South West Victoria On Line A
visitors guide to South West of Victoria and the Southeast of South
featuring independent and impartial travel
advice for the towns and cities of the region including Warrnambool,
Port Fairy, Port Campbell, Apollo Bay, Robe, Halls Gap, Lorne, Torquay,
Robe and Mt Gambier
Busy Holiday Season Expected Warrnambool October 2014
Local accommodation businesses are predicting one of the busiest seasons in years, with both of Warrnambool’s beachfront camping grounds now almost fully booked over Christmas and many local motel and apartment owners also reporting good advance booking over the summer break.
Although tourist numbers in the last year or so have been down, recent international uncertainty and the drop in the Australian dollar are helping boost local tourism and for many of Melbourne's 4 million residents the south west coast is the ideal holiday location.
Warrnambool in particular is one of the most popular destinations, with the largest range of accommodation options and the best tourist facilities the city is the most preferred destinations on the coast.
The photo above shows the Warrnambool foreshore with the cities main camping ground - now empty ( Surfside One) on the upper left of the picture and the neat rows of vacant camping sites at Shipwreck Coast caravan park at the upper right of the picture. These two camping grounds will swell Warrnambool's population by over 7000 this summer.
Part of Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village is seen at the lower left of the picture and Warrnambool's best know tourist attraction, Lake Pertobe Adventure Park is in the centre part of the picture ( the strange sqaure object near the middle of the picture is the Maze )
The eastern end of Surfside One camping ground is where the unpowered camping sites are located, these site are fully grassed and have full toilet and laundry facilities.
Encore Performance From Whales October 2014
Despite a stange start to this years whale watching season, the past three weeks have been very disappointing with the sudden disappearance of the mother and calf from Logans beach on the 3rd of August, however the mother and calf have returned in the last few days and local whale watcher are hopeful that the season is back on track. Currently the mother and calf are back in the bay at Logans beach and with the pair being sighted for the last three days it does mean there is a fair chance they will remain in the bay for the next week or so.
This year has been a very lean whale watching season right along the coast with a number of localities experiencing a drop off in the number of sightings and for a while Warrnambool whale watchers thought they had been spared from the demise of whale sightings. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be and Warrnambool along with Port Fairy, Portland, and Victor Harbour have all seen reductions in whale numbers in the last three weeks . There doesn’t seem to be any obvious reason, however as the majority of whales that come in close to the coast are females with calves, combined with the fact that whales breeding seasons are subject to a great number of factors there is inevitably some variation from year to year in the number of whales seen along the coast, and this year is just one of those years where numbers are down.
Photo above- Mother and calf (not visible) sighted again today at Logan's beach and with this the third sighting in consecutive days, local whale watcher are confident they might stick around for the next week or so
Melbourne to Warrnambool Classic 11th October 2014 Following the significant changes to last years Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Course, this year will see another change, with the township of Terang being incorporated back into the route.
Despite being the world’s second oldest one day bike race and the longest one day cycling event in Australia, the event has struggled to survive in the last decade, continually coming under pressure from road authorities who find it increasingly difficult to close off a major roads especially one as important as the Princes Highway ( Highway 1).
Major changes introduced in 2013 have helped considerably and the success of last years event seems to have secured the races future. The course now travels through the picturesque south-west region of Victoria taking in the spectacular views of the You Yangs, the stunning Lake Corangamite, and the towns of Bannockburn, Teesdale, Shelford, Cressy, Terang and Cobden.
The changes made in 2013 also created a more technical course, with riders being challenged by a range of head and tail winds while navigating the winding course. The changes also assisted that the TV broadcast pictures and captures the picturesque countryside . In changed route it also eased traffic congestion on one of Victoria's biggest arterial roads and allowed fans to ‘leap frog’ the race to catch the action all the way along before moving to Warrnambool to watch the finale in the city.
