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15 Best Things to Do in 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 often combine it with a road trip along the famous Great Ocean Road.

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village Warrnambool

We visit Warrnambool in winter and discover that there’s still lots to do, especially during the winter school holidays when the Fun4Kids Festival takes over the city centre.

Here are my top places to go in Warrnambool with kids (particularly in winter).

For accommodation options in Warrnambool, I recommend checking out what’s available on  Booking.com.

Booking.com

Things to Do in Warrnambool

1. Lake Pertobe Adventure playground

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

2. Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village is a maritime museum with Australia's richest shipwreck collection and a reconstructed 1870s outdoor village overlooking Lady Bay.

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village Warrnambool - 10

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

3. Flagstaff Hill Sound and Light Show

The Flagstaff Hill Sound and Light  Show is a nighttime sound and laser show at Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village that takes you on a journey of the village through projections onto a nine-metre high water wall.

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 and late starting times (after sunset).

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

4. Fun4Kids Festival

Fun4Kids Festival is huge annual week-long event designed for kids aged 2-12 years held every year over the winter school holidays in July. There are over 80 live performances and an incredible array of kids activities under a 2.5 acre indoor venue in the heart of Warrnambool.

5. Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve

Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve is Victoria's first national park and home 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.

6. Warrnambool Botanic Gardens

Enjoy a stroll through twenty acres of tranquil gardens at Warrnambool Botanic Gardens. Free entry.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. Middle Island Maremma Project

Middle Island Maremma Project isn't strictly a tourist attraction but it is one of Warrnambool's most famous projects.

The children's book 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.

Where to eat in Warrnambool

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 visit on a long weekend, unfortunately, our dining out choices are limited.

10. Proudfoot’s Boathouse

Proudfoot’s Boathouse in a heritage boathouse built in 1885 at the mouth of the Hopkins River.

proudfoots boathouse

The dining room serves enormous meals of classic pub grub with gorgeous views.

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

11. Bohemia

Bohemia Cafe & Bar is a relaxed cafe with a fairly standard cafe menu.

Bohemia Warrnambool

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

12. Hopkins River Bakery

A bakery with 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. The business is for sale so hopefully new owners will continue the greatness!

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.

Where to stay in Warrnambool

15. Flagstaff Hill Lighthouse Lodge

Lighthouse Lodge is the former lighthouse keeper’s lodge at the base of the Lady Bay Lighthouses.

flagstaff hill lighthouse lodge

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.

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

For more accommodation options in Warrnambool, I recommend checking out CozyCozy, a website that allows you to compare prices of accommodation across multiple online booking sites.

Booking.com

Where to stop when driving to Warrnambool

There are two major highway routes to get to Warrnambool – along the Princes Hwy or along the winding coastal Great Ocean Road.

You can also book a 2-day Great Ocean Road tour from Melbourne to see all the major sites and stop at popular spots along the way.

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We take the faster inland route and stopped at Winchelsea and Camperdown on the way there and Colac on the way back.

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

Snout in the Trough Camperdown

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

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 are 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

HELPFUL TRAVEL TIPS

Things to do in Warrnambool with kids
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This post contains affiliate links. If you book using the links there is no extra cost to you and I earn a small commission that helps me to provide free, valuable and useful information for you! Thanks Joyce

cropped Kristyna Hess Lockdown Portraits x

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Their ability to find their way home, no matter how many other penguins and obstacles are in their path.

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