Warrnambool with kids

Warrnambool is Victoria’s largest coastal city (outside Port Phillip Bay), situated about 250km west of Melbourne. It’s traditionally a summer destination as visitors combine it with a road trip along the famous Great Ocean Road.  We recently visited Warrnambool in winter and discovered that there’s still lots to do, especially during the winter school holidays when Fun4Kids Festival takes over the city centre.

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village Warrnambool

Here are my Top 14  places to go in Warrnambool with kids (in winter).

STAY:

  1. Flagstaff Hill Lighthouse Lodge

flagstaff hill lighthouse lodge

Lighthouse Lodge is the former lighthouse keeper’s lodge at the base of the Lady Bay Lighthouses. The fully renovated accommodation retains the heritage aspects of the house with interesting historical artefacts and pictures along with modern conveniences such as free wifi, BBQ, large screen TVs and heating/cooling systems. 

Flagstaff Hill Lighthouse Lodge

The lodge consists of three Queen/King rooms with a shared lounge/kitchen/outdoor area, or you can book the whole lodge exclusively. Each room has its own ensuite with shower, TV and DVD player and ipod docking station working desk.

Flagstaff Hill Lighthouse Lodge

It is walking distance to the front entrance of Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village and visitors get discounted entry into the Flagstaff Hill and the Shipwrecked Sound and Light Show.

Flagstaff Hill Lighthouse Lodge

Rates start from $140 per night per room or $375 per night for the whole lodge.

Flagstaff Hill Lighthouse Lodge, 89 Merri St, Warrnambool VIC 3280, Australia (03) 5559 4600 or Toll free: 1800 556 111

 

PLAY/VISIT:

  1. Lake Pertobe Adventure playground

Lake Pertobe Warrnambool

Warrnambool best playground is Lake Pertobe Adventure Playground. This 8ha adventure playground has a huge sandpits, giant slides, flying foxes, a maze, rock structure with water play and you can even hire boats for paddling. There are picnic and BBQ facilities.

Lake Pertobe Warrnambool

The Lake Pertobe precinct is also home to lawn tennis courts, mini golf, an athletics track and skatepark.

Lake Pertobe Adventure playground, Pertobe Road, Warrnambool

 

  1. Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village Warrnambool - 10

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village is a maritime museum with Australia’s richest shipwreck collection and a reconstructed 1870s outdoor village overlooking Lady Bay. Lady AB and I enjoy exploring the village’s shops and buildings, feeding the ducks and sampling the scones in the tea rooms.

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village Warrnambool

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village 89 Merri St, Warrnambool VIC 3280, Australia (03) 5559 4600 or Toll free: 1800 556 111

Monday to Sunday: 9:00AM until 5:00PM (last admission 4pm).

Adult $16, Concession $12.50, Child (5-15 years) $6.50, Family $39 (2 Adults – 2 or more Children), Under 5 Free

 

  1. Shipwrecked Sound and Laser Show

Shipwrecked! is a night time sound and laser show at Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village that takes you on a journey during one of Australia’s most infamous maritime disasters. Guests are seated undercover but it’s open to the elements so dress warmly. I don’t think it is really suitable for younger children due to the loud noises.

Shipwrecked Sound and Laser Show, 89 Merri St, Warrnambool VIC 3280, Australia (03) 5559 4600 or Toll free: 1800 556 111

The show runs nightly at dusk and show times vary depending on time of year and also availability. Show runs for approximately 70 minutes.

Adults – $26, Concession $23, Child (5-15 years) $13.95, Family $67 (2 Adults – 2 Children), Additional Child $9, Under 5 Free

 

Reader recommendations:

  1. Fun4Kids Festival – huge annual week-long event designed for kids aged 2-12 years. Over 80 live performances and an incredible array of kids activities under a 2.5 acre indoor venue in the heart of Warrnambool. 26 June TO 2 July 2016 10am – 5pm every day of the festival. Single day pass $32.50 online, 7 Day Super Saver passes start from $120
  1. Tower Hill Wildlife Reservehome to many native birds and wildlife – you’ll likely spot koalas, kangaroos, emus and much more on your visit. The visitor centre is managed by Worn Gundidj Aboriginal Cooperative and features a collection of aboriginal arts and crafts. Free entry.
  1. Warrnambool Botanic Gardens twenty acres of tranquil gardens. Free entry.
  1. Allansford Cheeseworld – Warrnambool is a major dairy farming region and Allansford Cheese World is a museum with free cheese tastings, a licensed restaurant, and a wide selection of local and regional wines.
  1. Logan’s Beach foreshore walk – Admire Warrnambool’s coastline with a walk starting at Logan’s Beach around to Lady Bay foreshore until you reach Thunder Point. Enroute you’ll find the whale watching lookout where you might be able to see humpback whales and their calves around June – October.

