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Port of Warrnambool
In the 1880s, the Port of Warrnambool handled more cargo than the Port of Melbourne and was a thriving deep sea port. In 1874, a plan was approved by Government to provide protection to shipping by constructing a breakwater utilising huge concrete blocks weighing 32 tons each.
The blocks were transported to the breakwater site by a specially built railway line, and construction was not completed until 1890.
The Warrnambool Breakwater consists of two parts: the concrete breakwater extending out into the bay, and the timber viaduct which once joined it to the shore, which now runs along the east side of the Merri River and is surrounded by land to the east. The breakwater is 30ft wide with a 15ft wide parapet with a walkway along the top.
The viaduct was originally a raised timber structure, but is now filled in below and to the sides with bluestone rubble, and there is an asphalt roadway, known as Viaduct Road, laid along the top.
The area to the east of the viaduct which was once part of the harbour is now land, and a car park has been constructed along the new shoreline. The breakwater railway was removed in 1962, though some remnants of rail remain.
Today the breakwater is a great place to take the kids fishing, offering a sheltered place to relax. Fishing can be done on the bay side with smaller rods or over the breakwater facing the ocean with surf rods chasing the bigger fish.
Boat launching is also available at the breakwater.
The Foreshore Pavilion is the latest addition to the Lady Bay Foreshore and Breakwater area. The $3.3m building is a centrepiece of the Warrnambool Foreshore area and dramatically improved facilities for our guests to the city.
What is in the Foreshore Pavilion?
This new facility has a range of services and facilities for guests to the city and the local community.
Pavilion Cafe and Bar
Overlooking Lady Bay, Warrnambool Breakwater and Middle Island area this is a feature location for great coffee at breakfast, or glass of wine in the afternoon. To make a booking or enquiry phone (03) 5561 1551.
Pavilion Hub Interpretive Centre
The Hub (as it will come to be known) is on the ground level and provides a range of guest services. This includes a Visitor Information Centre, sale of drinks and light snacks as well as bike hire, fishing licences/bait and other products to make you comfortable to get out and walk along the Foreshore area. To contact the Pavilion Hub phone (03) 5559 4615.
Please note: During the winter months the information centre at the Breakwater Pavilion will close.
Pavilion Community Rooms
Two community function rooms are available for hire that suit a range of functions, meetings and ceremonies.
Booking the Community Rooms
Phone (03) 5559 4615.
Warrnambool’s award winning foreshore promenade is a wonderful 5.7km path that stretches from the breakwater along the coastline to the Hopkins River mouth. The promenade is very popular and you can walk, run, ride or skate along this scenic trail.
Warrnambool’s Lady Bay offers protected swimming along with the more challenging pursuits of surfing, yachting and windsurfing. Surf lifesavers patrol the beach outside the Warrnambool Surf Club during the summer months.
Beyond the breakwater at the mouth of the Merri River is Stingray Bay, a beautiful sheltered bay where families, especially with small children can enjoy swimming.