While Warrnambool's spectacular coastline doesn't always appeal to sunbathers and sea nymphs, it does attract plenty of people on a daily basis for its beauty and recreational versatility. The bay around which the city is built bustles with runners, walkers, surfers, sight-seers and boating enthusiasts all year long, and when the weather finally warms up, tourists and locals flock to the waves to cool down.
The beach is a prime spot for swimmers on sunny days, with a long curve of sandy shore stretching for several kilometres around the arc of the Lady Bay. During the summer months, the central part of the beach is patrolled by surf lifesavers who man the Warrnambool Surf Club. The area is also popular for windsurfing and yachting, while those wanting to 'paddle' head towards the Breakwater end of the main beach, which is more sheltered.
At the other end, towards Hopkins Point, the current gets a bit rougher. Known as The Flume, this section of the beach is favoured by surfers for its larger, more consistent waves. Further down is Logan's Beach, famous for its whale watching opportunities from June to September.
Extending along the main beach from the Breakwater to the mouth of the Hopkins River is the 5.7km long Promenade. The Promenade is an extremely popular walking path. It is wide, well constructed and allows walkers, runners, skaters and riders a vista of coastal scenes all the way around. Along this route is the Thunder Point look-out and thirty minute walking track where sight-seers can view the Great Southern Ocean at its finest.
With many tourists heading to Warrnambool during the summer, beachside accommodation is in high demand. During this period, the Surfside Holiday Park, which offers cabins, cottages and camping sites, is packed with visitors – and even some locals – wanting the beach at their doorstep.