Warrnambool – The Whaling City

(pic - Story) Warnambool - Title

It certainly took me a decent amount of time to get around to writing (and even posting) this piece, especially since it was Easter 2015 when I was last in Warrrnambool (at least at the time of writing, which is actually May 2016, over a year after I was there). Mind you, it isn’t that I hadn’t written anything of Warrnambool since that time, since I did write about the Maritime Village, the Cheese Factory (along with all those cheesy jokes), the volcano, the church, and of course the Great Ocean Road (which was the main reason why I actually landed up here with my housemate). As it turns out, since I had already written something on all the things one can see and do in Warrnambool, it was probably the case that there is now nothing left to write about the place.

Well, I’ll give it a go anyway because I always seems to be able to write stuff about stuff and manage to create a very decent sized post as a result (though maybe I should try not to whaffle too much, though sometimes whaffling can be good, especially if one is whaffling about something interesting).

Anyway before I go any further I probably should embed a map of Warrnambool into the post.

So, we had arrived at our hotel around 9 – 9:30 at night, which was a little odd from what I can remember because while we stopped off at the Boggy Creek Pub for a drink (I just had to visit that pub, if only because of its name, but then again it was also apparently an historic pub as well) it was still relatively light, and for some reason I didn’t think it actually took all that long to get from Boggy Creek to Warnambool. However, after driving down the main road, past numerous motels all clearly displaying a ‘No Vacancy’ sign (it was Easter after all, and you do have to book in advance if you want some place to say), we finally arrived at the motel. I do know it was late because the guy at the reception made some comment about how he didn’t expect that we were going to turn up – well we did, it just took a little longer than normal.

Mind you, there are a few things to see an do in Warnambool, but the problem is, like most places, if you have to travel to get there (and you happen to work full time) then you are limited in what you can see or do. When I used to visit Melbourne I would rarely leave the CBD (and if I did it was to visit relatives). However now I live here I feel that I have more flexibility in being able to visit places. Mind you, since starting this blog I have also been more inclined to go out and visit places, if only to have something to write about (and there is always something to write about).

Some obligatory shots of the motel

Anyway, after dumping all of our stuff into the room we went off and grabbed some dinner. My friend had developed this urge for some Fish & Chips ever since we left Lorne, so our first quest was to find a Fish and Chip shop that happened to be open. The problem was that when we did find one it turned out to be one of those very ordinary places. Mind you, sometimes I wander whether the only fish & chip shops that are open late are the ones that sell bad chips, because the ones that sell good chips can afford to close early.

(pic - Story) Warnambool - Chips
Doesn’t actually look all that appetising

As for the hotel, well I have to say that it wasn’t a bad hotel, and it even had free wi-fi. Mind you that is a curse as well as a blessing because if the wi-fi is free then that means that everybody is going to be using the wi-fi, which results in it slowing down to a crawl. Sure, it might have been okay in the off season, but this was the Easter Long Weekend, which meant that everybody was going to be using it, so my dream of sitting in bed using the internet was unfortunately dashed.

Saturday

I’m sure that the first thing I did after getting up and having a shower was going and finding a place to have some breakfast – yet for some strange reason the period between looking for, and eating, breakfast, and then driving out to Alansdale to go and visit the cheese factory is a complete blank. Actually, it could be a complete blank because it never actually happened – we could have simply jumped straight into the car and gone for a drive. Well, there is one way to work it out – look through my photos …

As it turns out there isn’t any photos of any place that I would have had breakfast on Saturday morning, which basically means that I didn’t have breakfast – I’m not missing any memories, those memories simply don’t exist.

Anyway, after freshening up we jumped into the car and headed out of Warnambool, past all of the big box shops and the homemaker centres that appear to be popping up on the outskirts of many of the major cities and towns these days (or squeezing into empty land, such as the parts of airports that nobody seems to be using to land planes, and so the owners of the airports can add some more money to their balance sheet). Mind you, I don’t find myself going to these places all that much so I simply drove straight through (though I did take a couple of photographs for posterity’s sake).