The Melbourne to Warrnambool was first run in 1895 and the first winner took 11 hours and 44 minutes to complete the course and last years winner Samuel Horgan took 6 hours 32 minutes
This years Melbourne to Warrnambool course will be run over a 260 kilometre course and expected to attract over 200 entries and will be held on 11 October 2014
Photo above- Melbourne to Warrnambool 2013 - 100 metres from the finish line
Warrnambool Rail Trail 1st June The Warrnambool to Port Fairy Rail Trail, was opened about 2 years ago and largely follows the old railway line from Warrnambool to Port Fairy. The trail is about 37 kilometres in total distance and goes from Warrnambool to Koroit (17 kms) and then on to Port Fairy (20Kms), it takes in a variety of outlooks including rugged coastline around Thunder Point, swamp and marshland through Kelly’s swamp, the rural farmland around Koroit and Port Fairy, plus the track skirts past the game reserve at Tower Hill. The trail quite popular with local walkers and bike riders, however the trail is well suited for an easy two day hike with the Warrnambool to Koroit section and the Koroit to Port Fairy walk being broken into two days, giving plenty of opportunity to explore each township plus the trip back to Warrnambool is quite simply a 30 minute bus trip costing about $4 per person.
Photo above- The Warrnambool section of the Rail Trail between the Breakwater and Thunder Point
Grampian Treks 1st June 2014 The Grampians has a large network of walking and hiking trails which range from simple walking tracks of just a few kilometres in distance, through to trails extending up to 80 kilometres, in fact the Grampians is possibly the states most popular walking destination with over 50 designated walking tracks covering all levels and abilities.
The Grampians National Park and its walking tracks are maintained by Parks Victoria, and they do an excellent job of maintaining the walking tracks and the general safety of those who use them, and it is generally considered that the walking facilities in the Grampians are among the best in the state for those who enjoy walking in the bush
Photo above-one of the many walking tracks in the Grampians
Davinci Comes To Mt Gambier
28th May The Riddoch Gallery has scored something of a coup with its latest exhibition of faithfully created models from the manuscripts (codex) and drawings of Leonardo DaVinci. These working models have been painstaking reproduced by by the acclaimed The Artisans of Florence in collaboration with The Niccolai Group. Not only are they works of art in themselve but they give a fascinating insight into one of the great geniuses of the world.
The models are fully interactive and the working machines are brought to life as Leonardo intended.
The exhibition consists of over 75 models exploring his studies in nature, anatomy, mechanics, flight and robotics.
The Exhibition demonstrates how Leonardo’s work is more relevant in today’s scientific world than 500 years ago when he first conceived his amazing ideas.
The exhibition will run until 22nd of June
Photo above- some of the models on display at the exhibition
Fish and Chips
if your 'e looking for a secluded rural getaway close to the Otway's rain forest then our latest property listing might be just what your 'e looking for.
To find out more about
Kookaburra's Rest click the photo below
Warrnambool's whale season is just a few weeks and at present, there has been sightings of Southern Right whales from Portland and beginning their migration northwards and should be off our coast within the next 8 week.
Last year saw near record numbers of whales at Logan's beach and everyone is hoping that this year will be just as spectacular
The South West coast is also famous for the quality of its fish and chips and there are dozens of restaurants and take away's that serve good fish and chips. We've listed six of our favourites fish and chip shops - Click the photo to see our choices
Portland Joins Great Ocean Road
2nd June Local tourism bodies are now reconsidering the status of towns ( and cities) along the coastal route from Melbourne to Adelaide and although the official “Great Ocean Road only runs between Torquay and Apollo Bay, there is a growing realisation by many local tourism bodies that just promoting one small section of the coastal road at the expense other tourist destinations is counter productive.
The inclusion of Portland into the Great Ocean Road marketing will add a number of unique tourist attractions, including the annual visit of Blue Whales to the Portland coastline between November and April each year
The added promotion will hopefully boost tourism to nearby Portland district bays, Glenelg River and coastline to the South Australian border.
It will also tap into the existing popular tourist route between Melbourne and Adelaide which already attracts visitors to the wine regions of Penola and Coonawarra, plus the coastal resorts of Robe and Beachport.