February may be the shortest month in the year, but with plenty of long summer days still left on the calendar, we’re taking time out to sneak in a weekend road trip to Warrnambool.
At about 260km from Melbourne (on inland roads), the drive is a relatively easy and enjoyable one, especially when you’re on Maxxis tyres! Take the M1 and Hamilton Hwy/B140, and before you know it, you’ll find yourself in world famous shipwreck coast territory. While Warrnambool itself has plenty to offer, if you’re after a little extra Great Ocean Road adventure complete with the spectacular rock formations and scenery for which this area is renowned, it’s also a great base for exploring the area from top to toe!
Best tyres for the ride
You can safely bet that whatever your vehicle, Maxxis has you covered! With a reputation for high quality tyres that perform both on the straight and at every turn, Maxxis is a favourite tyre of choice for the small, the sporty, rugged 4×4, all-terrain city slickers and everything in-between. Choose from the iconic and ultra-sharp RAZR, high performing VS5 or the HP5 touring superstar to get your trip well and truly on the road! And if you need some help in selecting from the wide range on offer, our network of friendly and knowledgeable Maxxis dealers are conveniently located countrywide to assist with your tyre needs, wherever you are.
What’s up in Warrnambool?
Buzzing with the history and mystery of the shipwreck coast, Warrnambool is one of the region’s biggest towns. Often referred to as “windy Warrnambool” (for good reason) it’s a centre of maritime intrigue from times past, as well as being home to some great beaches, restaurants and awesome places to stay to suit every budget. Here are a few of the many highlights you won’t want to miss:
Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village and Museum…Get up to speed with tales of the shipwrecks and survivors, view the Lady Bay lighthouse and take a stroll through a magnificently reconstructed village, full of stories of the early settlers. There’s a sound and light show that takes place at dusk in all weather – you’ll need to book in.
Bay of Islands…Located between Warrnambool and Peterborough, the Bay of Islands is a 32km showcase of geological wonders, including rock stacks, sheer cliffs and picturesque landscapes that make the Great Ocean Road truly iconic!
Hopkins Falls…Just 15 minutes on Wangoom Rd will get you to this simply stunning natural waterfall sight – which is particularly spectacular after recent rains. Along with a viewing platform and steps down to the base of the falls, there’s a picnic/BBQ area where you might want to set up and kick back for a sausage sanga with a spectacular view!
Hit the beach…Lady Bay (where the Warrnambool Surf Club is situated) is a great beach for swimming, surfing or having a scenic walk.
Warrnambool Wildlife Park…Focused on conservation education, the Warrnambool Wildlife Park is the perfect stop off for a family-friendly interactive experience with a range of native Australian animals.
Botanical Gardens…Beautifully maintained – the gardens have a pond with a bridge, loads of ducks and other birdlife.
Pop into the Fresh Market…Held on the first and third Sundays of the month, the Warrnambool Fresh Market is a friendly place to stock up on fresh produce for your drive home (don’t forget that esky!)
Whales at Logans Beach…Something super-special to keep up your sleeve for the winter months (June to September when you head back this way next), is the famous Southern Right Whale Nursery at Logans Beach. The whales (returned from the sub-Antarctic to bear their young) can be viewed from the viewing platform which gives you an eagle-eyed vantage point. Out of whale season, Logans Beach is still well worth a visit, being an awesome summer spot for swimming and surfing.
Where to stay…When it comes to finding accommodation, there’s pretty much something for everyone! Whether you’re looking for resort luxury, a family-friendly motel or holiday park you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Keep those Maxxis tyres rolling…From Warrnambool getting to explore every corner of the Great Ocean Road is a breeze, including Port Campbell – just 12km west of the Apostles and a 50-minute ride. If you opt to take the scenic coastal route back to Melbourne you will have to allow yourself quite a bit more time than a return trip inland. However, with so many idyllic towns and windswept beaches to see along the way (think Apollo Bay, Wye River and Lorne just for starters!) here’s hoping you can stretch your weekend road trip out just a little longer.