(pic - Story) Warnambool - Homemaker Centre

Actually, at this point in time we weren’t going to any place in Warrnambool, but rather to a small town just outside – Allansford. Actually, the town is much closer to Warrnambool than where we were heading namely because the Warnambool Cheese and Butter factory is about five kilometres outside of Allansford on the Great Ocean Road. However, like a number of other places that I have already written about, this rather cheesy factory happens to be one of them, so I’ll simply say we went inside, had a look around, bought some cheese and some wine (and an icecream) and continued on our merry way (which involved heading back into Allansford – not that we actually came from there initially).

(pic - Story) Warnambool - Cheese Factory

Actually, the only reason that I wanted to go to Allansford was because there was a pub there that I wanted to mark off my list of pubs visited around the world (not that I am ever going to be able to visit every single one of them – unless I was a billionaire, but I’m not, but that doesn’t mean I can’t attempt to do it), though I must say that it wasn’t all that flash, except for the little room where you could sit at a bench and look out the window. It was a pretty nice day mind you, so we simply had a beer and went on out way.

It’s not as if Allansford isn’t a nice place to look around – it still has a small town feeling about it, and the old Post Office does look pretty cool. So, I did take a couple of photos to share before heading off back towards Warrnambool.

Our next stop was Logan’s Beach, which was advertising itself as a place where you could watch whales. Unfortunately it was probably the wrong time of year (or wrong time of day – or both) to actually see a whale. The only thing that I happened to see here were waves and people attempting to ride them. There is a pretty cool platform on top of the sand dunes where you can attempt to watch the whales, but there weren’t any binoculars there that you could use, even if there were some whales there. Mind you, I was sort of expecting a little more than this platform (with signs containing whale facts), so after wandering around the beach for a bit, we then made our way onwards.

Fortunately the Blue Hold was just down the road, but all it really happens to be is an estuary. Not that estuaries are bad, but somehow the name doesn’t generally conjure up a place of peaceful natural beauty – much in the way that a swamp doesn’t really do the same thing. It did seem to be one of those places that people like to have a go at a bit of fishing, and I did take some photos before heading further up the river. By the way, an estuary is basically a part of a river that feeds out into the ocean, but it also forms a bit of a lake before doing so (or at least that is what I suspect).

Our next stop was just a little further up Hoskings River where a small marina is located, and there was also a rather lovely boardwalk. Mindyou, since this area isn’t near the main part of Warrnambool there doesn’t happen to be all that much activity around here, which is a bit of a shame because it could be transformed into a rather decent night spot – sort of like a mini Southbank, or even Sydney Harbour. However it was still a rather pleasant walk, even if there weren’t any cafes were we could grab a coffee and sit outside (well, there did appear to be one but it was closed).

Well, for the rest of the day, after visiting a brewhouse (which is basically a pub that brews its own beer) located in the homemaker centre, we dropped the car back off at the Motel and went for a walk around the town centre. Actually, half the reason I came here was to go and visit the pubs, but to also have a bit of a look around. Mind you, the pubs actually came a bit later because I wanted to go and check out the maritime museum before it closed (as well as getting a video of the V-line train arriving at Warrnambool – I sort of missed it when it passed through Allansford).

The town centre sits on top of a hill that overlooks an area of parkland below, which includes a lake, an adventure playground, and of course the caravan park. One can also find the beach (and a boardwalk) down there, but we didn’t end up going down to have a look around. What I did find was another park on top of the hill which happened to be the war memorial. We had grabbed some chips from one of the chicken shops in town so we sat here and consumed our meal before going and checking out the village (which I have already written a post on).

Oh, and I did manage to get a video of the train.


