Lady Bay Foreshore, Warrnambool

The Lady Bay Foreshore is located next to the Breakwater.  It offers protected waters for vessels where you can sit and watch the moored boats and see the arrival of other boats being backed into the water down the boat ramp.  Although there is seating along the foreshore the best viewing is on the balcony of the Pavillion cafe while holding a glass of wine or steaming cappuccino.  

The beach sweeps around away from the breakwater giving a large open bay.  The beach is firm sand and fine for walking along but most people use the walking track that takes you through the sand dunes.  For some reason you don’t see people swimming in this area as you do further away from the breakwater.  

One of the best things about this area is watching the horses being trained.  Lady Bay is one of the few beaches that allows horses to be trained on.  You can watch them being ridden at a very fast pace along the beach as well as being ridden in the water.  My favourite part is watching the horses being towed behind a rowboat getting them to swim in the deeper water.

The best place to watch the horses being exercised is in the Pavillion Cafe where it is comfortable, warm and a delicious breakfast and steaming coffee is placed before you.  There is no better way to maximize the experience.


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Hopkins River Mouth at Warrnambool

The Hopkins River Mouth is more than just where the flow returns to the sea. The river mouth is a very popular spot for swimming and access to Logans Beach.  On a sunny, warm day you will see many people splashing around or walking along the beach (not that I am recommending swimming here).  Its worth the drive just to look at the rocky outcrops standing on the shore.

The river mouth is located between two beaches with Point Richie on the right and Logans Beach to the left.  Both beaches are not for the inexperienced so stick to the sand.  I have walked along the river from the bridge to the mouth and its very enjoyable but quite a walk but well worth the effort when you get to the beach and experience the crashing waves.  A word of caution – when the river rises the sandy beach on both sides can flood so keep an eye out.

There are two ways to get to the Hopkins River Mouth with Ritchie Point being the main one.  Drive along Hickford Parade until it turns right and leads to the Hopkins River Lookout.  From here you can walk down to the river mouth (and it is your last chance to use a toilet).  The other way is to cross the bridge on Marfell Road and turn right into Bluehole Road and park there.  It is quite a walk to the river mouth and if the river is full the beach disappears.


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Surfside Beach at Warrnambool

With a name like Surfside you know this beach is going to be good.   Surfside Beach is part of Main Beach which stretches from the life saving tower all the way round to mouth of Hopkins River.  If you stick around the life saving tower it is a relatively safe beach but as you head towards the mouth of the river the waves get bigger and the current gets stronger.  

Surfside Beach is a long sandy beach and very enjoyable to sit on or go for a swim.  Because there is a boat ramp for the lifesavers and paddling schools it makes great access for those needing disability access.  For those wanting a firmer stroll or bike ride there is a pedestrian path that takes you through the sand dunes with regular access to the beach along the way.

If you don’t want to be on the beach you can dine or have a beer at Simon’s Waterfront or sit at the front for free on the many seats provided.  The strange thing about seating on Main Beach is that nearly all seating faces parallel to the beach meaning you have to sit and twist sideways.  I think it is a silly design that spoils the view.

If you are staying at the Surfside Caravan Park you can walk out the back of the park straight onto the beach.  If not there is parking all the way down to the tower which you turn left on Pertobe Road just past the caravan park.  This can get quite busy on a hot day but you will usually get a park on Pertobe Road and it is just a short walk to the beach.

There are public toilets at the base of the clubhouse as well as showers for after your swim.  Overall a very good beach for you and your family as well.