Step back in time to the notorious Shipwreck Coast, where over 160 ships succumbed to the raging storms that battered the treacherous Victorian coastline in the 19th Century. At Flagstaff Hill in Warrnambool, you will hear the incredible tales of these doomed vessels and you will see the treasures that were pulled from their murky wreckages.
Located three hours west of Melbourne along the Princess Highway, Flagstaff Hill is perched over the beautiful waters of Warrnambool's Lady Bay. Begin your visit with a stroll through the Maritime Village and experience life in the 1870s as you poke around the quaint shops and cute cottages of yesteryear. A visit to the old fashioned tea rooms for scones and jam is a must.
Then, delve into the history of the coast and see some impressive pieces of salvaged treasure, including artefacts from the ill fated Loch Ard, which was wrecked off the coast of nearby Port Campbell in 1878, taking with it all but two of the 54 crew members aboard. The centrepiece of this collection is the famous Minton Loch Ard Peacock, a stunning 1.5 metre porcelain sculpture which boasts the title of Australia's most valuable shipwreck artefact.
Top off your visit with some fine dining at Flagstaff Hill's restaurant, Pippies by the Bay, and be sure to grab a table on the veranda to enjoy the sweeping views of Lady Bay and Lake Pertobe. As you watch the waves crash against the historic Warrnambool Breakwater in the distance, you will no doubt be thinking about the treasures that lie beneath.
Entry to the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village ranges from $6.50 to $16, with a family package available for $39. Flagstaff hill is open every day except Christmas.