Warrnambool is Victoria's largest coastal City outside Port Phillip Bay and is the fastest growing economy and population centre in the Great South Coast. The City is a major provider in the fields of commerce, governance, social services, health, education, culture, the arts and recreation.
Warrnambool is a major destination for people travelling along tourist routes including the Great Ocean Road, Princes Highway and the Melbourne-Warrnambool railway.
The City caters for regional, intrastate, interstate and international visitors. With a location adjoining both protected and exposed coastline and a strong maritime and built heritage, over 700,000 tourists visit the City each year to relax in the beach environmental and surrounding recreational precincts.
A wide range of festivals and events, including the hallmarked May Racing Carnival, the Fun4Kids Festival and Port Fairy Folk Festival play a major role in the City's tourism economy and cultural and sporting life.
Physical attractions such as Lake Pertobe, the Hopkins and Merri Rivers, the Lady Bay foreshore and the prospect of whale watching provide a range of year-round activities.
As well as a developing tourist industry, Warrnambool is the focus for a range of activities that provide an employment base for the City's growing population of approximately 32,000 and a population of around 25,000 within the adjoining sub-region, including:
- A major retail and business centre.
- Primary production and food processing.
- Quality education facilities from pre-school to university.
- Community, health and governance services.
The City offers a wealth of passive and active recreational activities for residents and visitors alike. The coast and surrounding foreshore provide opportunities for a range of aquatic pursuits. Recreation facilities developed by the public and private sector provide for both team and individual activities on an indoor and outdoor basis, including the newer AquaZone and Warrnambool Stadium facilities. A number of tourism and cultural facilities including Flagstaff Hill Tourism Precinct (with the Shipwrecked sound and light presentation), The Lighthouse Theatre and Warrnambool Art Gallery are important regional attractions for the City.