22 best things to do in Warrnambool

Located on the southwestern coast of Victoria, Warrnambool is a charming seaside city that offers visitors a wealth of things to see and do. With its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and friendly locals, Warrnambool is a top destination for those looking for a weekend away or a holiday spot in Victoria.

With its location right on the doorstep of the Great Ocean Road and the 12 Apostles one way and the South Australian Border the other way, it’s a great location for exploring Victoria.

In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide to Warrnambool, highlighting the top attractions, accommodations, dining options, and more!

Things to do in Warrnambool

If you’re planning to visit Warrnambool, you’ll find plenty of things to do in this coastal city. From exploring the lively precinct to discovering the region’s natural beauty, there’s something for everyone.

Whether you’re interested in art and culture or outdoor adventures, Warrnambool has something to offer. So, don’t hesitate to visit Warrnambool and discover all that this vibrant city has to offer.

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village

One must-visit attraction is the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, which is a living history museum that showcases the city’s maritime past. The Maritime Museum, Lighthouse, and reconstructed 19th-century village make Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village the perfect place for maritime enthusiasts.

a worker dressed up in period costume at flagstaff gardens in Warrnambool. The best things to do in Warrnambool
Family-friendly activities in Warrnambool

Learn about early exploration, shipwrecks, sailing, and fishing through interactive displays and multimedia presentations. In the museum, you will find the Loch Ard Peacock which washed ashore two days after the Loch Ard ship sunk nearby.

Climb the 1859 lighthouse for panoramic views of the coast. Wander the village streets and explore buildings to get a sense of early settler and seafarer life. Don’t miss highlights like the Shipwrecked Sound and Light Show and Whalers Cottage.

This fascinating and immersive experience is one of the best things to do in Warrnambool for those interested in the area’s rich heritage.

Deep Blue Hotsprings

If you’re looking for a place to relax and unwind in Warrnambool, you should definitely check out the Deep Blue Hot Springs. It’s this amazing geothermal mineral pool complex that overlooks the ocean and has some stunning views.

a couple enjoy the deep blue hotsprings in Warrnambool
Outdoor adventures in Warrnambool

You can spend a few hours soaking in the warm mineral waters, trying out their various pools and experiences. They have hydrotherapy pools, an outdoor plunge pool, and even a cave pool! Plus, there’s a sauna, a steam room, and a salt therapy pool as well.

And if you’re in the mood for a little pampering, you can book yourself in for a massage or a beauty treatment at the day spa. It’s the perfect place to relax and recharge, and it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re in Warrnambool. Book a Deep Blue Hot Springs Sanctuary Pass

Is Regional Victoria on your list? Here are 8 spectacular places for a summer holiday in Victoria

The Wag – Warrnambool cultural experiences

You can also explore the Warrnambool Art Gallery, which has an impressive collection of Australian art. The Warrnambool Art Gallery (The WAG) is a top place to spend your time for art lovers.

warrnambool wag
The WAG is one of the top tourist attractions in Warrnambool

With a diverse range of art exhibitions showcasing works by local, national, and international artists across various mediums. You can see paintings, sculpture, photography, and more, there’s always something new and interesting to see.

The WAG also boasts a permanent collection of over 2,000 works by Australian and international artists, with a particular focus on the art of the South West Victoria region. Visitors can engage with the art and artists in new and interesting ways through the range of events and programs offered by The WAG, including talks, tours, workshops, and classes.

If you’re looking for the best things to do in Warrnambool for art and culture, a visit to The WAG is a must.

 Looking for more amazing beaches? Here are the very best Victorian beaches

 Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve

You must plan to visit Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve in Warrnambool. Here you can expect to see a diverse range of Australian wildlife in their natural habitat. Tower Hill is an active volcanic crater that has created a unique ecosystem where visitors can spot emus, Koalas, Kangaroos, Echidna, and a variety of bird species.

emu's at tower hill near Warrnambool
Must-visit places in Warrnambool

The reserve also offers walking trails and guided tours that provide opportunities to learn about the region’s cultural heritage and natural history. Overall, a visit to Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve is an excellent way to experience the natural beauty and wildlife of the Warrnambool area. It is one of the best Warrnambool day trips and excursions.


Logan’s Beach Whale-Watching Platform

If you’re looking to see whales during your visit to Warrnambool, the Logans Beach whale-watching platform is an excellent spot to visit. The best time to see whales at Logans Beach is from late May to early October when Southern Right Whales visit the area to calve and nurse their young.

warrnambool whales
Warrnambool sightseeing includes Whale spotting

Visitors whale watching in winter can expect to see these majestic creatures breaching, tail slapping, and playing in the waters of the Southern Ocean from the viewing platform. There are also interpretive signs that provide information about the whales and their behaviour.