Saturday Night

Well, after leaving the village, and taking a video of the train departing Warrnambool for Melbourne, it was time to go and check out some of the pubs. Okay, there isn’t a huge number of pubs here, but there are enough for one to be able to visit them all in one night (without having to resort to driving because as we all known drink driving is really, really bad) and to be able to determine which ones I like the most. What I’m not going to do is to list them all, and anyway I have already posted my thoughts on them up on Truelocal (and Yelp of course).

The first one we went to was the Whaler’s Inn, which is sort of one of my favourites. Okay, it isn’t my favourite, but it is up there. In a nutshell it seems to be one of those suburban pubs, with a small beer garden, a restaurant, a sports bar, and a gaming lounge. However after about 9:00 the restaurant transforms into a nightclub, though when I was there they happened to have a live band playing. They were charging entry, but with my luck I managed to squeeze in there before they started. Mind you, at this time (I actually visited the pub twice, once just after visiting the village, and once for my last drink of the night) it was getting about that time to head home, which is what I ended up doing.

(pic - Story) Warrnambool - Whaler's Hotel

Okay, I didn’t arrive at the Seanchi until near the end of the night, but I have to say that it was pretty cool. Basically it’s an Irish Pub, so you have everything that you would expect from an Irish pub inside. It had a nice and relaxed atmosphere, and wasn’t hugely crowded when I passed through. The staff were also pretty nice, but the thing that really caught my attention was that the bouncers were really friendly. Even though he didn’t want me wandering around with my bag, he was very polite in arranging for it to be put behind the bar.

(pic - Story) Warrnambool - Seanchai 04

The Hotel Warrnambool would have to be my favourite pub in Warrnambool. I’m not sure why but it probably has something to do with the inner city feel that the place has. Okay, they had some live bands, both on Saturday Night and Sunday Afternoon (but then again it was Easter) and I liked the atmosphere so much that I had to come back a second time, if only to get some photos for my reviews. Mind you, it seemed as if everybody else had the same thoughts that I did because both times I came here the place was pretty packed.

(pic - Story) Warrnambool - Warrnambool Hotel

Sunday

Well, it was Easter Sunday, so the first place I was going to visit was church. Actually it wasn’t the first place (which probably makes you question my dedication) because I went and had breakfast. I was sort of wandering if I was actually going to find any place that was open to grab a bite to eat, but fortunately just around the corner was this really cool cafe called Brockies. So, before setting off for the Easter Service, I grabbed a rather delicious, and quite filling breakfast.

 

Mind you, most of the places that we visited today, including going to church, the Fletcher Jones Gardens and Markets, the Botanic Gardens, the Art Gallery, and Tower Hill have all been written in previous posts. Okay, maybe some of those places didn’t actually warrant a post all off their own, but I guess it meant that this post wouldn’t become overtly long. Mind you, one thing I didn’t get to do is to post some photos of the Warrnambool town centre. While I didn’t spend a huge amount of time there, I did wander around here for a bit. So, without further ado here is a slideshow:

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Oh, I’ve noticed that I mentioned that this was a whaling city. Well, not quite, but it used to be a port, and there are a few buildings around here that suggested that whaling ships used to stop off here for supplies (the Southern Ocean was a place where lots of whalers plied their trades – and still do, for scientific purposes of course). However much of the history I have already written about in the post on the Maritime Village, but I thought I might just mention it.

Anyway that was about it. We had seen most things that Warrnambool had to offer (though we didn’t get an opportunity to go down to the foreshore, but then again we can’t do everything). So we then headed out of town and took the direct route back to Melbourne. Mind you I was planning on stopping at a couple of pubs on the way, but when we hit the small town (or should I say village) of Panmure, my friend indicated that he was pretty much over pubs. Still, I went inside this lovely place which is sort of a cross between some tea-rooms and the local pub and had a beer. After that, well, it was time to head home.

 

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Warrnambool – The Whaling City by David Alfred Sarkies is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. If you wish to use this work commercially please feel free to contact me.

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