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If you are considering coming down to Woolsthorpe for the drive, think about taking a day or two to do it, there are many lovely things to do in this area.
Right in Warrnambool, about 5 minutes from the city centre, is the Southern Right Whale nursery....almost every year the Southern Right Whale cows come to the sheltered Logan Beach to calve. 2008 heralded the arrival of two separate cows with calves. They usually stay from May until October and there is a splendid viewing platform near the whales. Strongly recommended, it would be ridiculous to come to Warrnambool over Winter and NOT visit the whales! Sadly, earlier this decade there were two years where the whales did not come; it was suggested that oil rig sonar testing off the Warrnambool shore deterred the whales from their usual visit.
About 10 minutes from home is Tower Hill. It is a 10,000 year extinct volcano. It hosts a wide variety of native animals and birds, including emu, koala, kangaroo, wedge tail eagle, peregrine falcons and a mass of native water birds . Unfortunately the drought of the last several years has caused the lake bed to dry out, but fingers crossed, we hope that this year the rains might finally come and make everything green again. You can drive right down into the centre of the volcano, and there is an excellent visitor's centre where you can view the animals up close, learn about volcanoes and the local area, and buy a wide range of local goods. BBQ and picnic facilities available. Strongly recommended.
Flagstaff hill is a full size replica of a small fishing port. It has several shops (some of which actually do sell stuff), ships, the 'Shipwrecked' laser light show (highly acclaimed) and a good souvenir shop. It is also home to the spectacular 'Loch Ard Peacock'. It is easy to spend the day here. Highly recommended.
Why visit Warrnambool if you don't plan to visit the beach?
Warrnambool has several beaches, all with different facilities and attractions; whether you wish for waves, calm, underwater life, surfing..... there are many beaches with activites to suit everyone.
Penguin Island is one of the few remaining permanent wild Fairy Penguin populations left in Victoria. Sadly, over the last few decades, the colony has suffered repeated attacks from feral dogs and foxes, at one stage in 2005 there were only four adults left, after over 180 penguins were slaughtered by these feral animals. A world first trial in 2007 sees the placement of Maremma Sheepdogs on the islands during the breeding season to guard over the adults and chicks. Careful training has enabled the dogs to live on the island fulltime, and this breeding season 51 adult penguins have returned to the island. It would be nice to see these wonderful dogs trained to protect other vulnerable animals. I can vouch for their value as a protector, in the 10 years we've had our own Maremma we have not lost lambs or our free range poultry to foxes, which are a major pest problem in our rural area.
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