I dragged myself away from The Bay of Islands here and continued to the end of The Great Ocean Road at Warrnambool. It’s a prosperous regional city of around 35,000 people, based around agriculture, in particular the dairy industry.
There’s plenty to do but there are two main attractions. The first is the winter calving of Southern Right whales. Most years, one, two or three adult females arrive between late May and August, giving birth within days of their arrival. The calves are reared at the site, then depart with their parents during mid to late September. You can watch them easily from Logans Beach or take a whale-watching tour.
The other attraction is Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum. It’s a village recreated as it would have been in the 1800s when the town was a port, along with a museum housing a large display of shipwreck (of which there are hundreds along the coast) and maritime artefacts. I arrived after lunch to be told they were closing at 3 o’clock for a wedding, which meant I was really pushed for time. I raced out into the village, my camera at the ready.
There has been a flagstaff on top of Flagstaff Hill since 1848, and the two current lighthouses were moved to the site in 1878. They still operate as a navigation aid for the channel into Warrnambool harbour.
4. Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purpose, or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly.
6. Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed.
I ran out of time for the museum. I’m not into museums usually but this one displays the history of Victoria’s shipwreck coast, and the ships that came safely all the way from England, to be lost just as they were arriving at their destination.
Along with that, there’s a night-time sound and light show which also looks terrific. I’ll have to come back in the near future and allow enough time to do the place properly.
I organised myself a single room with a bunk bed for $50 in one of the old pubs in town, The Cally, recently renovated, by the look of it.
When I fronted up to the bar, the proprietor said, ‘Do you mind if I give you a queen-size bed?’ ‘Ah, no,’ I said. And so I ended up in this very nice room with its big bed, sink and even a chair to sit on, still for $50. Now and then you get lucky.