Destination South West Victoria
From the iconic 12 Apostles and the Great Ocean Road to the Goldfields of Central Victoria and world renown wine regions of South Australia, this is your guide to best this region has to offer. Information on culture, shopping, dining, regional experiences travel and accommodation.
News and Events for March/April 2016
Anzac Day Holiday Weekend
A century after the landings at Gallipoli the commemoration of Australia's participation in this military campaign is still a significant part of Australian culture. Towns and cities across the region will have commemoration services during the day, The Warrnambool services are the largest, with over 5000 people attending last years dawn and 11:00AM services, but some of the smaller services provide a more revealing insight into how Anzac day is regarded in small country communities. Places such as Woolsthorpe, Hawkesdale, Ellerslie with populations of just a handful of residents will all have Anzac day services and although there might only be a dozen or so people at the service many will have a direct connections with those who served during WW1 and WW2. This year Anzac day falls on a Monday creating a three day holiday weekend and the last holiday break in Autumn.
May Racing Carnival
In a few weeks time the Warrnambool Race Course will be filled with thousands of punters, the needy and the greedy and even those who enjoy the spectacle of horse racing. The three day May carnival dates back over 100 years and is one of the highlights of the Warrnambool social calendar.
Warrnambool is normally fully booked during May race week, however there is still some accommodation available, also Port Fairy has a number of vacancies. If anyone is looking for accommodation during this period please use the booking inquiry form on the Warrnambool Accommodation page and mention May races in the comments box
Cobden Miniature Rail
The Cobden Miniature Railway Park is a great family day out. Built and operated by the local Rotary and model engineers clubs, the park has a over a dozen model trains running on both 7 inch and 5 inch tracks as well as a 18 hole mini golf course plus a family barbecue area. Neat, clean, well run plus extremely well priced and in fact you can spend an entire afternoon with the family for not much more that $20. This is another one of South West Victoria’s hidden attractions and one of my recommend spots to visit - The only drawback is that it is only open on Sundays during School Holidays, with the next two opening dates of 18th and 25th of January.
Timboon Berry Farm
With the strawberry season in full swing, the Timboon Strawberry Farm is one of the more decadent places to visit over the holiday season. At present the strawberries are at their best, with some the size of small apples, and there is no comparison with what you buy in supermarkets. This is another one of those out of the way places that doesn't seem to get a lot of publicity - possibly because the locals don't want the tourists eating all those delicious strawberries. The berry farm is located opposite the golf course in Timboon and you can either bring your own container or they can provide one for you.
Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village was established during the 1970’s to serve two roles, the first as a local tourist attraction and also to preserve the maritime history of the rugged ( and dangerous) coastline along the Great Ocean Road.
The village is a recreation of what a typical coastal port would have looked like during the 1880’s and while quite a lot of the buildings are new, there are a number of historic buildings that have been dismantled and reassembled on the Flagstaff Hill site.
Flagstaff Hill has also been very careful in maintaing the historic aspect of the village and while there has been pressure to make the village more appealing to tourists by adding theme park type activities, so far these have been resisted, this has however come at the expense of giving Flagstaff Hill a museum like atmosphere with people just wandering around peering into buildings and reading plaques on walls.
Recently Flagstaff Hill has made some concession to tourism and added an evening laser sound and light show which tells the story of the wreck of the sailing ship “The Loch Ard” The show uses a laser projector to project an image onto a large water mist screen in front of the harbour buildings at Flagstaff Hill. Unfortunately, like the old Drive-In movies, the show can’t begin until it is dark enough to see the image, which means that during peak summer holiday season the show doesn’t start until after 9:30 at night..