We had the opportunity last weekend to head to Warrnambool for a few days. Our crew is there filming and my husband, as Head of Production for WUDU wanted to get down there to see how they were fairing. I, as Editor of the Journey Magazine, wanted to check the place out and see if it had changed since I’d last been there – 326 years ago – that’s how long it feels!
I wasn’t concerned that I wouldn’t like being there, after all, it has everything I love, beaches, restaurants, nature walks (I just put that in in case you like nature walks, I’m happy with about 3 nature walks a year), great shopping and all within easy reach of Melbourne.
So, my husband and I took off on Thursday morning and headed to our digs – Surfside Holiday Park right, as the name would suggest, next to the beach, abutting the surf club. When we pulled in and I saw where the crew was staying, I’m not going to lie, I had a little cabin envy. Their cabins seemed to be brand spanking new, all clustered together and ours was a log cabin known as the Cedar Cottages on the other side of the park. Thankfully I kept quiet because as soon as I stepped into ours, that feeling disappeared. Immaculately maintained and with plenty of room for the two of us, I was in heaven.
I don’t know when this cabin was done up but it seemed freshly painted, the carpet and blinds were like-new and the real test as far as I’m concerned was that the sofa was so comfortable to sit on (not that we had much time to sit around). You often get a manky old sofa that you sink in to and find it difficult to get out of but this one was lovely. Most people think the bed is really important but I can sleep anywhere so I love a comfy sofa. The bed and linen were great by the way, I had three really good nights’ sleep.
Finally, the staff – friendly, knowledgeable and really helpful. Great hosts for the weekend and I wouldn’t hesitate to return.
HIT THE GROUND RUNNING
As this weekend was organised by my husband so there was a lot to do as soon as we arrived. As a surprise, he’d booked us into the Deep Blue Hot Springs Sanctuary. What a treat! There are several different pools with relaxing and healing qualities, all perfectly heated by water that comes from deep within the core below.
We took advantage of the twilight session meaning the pools were colourful, lit by well-designed lighting and as Victoria was just reopened from a shutdown, there were very few people there. The facilities were beautiful and it was such a treat after a few hours in the car. But alas, we were also booked in for dinner before we were going to visit another attraction so it seemed like no sooner had I immersed myself into the spa scene than we were out and on our way to the next venue. But don’t worry, I’m heading back there as soon as I can, and I’m going to the twilight session again because we’d only just got the feel of the ambiance, the sun was just going down but you could tell, it was going to be something special.
A quick shower and we were off to meet the crew for dinner at Simons Waterfront located smack bang on top of the lifesaving club, right next to our holiday park, this lively place with the uninterrupted views of the bay was going to become our local over the next couple of days.
The food and service were great, the menu, while not big, offered a variety of meals – I can highly recommend the Pork special (probably seasonal) and the Pasta Primavera!!!
For breakfast, we tended to meet the crew at the Beach Kiosk. Another great find. We were a party of 11 and the server managed to remember all of our coffee orders after a couple of days – that is gold in the hospitality industry. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. I was not disappointed.
A visit to Flagstaff Hill on night one to experience the light show was a real treat. What an amazing historical town, you are completely transformed. Then, to sit at the waterfront and watch their Sound and Light Show was spectacular.
After the first hectic day in Warrnambool, I settled in to a routine of breakfast, reading, walking (not nature walks – beach and shopping precincts), shopping, exploring while the crew worked madly from sunrise to sunset.
Other things we did in our all-too-short visit to Warrnambool was to visit the Warrnambool Wildlife Encounters. It was a beautiful afternoon with host Zarra introducing us to so many beautiful animals. Robby, our show host was able to get up and personal with all sorts of gorgeous friends. It’s a very hands-on, educational experience. You can discover more about them via their Facebook page.
A trip to Port Fairy on our final day really tested my husband’s patience. I was very interested in “investing” in the local community. And “invest” I did, in several outlets while my husband dutifully waited outside.
All in all, I had a great time in Warrnambool. It is a sophisticated town in so many ways with a touch of sleepy seaside resort. If you haven’t been there, what’s holding you back – apart from a worldwide pandemic? Don’t put it off for 326 years as I did!
Leanne O’Neill, Editor – Journey Magazine