The native garden at Swan Reserve in Raglan Parade was started in the 1970s by Warrnambool members of the Society for Growing Australian Plants. In recent years the garden has been rejuvenated through the efforts of the Friends of Swan Reserve. It now features a banksia bed planted with indigenous varieties of banksias, a rare and endangered species bed and several feature trees.
Council has worked with the Friends group to improve the entire reserve with additions including a playground and an indigenous marrung – a gathering place which recognises the six tribes which exist in the Maar nation of the South West.
The reserve also features a series of decorated message poles created by a group of 22 students who worked with indigenous artist Tracey Roach and Aboriginal Elder Rob Lowe Senior.
The Nature Glenelg Trust funded the Biodiversity Garden Bed which contains Aboriginal food plants and habitat plants which attract birds and insect life. Signs at the beds help visitors identify plant species which include yam daisies, chocolate lilies and muntries, which are a berry with a flavour described as “spicy apple”.
Miura Friendship Gardens
Located on Grafton Road, the garden is a symbol of the sister city friendship between Warrnambool and Miura, Japan. The garden is designed around traditional philosophies of Japanese garden architecture utilising native Australian plants.
Warrnambool Community Garden
The Warrnambool Community Garden is a place for people to plant, grow and tend to fruit and vegetables. Situated on the corner of Grieve Street and Grafton Road, it features two acres of land and garden beds.
Based on principles of organic gardening and permaculture, it has over 60 plots including large communal vegetable gardening areas, an extensive herb and sensory garden, a chook Hilton and a native bush food garden. The garden runs an extensive workshops program and run several public events annually that provide opportunities for the general public to come along to the garden.
Cannon Hill offers panoramic views of Lady Bay and Lake Pertobe. A Portuguese Padrao commemorates early Portuguese exploration of the Warrnambool area. BBQs, a rotunda and car parking available.
Location: Adjacent to the War Memorial, off Artillery Cres.
Fletcher Jones Gardens
The gardens surround the former clothing factory of the same name, founded in Warrnambool in 1948. The colourful gardens, once the site of a quarry, also feature Sir Fletcher Jones’ hawker wagon, a waterfall and wishing well.
Location: Cnr Flaxman Street & Raglan Parade.
Find out more by visiting www.fjstories.org.au/fj-gardens
The Hopkins River mouth (Blue Hole) with its beautiful cliffs, rock formations and rock pools is a popular fishing spot. Located between the Hopkins River Bridge and Jubilee Park are 6 fishing jetty locations. These locations have floating jetties which are accessible at all times of the year with carpark facilities.
Just up from the river mouth, boating, water-skiing and swimming are possible. Nearby is the National Trust-classified Proudfoots Boat-house.
Location: Off Otway Road.
The Merri River lies to the west of the city, meandering through wetlands before emerging at Stingray Bay, in the Thunder Point Coastal Reserve. The Merri is regarded as one of Victoria’s finest brown trout streams. Located at the Dennington Boat Ramp is a floating jetty which is accessible at all times of the year with carpark facilities provided.
Hopkins Falls are set against lush dairy country. They make an ideal picnic, fishing and walking spot, with gas BBQs and toilets provided. For a few days in early summer each year, the baby eels migrate upstream over the falls.
Location: 13km north east of Warrnambool.