting a Portugese voyage to Australia in 1522. Some historians believe the Mahogany wreck was Portugese caravel that lost in the early 1500's. If this were true, it would rewrite Australian history (now believed to be 'discovered' in the early 1600's).

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