A RURAL TOWN STEEPED IN HISTORY
Picturesquely located on the banks of the Barwon River, Winchelsea is a rural town steeped in history and surrounded by the fertile farmland of Victoria's Western District.
Fishing is popular in this section of the Barwon River, with brown trout, redfin and eels commonly caught nearby. There are also lakes and reservoirs close by that are popular with anglers.
Winchelsea's historic origins are clearly visible in town, with some grand buildings including the National Trust property Barwon Park, built in 1871. The magnificent building and grounds are on the town heritage trail, as is the Winchelsea Railway Station which houses a steam-hauled passenger train.
As you'd expect in an area steeped in such an abundance of history, there are a collection of antique, gift, art and craft stores in town, and traditional fare can be found in tea houses and cafes in town.
DON'T FORGET YOUR CAMERA!
Spending an hour to explore the Winchelsea Heritage Trail is well worth it. The trail commences at the Winchelsea Visitor Centre and includes landmarks such as the Globe Theatre, Barwon Park Mansion, the Barwon River and the triple-arched bluestone bridge.
If you're visiting during March and April the Country Dahlia Flower Farm is an absolute must do.
Just a short drive from Winchelsea is the award winning Dinny Goonan Winery, with a vineyard and cellar door open to the public. Visitors are welcome to taste their wines and relax in the peaceful vineyard setting. You can find out more about the wines by talking to Dinny the winemaker, or stroll around the vineyard and winery.
WALKS & LOOKOUTS
Barwon River: Near the hotel is a 3 span bluestone arch bridge (1867) over the Barwon River which is considered one of the most impressive stone structures in Victoria.
Barwon River Lookout: Barwon Terrace
BBQ & PICNIC AREAS
Beside the banks of the Barwon River at the Riverside Reserve there are picnic tables & toilet facilities and an undercover BBQ area. Picnic tables & public toilets are located next to the river beside the Barwon Hotel.
ATTRACTIONS & ACTIVITIES
This majestic 42-room bluestone National Trust Mansion & stables resonates with the glory of Victoria’s pastoral heritage. Among the impressive features are the delicate iron lace veranda and the magnificent staircase. Open every Wednesday & Sunday 11am to 4pm, & every Saturday during January & February or by appointment. Barwon Park is an ideal venue for Weddings & important functions & events.
Near the Hotel a beautiful bluestone triple-arched bridge crosses the Barwon River. There are a number of picnic spots and walks along the river. Early morning walkers have, on occasion, spotted a platypus close to the bridge.
Marjorie Lawrence Trail
Take a drive around the historic Marjorie Lawrence Trail. It is a great way to explore the life of one of the world’s most adored dramatic sopranos from the 1900’s.
Winchelsea Heritage Trail
Explore Winchelsea’s old historic buildings as you follow Winchelsea’s Heritage Trail. This trail includes 12 historic sites including Winchelsea’s First Church, the old Barwon Hotel built in
1842, the Railway Station and Winchelsea’s Grandstand built as a memorial to local soldiers who died in WWI.
Country Dahlias is a flower farm offering Australia’s largest collection of Dahlias. Spread across 2 acres and with 1,800 different types of flower, you can visit beautiful Country Dahlias during March and April each year and are welcome to bring a picnic lunch with you. Tea and coffee are available.
Location: 195 Mathison Road, Winchelsea
Phone: 5267 2389
Kilwarrie Cottage (Rose Garden)
This historic bluestone cottage has a rose arbour & gardens with over 450 varieties of beautiful roses. Group bookings welcome (including Christmas breakups) by appointment.
Location: 190 Kildean Lane, Winchelsea
Phone: 5267 2413
Hastings Ostrich Farm & The Vault
Leader in ostrich farming, exporting ostriches and ostrich goods all over the world. The shop also stocks a wide range of exotic leather goods (ostrich, crocodile, kangaroo, emu and barramundi) as well as specialist Australian products including cards, linen, dusters, oils, cosmetics and Australiana souvenirs. Scheduled tours available or call to organise a group booking.
Location: The Vault 30 Main Street, Winchelsea
Phone: 5267 2000
- Riverbank Reserve - A multi-age playground that includes junior area with double swing, 3 slides, bridge, fireman’s pole and climbing area. Location: Barwon Terrace, Winchelsea
- Dwyer Street Playground Playground includes combination unit with slide and fireman’s pole, double swing set, two spring rockers. Location: Dwyer Street, Winchelsea
- Winchelsea Skate Park Location: Hesse Street Winchelsea (next to community house)
Winchelsea Golf Club
An interesting nine hole course with grass greens and one of the best par 3’s in the district, called the ‘quarry hole’.