This area is also known as Logan’s Beach Whale Nursery, as some of the female Southern Right Whales give birth here in this area. The Whales are one of the top things to see in Warrnambool. 

Explore Victoria: Here are the best caravan parks in Victoria

Warrnambool tourist Attractions Middle Island Penguins

If you’re hoping to see penguins during your weekend visit to Warrnambool, Middle Island is a great place to check out. The island was made famous by the movie Oddball, which tells the story of Maremma Sheepdogs that protect a colony of Little Penguins on the island.

The best time to see penguins on Middle Island is during the breeding season, which runs from September to April. During this time, visitors can see the penguins coming and going from their nests and watch them interact with their mates and chicks.

It’s important to note that access to the island is restricted to protect the little penguins, but visitors can view them from a specially constructed viewing platform. Overall, visiting Middle Island to see the Little Penguins is a unique and memorable experience that’s not to be missed. Unique experiences in Warrnambool are everywhere.

Warrnambool Botanic Gardens

William Guilfoyle designed and created the gardens in 1879, shortly after he completed the Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens. Today, you will find a great place to spend a few hours wandering the paths, taking in the different types of plants and trees, or just spread out a picnic blanket and enjoy your time.

You will be in for sweeping lawns and long curving paths at one of Warrnambool’s best places to hang out.

Warrnambool to Port Fairy Rail Trail

This 37-kilometre trail follows the former railway line between the two towns and offers stunning views of the coast and countryside. You can expect to see beautiful landscapes along the trail, including rolling hills, farmland, and coastal vistas.

There are also several points of interest to stop and explore, including the historic Koroit Railway Station, the Killarney Trestle Bridge, and the Tower Hill State Game Reserve.

Whether you’re an experienced cyclist or a casual rider, the Warrnambool to Port Fairy Rail Trail offers a fun and scenic way to experience the area’s beauty.

Explore Victoria:  All the best things to do in Victoria in winter

Have a drink at The Flying Horse Bar and Brewery

If you visit The Flying Horse in Warrnambool, you can expect to find a selection of locally brewed craft beers as well as other drinks and pub food. The venue has a relaxed atmosphere with indoor and outdoor seating options, and often hosts live music events.

It’s a popular spot among locals and visitors alike and a great place to try some of the region’s best craft beers. Trying local beers really should be on your list of the best things to do. 

Alternatively, if you like local craft beer Middle Island Brewing Company is a Warrnambool-based brewing company producing local beers such as The Great Southern Ale, The Howling Hefe and The Get Shuck’d Oyster Stout.

They don’t have a retail site, but you can pick their beers up at a local stockist like Swintons IGA or call into places like the Warrnambool RSL or The Beach Kiosk and Café to try them on tap.

Walking tracks in Warrnambool

You will find a few scenic walking trails around the Warrnambool city area. Warrnambool has some great walking trails that showcase the beautiful coastal scenery of the region. If you’re looking for things to do outdoors in the area, one of these walks around Warrnambool is a good option.

warrnambool walking trails and boardwalks
Things to do in Warrnambool

The Foreshore Promenade is a beautiful 5.7-kilometre track that stretches from the Warrnambool Breakwater along the coastline, taking in the main beach in Warrnambool to the mouth of the Hopkins River. The promenade is trendy; you can walk, run, ride, or skate along this scenic trail.

The Pickering Point/Mahogany Walk is a 3.6km walk that takes you along the Merri River and through the beautiful Mahogany Forest and includes the Thunder Point lookout. This walk begins at the Warrnambool Breakwater, is suitable for moderate fitness levels, and provides an excellent opportunity to see some local wildlife, such as wallabies and birdlife.

All of these walks are well-signposted and provide plenty of opportunities to take in the stunning coastal scenery of Warrnambool.

Planning to explore Victoria more? Here are the best things to do in Halls Gap, the gateway to the Grampians!

Shopping Warrnambool

Warrnambool has a range of shopping options to suit all tastes and budgets. If you’re looking for a traditional shopping experience, the city’s main street, Liebig Street, has a range of boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants to explore. You can also find a mix of national and local retailers at Gateway Plaza, a large shopping centre just outside the city.

