A BIG FAMILY WEEKEND IN WARRNAMBOOLby AMY HARBOUR
Time to round up the kids and head to the seaside city of FUN for the whole family in Warrnambool. A friendly and relaxed city that offers wildlife experiences during the day and an action-packed nightlife, all by the fresh sea air.
Let off some steam and run that energy out at Lake Pertobe Adventure Playground (with a flying fox that kids and adults can both use!). This flying fox will help you to reconnect with your inner child as the wind sweeps past your face, so too will the joy. With a number of playgrounds to choose from (think countless swings, long slides and lots of climbing) there are endless adventures for all. Splash across to the paddle boats and race your mates on the lake. Got a score to settle? Mini Golf by the Sea adjoining the playground is the place have a go competing against the kids.
Explore the Street Art Trail with murals, sculptures, mosaics and installations brightening the streets and outdoor spaces for all to discover. Admire the artwork on the Lake Pertobe maze which was painted alongside community members, plus Davey Jones’ seal sculpture in the heart of the CBD, the optical illusion artwork of Jimmi Buscombe - just to name a few of artists works you can see on this trail.
Thunder Point Coastal Reserve is a great spot to park the car and head to one of the trails down to the beach. Take the boardwalk to Stingray Bay where the kids can explore the rockpools on low tide. Listen with delight as squeals of laughter and excitement come alive when starfish, crabs and little fish are discovered - (just remember to educate the kids to put all the little sea life back where they found it if they pick them up). Watch the sunset over Thunder Point as the night absorbs the suns rays in a blissful show of crimson, oranges and purple.
Experience some remarkable wildlife encounters all year round. Whale spotting at Logans Beach is best from May to September, known fondly as the whale nursery as the Southern Right Whales come to calf. From the deck, you will be in the best spot for the opportunity to view the Southern Right and Blue Whales as they migrate to warmer waters, breaching through the ocean surface in all of their magnificent glory. Whilst over the summer months, you can greet the Maremma dogs (no-contact) at Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum and learn about how these special dogs work to protect the local penguin colony on Middle Island from the threat of foxes and other predators. The unique Middle Island Penguin Project was a world-first program using the Maremmas as guardians to the penguins.
Play during the daylight and let loose as the sun sets with a wide choice of restaurants, bars and live music through the city. A number of fine restaurants offer a delicious array of meals, using local produce to discover the beauty of the area. After an enticing meal, time to hit the dance floor at one of the many bars showcasing some amazing musicians that will have you laughing with joy as the night fades away.
Grab that early morning coffee and delicious whole hearty breakfast packed with flavour from Café Graze to get you going for another day of exploring and experiences. Or head down to the Pavilion Café & Bar near the Warrnambool Breakwater whilst you sip on your morning coffee and watch the horses being trained in the bay, galloping across the sand and frolicking in the calmness of the water.
From here you can walk, run, ride or skate along the scenic foreshore promenade. A great fun path that is 5.7 kilometres stretch to the mouth of the Hopkins River. The whole family will enjoy taking in some fantastic coastal views along the way.
The Hopkins Falls are an impressive 90 metre wide waterfall that plunges 12 metres down. With two viewing platforms, the lowest one at the base of the falls is just a 5 minute walk. Being a short drive of 15km from the city itself, make sure you enjoy your time here, stretching the legs in the open with plenty of space for a picnic using one of the BBQs here.
Wind down the action-packed weekend at Deep Blue Hot Springs to restore your mind and body, whilst you absorb the minerals salts and heat of the natural water drawn from the deep springs. Wander gently through the fifteen bathing pools that have been developed to relax your mind and leaving feeling happily refreshed and invigorated. If that’s not enough, there’s an extensive spa menu to choose from whilst in between treatments you can wind down with a delicious seasonal meal and refreshment from their Nourish Dome.
Warrnambool offers the whole family the perfect place for a balanced weekend of creating many fun memories, whilst also offering moments of relaxation and joy as you experience everything this seaside city has to offer.