South West Victoria On Line A
travelogue of South West Victoria - independent and impartial travel
advice for the Southwest of Victoria and the Southeast of South
featuring the towns of Warrnambool,
Port Fairy, Port Campbell, Apollo Bay, Robe, Halls Gap, Lorne, Torquay,
Robe and Mt Gambier
Warrnambool Beaches Popular 6th February 2014
Warrnambool owes a lot of its popularity as a holiday destination to its beaches, and in particular its diversity of swimming and surfing conditions along this three kilometre strip of sand. From safe swimming beaches, ideal for families, through to beaches with 2 to 3 metre waves ideal for surfing, all contained within a few kilometres of coastline. The Western end of Lady Bay (pictured above) is sheltered by the breakwater and is the the family friendly section of the beach. As you move further to the East the surf gets a bit bigger and at the mid point of the bay (in front of the Surf Life Saving Club) you get to the most popular section of the beach for body surfing and boogie board riders - this is also the main patrolled section of the beach. Further around the bay, and close to the mouth of the Hopkins river is an area known as Grannys Grave and this is one of the favoured locations for board riders.
The beach close to the breakwater is a favourite location for families with small children as the waves in this section of the beach are quite small and the sea is reasonably shallow, providing a safe swimming area
Apollo Bay beach 6th January 2014
Apollo Bay has one of the most appealing beaches on the south west coast, a long strip of sand that runs around the perimeter of the bay. The central section of the beach is separated from the main street by a narrow public park with toilets, playground facilities and public car parking. The headland and enclosed marina at the Western end on the bay offers some shelter from the prevailing South westerly swells and assist in making the beach quite safe and family friendly The beach is patrolled by the Apollo Bay Surf Lifesaving club during the holiday period.
Photo above - Like many of the small seaside villages along the Great Ocean Road, the main beach at Apollo Bay is across the road from the main street. This photo was taken just 50 metres from the main street
Port Fairy 4th January 2014 Port Fairy has a number of small beaches around the town including picturesque spots like Pea Soup beach, but "East Beach" is the towns main beach. It runs eastward from the mouth of the Moyne river as a continuous strip of sand almost to Warrnambool. The focal point of the beach is a small section close to the public car park and the Port Fairy Surf Lifesaving club.
Photo above- The picturesque marina along the Moyne river is a popular location and close to many of Port Fairies historic attractions
Portland Portland is Victoria's oldest settlement and by all accounts, when it as originally settled in the 1830's, it was a very pretty bay, and over the years it became a popular seaside holiday destination and during the 1950's and 60's my own family would spent many summers in Portland, however the growth of the port and building of piers and wharves have all but destroyed the beaches around the town. Today, the original town beach is surrounded by the port facilities and as a result, the sea is as flat as a swimming pool. It is still used by holiday makers and due to stringent water quality regulations the sea is thoroughly safe for swimming.
Photo above- Portland's roller coaster is one of the unique attractions of the cities seaside carnival and attract many visitors during the holiday season.
Robe Robe is often ( and appropriately) described as a historic seaside holiday village with a wonderful holiday feel to it, but its one drawback is is is just a bit far away from the major population centres. In recent times when the economy was a little more upbeat then everything in Robe was fine but recently Robe ( like everyone else) is feeling the pinch. Robe's history dates back to the establishment of South Australia itself, and with over 80 buildings listed on the state historic buildings register ( all carefully preserved) the town is a veritable treasure trove of fascinating places to explore.
Robe's beaches are excellent and offer a variety of swimming and surfing conditions plus at present accommodation prices in Robe are quite competitive For more information on Robe click here
Photo above- Robe town beach which is located direct across the road from the Post Office and one of the more popular family beaches in the town
Grampians For those who don't care for seaside holidays, there are a number of holiday and accommodation options within the Grampians National Park. The wine regions around Moyston on the Eastern side of the Grampians are quite popular , along with historic gold mining towns of Ararat and Stawell. The good seasonal rains in the last 12 months have managed to resupply Lake Bellfield and after almost a decade, boating has now returned to the lake. The traditional accommodation centres of Halls Gap and Dunkeld are favoured destinations of those who enjoy the Aussie bush in the middle in summer.
Despite its inland location and summer temperatures, the Grampians is actually quite a popular summer holiday destination, so don't expect any bargains as there is still enough visitor numbers to keep prices to levels similar to some of the coastal resorts, in addition the practice of demanding two and three night minimum stays over the holiday periods is widespread so a bit of pre planning is worthwhile if you intend to visit the Grampians. All this notwithstanding, the Grampians is still a very pleasant place to visit and has a similar appeal to places like the Lakes District in England where hiking and bush walking are the most popular pursuits. The Grampians is also filled with most of Australia's native flora and fauna and popular with overseas visitors looking to see Australia's wild life in one location. Not to mention the Grampians is one of better wine growing regions and so attracts many wine and food buffs..For more information on the Gramopians click here
Photo above- main street Halls Gap - to the left is the car park and on the right, is the Supermarket, Post Office and set back rom the road are the "Stoney Creek" group of souvenir and take away food shops
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 in full swing with three mothers and calves in the bay at Logan's beach ( about 5 kms from the centre of the city) With better weather on its way this is the ideal time to visit Warrnambool and see Southern Right whales in their natural environment.
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
Port Campbell This small village has a resident population of about 450, but attracts a huge number of visitors, due in no small part to its proximity to the coastal scenery at the 12 Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge. The town has one pub and a couple of restaurants and several takeaway food vendors who cater to the passing parade of tourists and quite a few accommodation options ranging from backpackers through to motels and self contained apartments. The township is situated at the edge of a small square bay with most of the townships businesses located along a 200 metre section of the main street. The accommodation properties are spread arcoss the whole township with some having views across the bay ( these are generally the most expensive ) and the rest basically priced accoring to the view and quality of accomodation. The main tourist attraction - 12 Apostles and Loch Ard etc. are located about 7 − 12 kilometres away, so it is worth keeping in mind, that despite the fact that every accommodation property has pictures of the 12 Apostles in their advertising brochures, you won’t see them from your room.
Port Campbell is quite small so just about everything is within walking distance and the beach at Port Campbell is quite sheltered and offers a safe swimming location
For more information on Port Campbell Click Here
Photo above- The small bay at Port Campbell taken during November - In the next few weeks the beach will be quite crowded as the number of visitors to Port Campbell increases.