6.1 out of 10

Warrnambool

Ranked 2nd best suburb in Western District
-38.3780011598808 142.475485987563
Great for
  • Clean & Green
  • Safe & Sound
  • Internet Access
  • Gym & Fitness
  • Neighbourly Spirit
Not great for
  • No ratings yet
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Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Trendy & Stylish

Reviews

jd3 jd3
3/5 rating details
  • Neighbourly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
Dec 29, 2016

"A lovely place with un-Australian weather and wind all year round."

I have lived in Warrnambool for a few years now and I love it and hate it equally. On the practical side there are some valuable PROS:
Good choice of quality primary schools. the public high schools in town are only two though, the other two are private and are not cheap, although very good by what I've heard.
There is a Tafe and a university although they have both threatened to close in recent times due to several factors, including lack of funding.
Traffic is non-existent and you can get anywhere within minutes and parking is hardly ever a problem, even on busy days.
You have a more than sufficient array of shops/ major chain stores (except Big W and some other ones) you would normally find in major cities/ big regional centres.
Most roads are wide and green and depending where you live, it's not hard to find safe areas as there is a fairly big choice of properties and rentals, with very reasonable prices.
Health services are good and so is the public hospital. Some years ago the local private hospital has been voted best in Australia.
You have very good sporting clubs/ facilities for kids and adults all year round. Lake Pertobe is fantastic, green and across the road from the main beach. Locals and tourists simply love it. The smell of the ocean is great and reinvigorating all year round.
There's a world class bmx track, a dedicated mountain bike track on the cliff side of the beach, with a great long walking track as well, a well maintained large skatepark and if you like fishing there are two rivers as well as the ocean.
The views in Warrnambool are breath taking everywhere you go. The sunsets over Thunder Point are spectacular with a 360 degree view of the ocean, the town and the magnificent sea of green vegetation around it (find the lookout up the top from the car park).
If you can't find an activity to do here, or if your kids get bored, it's probably because of you. There is a fantastic local scouts group and several ways to get involved in the community if you're not lazy.
The architecture of some of the period homes around the town is fantastic.
There's a hive of artists and musicians in Warrnambool, so if you get to know the right people and are either an artist or musician, you won't get bored.
During one week of the school holiday Warrnambool hosts Fun4Kids, which is Australia's biggest and best children festival, a must see and it's very reasonably priced.
The local library is a bit old but is big and there is good enough variety for everyone.
Another pro is that you don't need to have an air conditioner at home as it never gets hot or humid enough to use one. There are only a number of hot days, but even then, the cool breeze provides relief at some times during the day. On some hot nights a fan in the house is sufficient to get a good sleep.
During the months of December/January there is an overall good vibe in Warrnambool (and Port Fairy) due to a warmer climate (although not steady) summer markets and activity, beach vibes etc.
If you hate the inland heat, then Warrnambool is for you in summer as it doesn't get hot generally.
Elderly people are well catered for here and there is a big proportion of retirees enjoying the quiet lifestyle here.
Unlike many regional centres there aren't too many hoons around.

So I've said all the good things about Warrnambool. I need to mention the CONS, whilst being honest.
The distance to Melbourne is 3 hours and although it doesn't seem to be a great deal, it's actually a 6 hour round trip, meaning that if you visit Melbourne you need to book accommodation because you can't have a day trip there. You're 2 hours away from either Ballarat or Geelong though, but I personally don't go there often.

The state of the ROADS immediately outside Warrnambool are the WORSE in Victoria as VicRoads does not provide adequate funding. Potholes and uneven surfaces present a real danger as well as a rough ride.
The roads in the town are average too; some bike lanes have recently being added in the CBD, along side rough sections of the roads that need fixing and haven't been done yet, and probably never will.
The CONSERVATIVE councillors are always in bitter dispute as to preserve the town's heritage by not changing much so there are always debates and poor outcomes when it comes down to "looking ahead" and "improve". It took them years to figure out that our main street is dying ad most shops are closing down and this is not a good look for the town.
There isn't a dedicated pedestrian area in the CBD as the lazy locals expect to park their cars right in front of the shops rather than walking a few extra meters- this means that a walking area, such as a mall like in Bendigo or Ballarat will not happen here.
Locals constantly complain about parking fees in the CBD and I find it ridiculous as parking is fairly cheap and there are areas with free parking only meters away from shops, yet this isn't good enough for some wingers.