Location: Deans Marsh Lorne Road, Winchelsea
Phone: 5267 2660
Football & cricket oval & netball courts.
70 Hopkins St, Winchelsea
Phone: 5261 4606
Public Tennis Courts
Armytage Street, bookings Phone: 52672 788
Winchelsea Swimming Pool
Location: Barwon Terrace, Winchelsea 3241
Phone: 5267 2027
Opening: 1st Saturday in December each year
Closing: Sunday of Labour Day weekend each year Open daily 1pm-6pm
Winchelsea Bowling Club
Location: 45 Hesse Street, Winchelsea 3241
Phone: 5267 2241
Trail Bike Riding
Paddys Swamp Trail Bike Visitor Area
Situated 10km South of Winchelsea, on Paddy's Swamp Road, Bambra. Paddy's Swamp Trail Bike Visitor Area (TBVA) is easily accessed via sealed and gravel roads from Winchelsea and is central to a large network of forest roads and tracks suitable for trail bike riding. The TBVA provides riders with information on where to ride and has a range of facilities to make either end of a ride more enjoyable.
For further information refer to the 'Ride Safe' brochure from Lorne Visitor Centre
WINERIES & LOCAL PRODUCE
'The Otway Harvest Trail is a celebration of the seasons that bestow their rich bounty on a luscious part of Victoria". Offering farm gate produce, award-winning wineries, delicious food, hand crafted beer, beautiful accommodation and artisan products.
Fish: Brown Trout, Redfin, Blackfish, Eels, carp & Tench
Fish: Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Redfin
Lake is a prone to algal blooms in Summer Fish: Brown trout, Rainbow trout, redfin, eels & carp.
No recreational fishing presently allowed.
Refer to the Surf Coast Fishing Guide for more information.
Fish: Rainbow Trout
No recreational fishing presently allowed
ART, CRAFT GALLERIES & ANTIQUES
Riverlee Art Studio
Open: By appointment only.
Location: 33 Batson Street, Winchelsea.
Contact: Sandra Jones ph: 0429 368287
Winchelsea Hospital Op Shop
Second-hand goods for sale
Open 10am-4pm Friday-Monday.
Gosney Street Winchelsea
From a Summer's Garden
Offering a range of Homewares, Garden & French vintage goods
21 Willis Street, Winchelsea
Phone: 0418 109 419
Deans Marsh lies in the foothills of the Otways and is a great starting point for journeys throughout the Otway Ranges and the Great Ocean Road.
Deans Marsh has a general store, Cafés & Bar, bric-a-brac & organic local produce, a petrol station and free BBQ & picnic facilities, as well as children’s playground, skate park & public tennis courts.
Bambra itself is on one of the lower rises at the edge of the Otways. It is surrounded by extremely fertile land, watered by numerous small streams that flow into the Barwon. Pine plantations have replaced cleared native forest on many of the hills but there is low eucalyptus bush all around the town. Bambra is on the cusp of the wetter Otway ranges and the drier rain shelter to the east.
Things to do:
- Fishing on the inland lakes just north east of the town, or at the Barwon River near Winchelsea.
- Hare krishna Valley farm – Vegetarian feasts every second Sunday of the month at 12 noon.
- Location: 1265 Winchelsea-Deans Marsh, Bambra. / Ph: 5288 7383
- Tennis at the local tennis courts located in Aireys Inlet Rd
- Otway Forest Park walks
Pennyroyal Valley has berry farms flush with raspberries strawberries, blueberries, blackberries open for easy pickings between November and April. Wild apples and cherry plums still flower and fruit by the roads and streams. There is also a year-round food & wine presence emerging with three local wineries and an olive grove providing excellent local far
What To See and Do
The Vault - Hastings Ostrich Farms & Crown Exotic Leather
Hastings Ostrich Farms is Australia's leading and largest ostrich farm housing a unique flock of red neck, black neck, blue neck and Hastings White ostrich.
Winchelsea Golf Club
Winchelsea Golf Club welcomes new members and players. Come along and have a great round of golf with a great group of people.
Barwon Park is a majestic 42 room bluestone mansion set in a sweeping rural landscape, built in 1871 for Thomas and Elizabeth Austin.