For fresh produce and unique gifts, make sure to check out the Warrnambool Farmers Market, which takes place on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month, and if you’re interested in antiques and vintage finds, don’t miss the Fletcher Jones Market with an extensive collection of antiques, retro furniture, rare records and books and collectables. 

Best Beaches in Warrnambool

Warrnambool has several beautiful beaches, each offering unique charm and attractions. You can visit the family-friendly Lady Bay Beach, the famous surf spot of Stingray Bay, or the serene and secluded Shelly Beach.

the coastline near Warrnambool from above
Warrnambool outdoor adventures at the beach

Logan’s Beach is a great place for whale watching during winter, while Lake Pertobe Beach is ideal for swimming and paddleboarding. With so many beaches, there’s something for everyone in Warrnambool.

Surfing in Warrnambool

The Southern Ocean is known for its big swells and waves, and many people come to the Warrnambool area for surfing. Warrnambool has several beaches perfect for surfing, including the popular Logan’s Beach, Stingray Bay and the Flume.

These beaches offer a range of surf conditions suitable for beginners to advanced surfers. Logan’s Beach is known for its long, rolling waves and is a great spot for experienced surfers, while Stingray Bay is ideal for learners.

The Flume is popular with bodyboarders and experienced surfers, with large waves and a strong current. Overall, Warrnambool surf beaches offer something for everyone, from family-friendly swimming spots to challenging surf breaks.

Drive Victoria: 13 amazing places to experience autumn in Victoria

Playing Golf in Warrnambool

Warrnambool has some great golf courses to play on during your visit. The Warrnambool Golf Club, Port Fairy Golf Club, and the Peterborough Golf Club are all highly recommended by locals and visitors alike. Each course offers a unique challenge and beautiful scenery, with the Warrnambool Golf Club being particularly renowned for its stunning coastal views.

warrnambool golf course
Warrnambool Golf Club

All courses are open to visitors and offer various amenities such as equipment hire, pro shops, and dining options. If you just want to hit a few balls, you can head to the Warrnambool Driving Range.

Fishing in Warrnambool

If you’re into fishing, Warrnambool is a great spot to cast a line! There are plenty of options for both fresh and saltwater fishing. You can try your luck at the Hopkins River, which is famous for its bream, or head down near the breakwater for some salmon and snapper.

Fishing on the beach at Warrnambool
Warrnambool beach activities

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even go offshore for some deep-sea fishing. Just make sure you have a valid fishing license and check any local fishing regulations before you go. Overall, it’s a fantastic way to spend a day out in nature and maybe even catch your own dinner!

Need more Victorian holiday inspiration? 30 of the best places to visit in Victoria

Go to the Greyhounds

Go to dogs every Thursday night in Warrnambool. You can have a drink and a meal and place a few bets for a fun night out in Warrnambool. If you happen to be in town over the New Year period the club hosts The Warrnambool Greyhound Racing Club Seaside Festival between December 27 and January 12.

Besides the dogs running, there are many activities for kids including jumping castles, plaster paintings, sporting games, activities and more. 

Family-Friendly Things to do in Warrnambool

Warrnambool has something for every family. Let me tell you about some of the top activities and attractions in the area that are perfect for kids of all ages.

The Lake Pertobe Adventure Playground 

Lake Pertobe Adventure Playspace in Warrnambool is such an excellent place to take your kids for a day of fun and adventure! The play space is huge and has everything from swings and slides to mazes and flying foxes. And the best part?

It’s all set against a beautiful lake backdrop with plenty of picnic spots, walking trails and tennis courts nearby. Trust me, your kids will absolutely love the fun things it offers

Wildlife Encounters Warrnambool with kids

One of the best places for families to visit is Warrnambool Wildlife Encounters, a unique wildlife park near Great Ocean Road in Victoria.

The park offers a fully guided tour to meet Australian animals, including koalas and snakes. It’s a family-friendly, fun-filled adventure with animal encounters. The place is dedicated to conservation and provides an interactive animal experience.

Mini Golf in Warrnambool

Mini golf is a classic family-friendly activity that people of all ages have enjoyed for generations. It offers a fun and engaging way to spend time outdoors and can be a great bonding experience for families and teenagers on vacation.

lining up to hit an orange golf ball while playing mini golf in warrnambool

Mini golf courses often feature creative and challenging holes that require skill and strategy, making it an entertaining and rewarding activity for everyone involved. In Warrnambool, you can try your luck at Mini Golf by the Sea.

Travelling in Victoria with kids? Here is our guide to the very best things to do in Victoria with kids

Going to the movies – Warrnambool for kids 

If you’re looking for something to do at night with the kids, head to Capitol Cinema, which is located in the city centre. It’s a historic cinema recently renovated to provide a modern and comfortable movie experience.