 

EAT:

Warrnambool still has a country town feel to it so don’t be surprised if you find that cafes and shops shut in the early afternoon on a Saturday and don’t open Sundays or public holidays. As we visited on a long weekend unfortunately our dining out choices were limited.

  1. Proudfoot’s Boathouse

proudfoots boathouse

Proudfoot’s Boathouse in a heritage boathouse built in 1885 at the mouth of the Hopkins River. The dining room serves enormous meals of classic pub grub with gorgeous views.

Proudfoot’s Boathouse, 2 Simpson St Warrnambool, Victoria 5561 5055

Wed- Sun All day breakfast and lunch from 10am

Wed – Sat Dinner from 6pm

 

  1. Bohemia

Bohemia Warrnambool

Bohemia Cafe & Bar is a relaxed cafe with a fairly standard cafe menu. Prime seating is by the bay window and we try the decent pancakes and a classic avo smash. 

Bohemia Warrnambool

Bohemia Cafe & Bar 127 Kepler Street, Warrnambool 03 5562 7533

Monday to Friday 7am – 5pm

Saturday 7am – 3pm

Sunday 8am – 3pm

Reader recommendations:

12. Hopkins River Artisan Bakery Pop up – A pop up store baking a range of artisan products including handmade sourdough breads, naturally fermented breads and rolls, pastries pies and pasties. They also sell their wares at the fortnightly Fresh Market Warrnambool

 

13. Brightbird Espresso – I’m reliably told that Brightbird Espresso is the best cafe in Warrnambool. They serve Cartel Coffee beans and a menu that is seasonal, unique and full of flavour.

 

14. Day Kitty – A cafe focusing on healthy fare with a great variety of vegetarian/vegan options. They also sell house-made ice-cream (including cones), cold-press juices and smoothies, a range of coffees and teas.

 

STOPS ALONG THE DRIVE:

There are two major highway routes to get to Warrnambool – along the Princes Hwy or along the winding coastal Great Ocean Road. We took the faster inland route and stopped at Winchelsea and Camperdown on the way there and Colac on the way back.

Cafe La Hoot Winchelsea

Cafe La Hoot Winchelsea

The perfect pit stop for travellers on the Princes Highway. It’s next to the Barwon River, a playground, BBQ area, public toilet block and public pool. The cafe is actually within an old house and the main room is perfect for children, with high chairs, lots of toys and a hand-carved wooden rocking boxing kangaroo!

Cafe La Hoot Winchelsea

Café La Hoot 1 Willis St, Winchelsea +61 407 528 999

Monday – Saturday 7:30AM–4PM

Sunday 8:30AM–4:30PM

 

Snout in the Trough Camperdown

Snout in the Trough Camperdown - 1

A building that used to be a bank, a grocery store and an electrical shop is now a charming cafe with retro furniture, a small providore and a menu of good simple food. It’s a little bit of Melbourne cafe culture in the country and I enjoy my corn and zucchini fritters, stacked high with avocado and smoked salmon.

Snout in the Trough Camperdown - 2

Snout in the Trough 243 Manifold Street, Camperdown 03 5593 3303

Mon to Fri: 8.30am – 4.30pm

Saturday: 8.30am – 4pm

 

The Farmer’s Son Colac

The Farmer's Son Colac - 1

A popular cafe with the locals and on the highway. The food and coffee is decent and will it get you through the last leg of your journey back to Melbourne. They have high chairs and kids books and get can busy on weekends. 

The Farmer’s Son  136 Murray St, Colac, Victoria 52315666

Monday to Friday 8AM to 4PM

Saturday 9AM to 3PM


 

Chooks in Dinner Suits

Giveaway! Chooks in Dinner Suits is a warm, funny account of one man’s quest to save a penguin colony, assisted by two very unusual helpers – Max and Mimi, the Maremma dogs. Inspired by the world-first Middle Island Maremma Project in Warrnambool, this is an incredible true story about one town’s efforts to protect their population of Little Penguins. Faced with the decline of their feathered friends, the people involved in the project undertook a radical approach and trained two Maremma dogs to become penguin guardians.

Thanks to Museum Victoria I have 5 x copies of Chooks in Dinner Suits (RRP $19.95) to give away. To win, just follow the instructions. The competition closes midnight Monday 8 August. The winners will be selected randomly and contacted via email for postage information. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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