Things To Do In Warrnambool During The School Holidays

The summer school holidays are finally here, and with more freedom to book family trips away over the break, now is the perfect time to get the pen and paper out and plan your families summer road trip.

Located close to Victoria’s beloved Great Ocean Road, the beachside town of Warrnambool is the perfect summer holiday destination for families looking for a coastal getaway within a few hours drive of Melbourne on the Princes Highway.

Warrnambool has everything a summer break needs – Beautiful beaches, luscious waterfalls, fantastic family friendly accommodation, incredible food and wine, fascinating history and culture, and great local cinemas, adventure playgrounds, and other activities for the entire family.

Here’s our guide to family-friendly things to do in Warrnambool during the school holidays.

Whale watching

Whale watching in Warrnambool, Victoria
Whale watching in Warrnambool, Victoria

Spend an afternoon at one of Warrnambool’s beaches, and you may spot one of the many Southern Right Whales that have been visiting the Southern Ocean for hundreds of years. 

One of those “unmissable Warrnambool activities”, grab a prime spot on Logan’s Beach or Thunder Point and look out for big spouts of water and huge tails turning into the Warrnambool surf as pods and mega-pods of whales travel along the coast line. The best sightings are usually from June to September, but this can vary depending on the weather.

Volcanos, waterfalls and the 12 Apostles

The Twelve Apostles at sunset
The Twelve Apostles at sunset

If nature and wildlife are things your kids really enjoy, Warrnambool’s tourist attractions don’t stop with whale watching. Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve is a large dormant volcano crater teeming with wildlife ranging from emus, kangaroos and koalas, to a plethora of birdlife, all surrounded by fascinating geological rock formations.

A trip to Warrnambool wouldn’t be complete without visiting the 12 Apostles, located just under a one hour drive away. One of the most popular things to do in Warrnambool with kids, get the family to do a count of the 12 Apostles – and be prepared in case they ask you where the missing ones have gone!

On the other side of Warrnambool you can find Hopkins Falls, the largest waterfall in the Hopkins River. Spanning some ninety metres in height and set amongst the regions picturesque dairy country, the falls are a perfect spot for a family picnic. In the warmer months, keep an eye out for baby eels migrating upstream!

Tower Hill National Park, Warrnambool
Tower Hill National Park, Warrnambool

Adventure playgrounds, sand dunes and pony rides

For families with young ones, Lake Pertobe Adventure Playground is the perfect place to spend a day or two over the holidays. One of the top things to do in Warrnambool with kids, the playground offers giant slides, a maze, flying foxes, and even mini golf, providing hours of entertainment for the entire family. 

Whilst you are at Lake Pertobe, why not take a boat out for an hour or two on the lake with the family, or grab one of the barbeques and have lunch by the water.

Once the playground has been fully explored, try a horse ride amongst the sand dunes with Rundell’s Mahogany Trails Warnambool and discover more of the amazing coastline. The rides are suitable for any level of riding experience, starting at the complete beginner, and pony rides are available for children under 5, and offering pony rides for children under five.

If you are still feeling adventurous, hop in the car and head to Port Fairy, less than half an hour away, and explore the historic riverfront port, pristine beaches, and Shipwreck Coast. Why not try your luck at Stand Up Paddle Boarding with the kids (14+ years) or have a go at Surfing (5-12 years). Grab a lesson with Go Surf.

The Port Fairy foreshore
The Port Fairy foreshore

Family friendly accommodation in Warrnambool

There is plenty to see and do in and around Warrnambool, and the whole family can get involved. There are several great family friendly accommodation options in Warrnambool, with the award-winning Comfort Inn Western centrally located, the Comfort Inn Warrnambool International nearby the whale watching platform, or the Comfort Inn On Raglan which includes an on-site restaurant.

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