Capitol Cinema has three screens that show a mix of new releases and classic films, The cinema has a range of snacks and drinks available for purchase, and the seats are very comfortable if you’re looking for Warrnambool entertainment. 

10 pin bowling 

If you’re looking for family fun, how about heading to Great Ocean Road 10 Pin bowling? The family-friendly location has 12 lanes of fun and competition for all.

bowling balls lined up at a 10 pin bowling alley
Warrnambool family activities

Every weekend, we have Disco Bowling when we turn the lights off, get the free Jukebox rocking and let the party begin. Beginner or Pro: the bowling centre caters for all skill levels with optional Bumper Bowling and ball ramps available.

Visiting the Great Ocean Road:

Warrnambool is most people’s starting point or the end of the Great Ocean Road.  For travellers staying in Warrnambool, it is conveniently located near the Great Ocean Road, a 243-kilometre stretch of road that hugs the coastline and offers breathtaking views of the ocean and surrounding landscape. The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most well-known attractions.

Great Ocean Road Port Campbell
Warrnambool local attractions include the Great Ocean Road

It is a place to visit for many. You can stop at iconic landmarks such as the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, and London Arch, formerly London Bridge. The best parts of the Great Ocean Road are at the western End in the Port Campbell National Park. Why not walk down Gibson’s Steps to get a look at the 12 Apostles from beach level? It is an unforgettable experience.

Where can I stay in Warrnambool?

There are so many wonderful options for you to choose from when you visit Warrnambool. No matter what sort of accommodation you are looking for, there is certainly a perfect place for you to book when you plan your trip to Victoria.

Best hotels in Warrnambool:

Warrnambool has a range of excellent hotels to choose from, catering to all budgets and preferences. If you’re looking for luxury, the Deep Blue Hotel & Hot Springs is a great option, offering stunning ocean views and a range of spa treatments.

The Lady Bay Resort is another popular choice, featuring spacious rooms, a golf course, and easy access to the beach. For those on a budget, the Comfort Inn On Raglan is a great option, offering clean and comfortable rooms at an affordable price. Below you will find a table with 10 of the best hotels in Warrnambool for you to stay at when exploring Warrnambool attractions

Hotel NameHotel FacilitiesStar RatingPrice RangeBook Here
Deep Blue Hotel & Hot SpringsOutdoor pool, spa, fitness centre, restaurant4-star$$$Book Now
Lady Bay ResortFitness centre, laundry facilities, free Wi-Fi4.5-star$$Book Now
Comfort Inn Warrnambool InternationalOutdoor pool, spa, restaurant4-star$Book Now
Best Western Olde MaritimeIndoor pool, spa, fitness centre, restaurant4-star$$Book Now
Quest WarrnamboolIndoor pool, spa, fitness centre, restaurant4.5-star$$Book Now
Gallery ApartmentsOutdoor pool, laundry facilities, free Wi-Fi4-star$$$Book Now
City Central Motor Inn & ApartmentsFree parking, laundry facilities, free Wi-Fi3.5-star$Book Now
Blue Whale Motor Inn & ApartmentsIndoor pool, spa, fitness center, restaurant2.5-star$$$Book Now
Mid City WarrnamboolPlayground, Laundry facilities, Wi-Fi and free parking4-star$$Book Now
Warrnambool Motel and Holiday ParkOutdoor pool, a spa tub & BBQ 3.5-star$Book Now

Apartments in Warrnambool

If you prefer a more home-like experience, Warrnambool also has many apartments available for rent. The Quest Warrnambool offers spacious and modern apartments with all the amenities you need, including a fully equipped kitchen and laundry facilities.

The Seashells Apartments is another great option, featuring spacious balconies with ocean views and a heated indoor pool.

caravan great ocean road

Tourist Parks in Warrnambool

The area has several tourist parks for those who prefer camping or caravanning. The Discovery Parks offer a range of accommodation options, from camping sites to cabins, as well as a range of facilities such as a swimming pool, playground, and BBQ area.

The Surf Side Holiday Park is another popular option, located right on the beach and offering a range of accommodation options for all budgets.

