Warrnambool is a former port city in Victoria, Australia. It lies to the south west of the county, on the Princes Highway and has a population of more than 34,000. The city has an oceanic temperate climate, and sees higher than average rainfall compared to other parts of Victoria. The predominant language spoken in Warrnambooll is English.
The word Warrnambool derives from the Indigenous Australian name for a volcanic cone, and is said to have several meanings. One of the popular interpretations of Warrnambool is “the land between two rivers, two swamps or ample water”.
It’s believed that the first Europeans to discover Warrnambool were Portuguese explorer, Cristóvão de Mendonça and his crew who arrived to city in as early as the 16th century. However, official sources indicate that it was in fact Scottish explorer, James Grant, who came upon the city for the first time. His arrival was followed shortly after by visits from French explorer, Nicholas Baudin, and English navigator, Matthew Flinders.
It was during the Victorian gold rush of the mid-19th century that Warrnambool came into its own. The area was transformed into a major port, and, following that, was classified a town in 1883.
Today, Warrnambool is a booming commercial hub with beautiful buildings, beaches, parks and tree-lined streets. It has sizeable student population, and great bars, as well as excellent art galleries. Points of interest include Logan’s Beach, Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve, Warrnambool Botanic Gardens and Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village. Other attractions include Bay of Islands Coastal Park and Thunder point Coastal Reserve.
Warrnambool forms part of the Princes Highway, between Terrang and Port Fairy. It’s linked by the Hopkins Highway and is situated close to the Great Ocean Road – which runs from Torquay and Allansford. The city offers rail services to both Melbourne and Geelong via two train stations: Warrnambool and Sherwood Park. The town is also served by a number of buses which run on to neighbouring towns and suburbs. The closest airport to Warrnambool is Warrnambool Airport at roughly 8 miles from the city centre.
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