Park NamePark FacilitiesReview RatingPrice RangeBook Here
Discovery Parks – WarrnamboolFree parking, pool, kitchenette, playground, laundry facilities, BBQ facilities4/5$106 – $220Book your stay!
Warrnambool Holiday Park and MotelFree parking, pool, kitchenette, laundry facilities, BBQ facilities4/5$93 – $217Book Here!
NRMA Warrnambool Riverside Holiday ParkPool, kitchenette, Tennis Court, Games Room, BBQ facilities, Free parking,4.5/5$115 – $249Secure your stay!
Surfside Holiday ParkFree parking, pool, kitchenette, laundry facilities, BBQ facilities4/5$90 – $226Book your stay!
BIG4 Tasman Holiday Parks WarrnamboolBBQ facilities, Indoor & Outdoor Pools, Tennis Court, Camp Kitchen4/5$120-$230Book Here!

Where can I eat in Warrnambool?

Warrnambool has a thriving food scene, with many excellent restaurants to choose from. Here are some of the best restaurants in Warrnambool. The Whalers Hotel: Located in the heart of Warrnambool, this popular pub serves up delicious pub fare such as burgers, steak, and fish and chips.

If you’re in the mood for pizza, Bojangles Pizza is the place to go. They offer a range of delicious toppings and even have gluten-free options available. For a taste of fresh seafood, head to Pippies by the Bay. They serve up delicious dishes such as fish and chips, prawn linguine, and scallops.

The Pickled Pig is a cosy restaurant serving modern Australian cuisine, using fresh local ingredients to create dishes such as slow-cooked lamb shoulder and crispy pork belly.

Where can I get good coffee in Warrnambool?

Good Coffee: Warrnambool has no shortage of great coffee shops, perfect for a morning pick-me-up or an afternoon caffeine fix. Some of the best coffee shops in Warrnambool include The Pavilion Cafe on this beachfront, which is the perfect spot to grab a coffee and take in the stunning ocean views.

Blazing Stump Cafe in the city centre is a popular cafe that serves delicious coffee and a range of breakfast and lunch options. The Liebig Cafe is known for its excellent coffee and homemade cakes and pastries.

Extend your stay on the Great Ocean Road: All the best things to do on the Great Ocean Road

How to get to Warrnambool

There are several ways to get from Melbourne to Warrnambool. You can take either the Princes Highway or the Great Ocean Road by car. Depending on your chosen route and traffic conditions, the drive takes approximately 3-4 hours.

If you prefer public transportation, V/Line operates bus and train services between Melbourne and Warrnambool. The train ride takes around 3.5-4 hours, while the bus ride takes around 5 hours.

Warrnambool offers diverse activities and attractions for visitors of all ages. From exploring the beautiful beaches and coastal walks to experiencing the thrill of whale watching or deep-sea fishing, there are plenty of things to do at Warrnambool.

warrnambool beach
Best beaches in Warrnambool

Those seeking adventure can try surfing or take on the challenging terrain of Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve. Families can enjoy a day at the Lake Pertobe Adventure Playground or get up close with native animals at the Warrnambool Wildlife Park. For those who enjoy history and culture, the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum and Village and the Warrnambool Art Gallery are not to be missed.

Whether you are seeking a relaxing getaway or an action-packed adventure, Warrnambool has something for everyone. So, plan your visit today and discover all the wonderful things with this Warrnambool sightseeing guide.

We hope this article from us here at Explore Victoria has inspired you to embark on your adventure in Victoria, Australia, from popular caravan parks and pristine beaches to drives along the Great Ocean Road. Enjoy weekends away on the Mornington Peninsula and discover the cosmopolitan charm of Melbourne, Victoria, with a range of experiences for every traveller who wants to visit Victoria.

Whether you’re drawn to the rugged beauty of the Grampians, the cultural richness of Ballarat, or the autumn colours of Bright and Northern Victoria, there’s no shortage of hidden gems waiting to be discovered in Victoria.

Even if you love exploring Gippsland or driving the Great Alpine Road, Victoria has something special for you, and there is so much more for you to discover. If you are looking for more incredible and best places to visit in Melbourne or more travel in Victoria destinations, Explore Victoria has some more articles below for you to check out. Expand your horizons and get out and about in Victoria, Australia, for an unforgettable experience. 

If you have an idea, attraction, or top spot in Victoria, please comment or email us at contact@explorevictoriaaustralia.com.

Explore more of Victoria, Australia


Author Bio

Mark Wyld is a passionate writer and explorer, weaving tales inspired by a deep love for his home state of Victoria. With local knowledge, Mark seeks to share insights and experiences that captivate and inspire readers. When not immersed in writing, you can find him working in Disability Support or spending time with family and friends. Follow Mark for a journey through Victoria’s best sights, tastes and attractions.