THE LOCAL MENTALITY. I get told all the time "if you're not born here you're not a local". It's true, the locals here are very clicky and generally don't make you feel part of the place.
Although I have made some friends, generally walking around the streets I constantly get people staring and it's not a great feeling. Their body language says it all really. I've heard this from many people I've known that have come from some other places- they're not happy here.

DRIVERS cannot turn right without occupying the left side of the road, as if they're turning a semi trailer, so most of the time you can't get past them until they have completed their turn; this really holds the traffic behind them, but they don't seem to care- however bad drivers are everywhere, but I just see this specific thing done here and nowhere else. It's frustrating to have this happening every day.
Night life apart from a couple of pubs is non existent. Once the shops close the town goes to sleep and there is nothing to do apart from going home or drive to look at the scenery.

Food choice is very poor and overpriced. It's sad but it is what it is.

There aren't many FESTIVALS and the few around are small and offer very little in terms of entertainment.
There are only very few MARKETS that are overpriced compared to some I've been in country Victoria; some new markets have recently been created and offer some good items/ produce but their prices are unrealistic.

Warrnambool has a MONOCULTURE and small town syndrome and the clicky locals attitude doesn't help to attract people from different cultural backgrounds, so that means the place isn't growing much in mentality since the colonial era.

V-Line has the worse trains in the state here in windy Warrnambool. They're poorly maintained, slow and always late.

I cannot find anything else as to why I wouldn't like Warrnambool apart from the number one problem here: THE WEATHER! It's 4 seasons in one day almost like in Melbourne, but windier.
Even locals talk about it- because it's NEVER right (apart from February-March if you're lucky).
It's ALWAYS windy! The sun does not shine in the morning. You may get glimpses of it in between clouds in the afternoon.
The constant GREY blanket of cloud generally keeps the sun away most of the day and most days of the year. Between May and November it's grey and windy 6 out of 7 days with one hour of sun per day combined (not all at once). The sky usually clears after the faint sun goes down. So it'll be dark outside but the sky clear. During these months it rains every day, with strong winds, meaning that umbrellas prove useless as it's almost always sideways rains. This time of year it's INDOOR lifestyle every day and unless you can travel up to QLD, the surroundings in Victoria have similar weather, so not much of a life if you like the outdoors. Frosts are rare in Warrnambool as it is for sunshine during these months.

There is NO REAL SUMMER in Warrnambool as spring officially arrives in December and between January and March you get about 20 days of summer in total. Also between November and April you get a 50% in total of sunny days.
Typically you'll start your day in a long sleeve even in summer and most nights are fairly cold (considering it's summer).
Forget summer barbeques outdoors- it's too cold and windy most of the time- but if you wear a jacket then it's fine.

Warrnambool has a FANTASTIC main beach with safe and surf areas, BUT, you can only use it when the moody sun decides to shine and you can only enter the water with a WETSUIT because it is cold all year round.
When you're at the beach you will notice that the sun does not go up- it goes around. So you'll be facing the water and the sun is behind you, burning your skin, while the cold wind blows straight from the ocean. You won't be able to read the paper or a book at the beach, as the wind will always get in the way (as well as the constant clouds). Also eating fish and chips by the beach proves impossible.
If it's between 22 to 30 degrees in summer in town, it will be between 19-23 by the beach....with wind.

Don't get fooled by the photos showing the outdoor lifestyle here because that is limited to about one to two months of the year. The wind and the grey sky are constantly there to spoil your outdoor fun. The sun is rare and, unlike QLD, has very intense UV rays and when it comes out it really burns your back - you need to turn your chair if you want to get some sun basically.
It might start with grey clouds and move to a beautiful sunny evening (but windy) or be the opposite but it's never the same.
Early AUTUMN is more constant with temperatures.
The weather is very CHANGEABLE here and if you're not used to it or not prepared for it, then you'll have a hard time. To plan to do anything outdoors is a very hard task. Warrnambool doesn't get the weather extremes though, which is a good thing.

WINTER is absolutely dead and boring as there is really nothing on.
Locals and newcomers with children particularly have a really hard time on weekends from June to September as the weather prevents you from doing anything outdoors, including walking. I think this is a major contributor to the high rate of people being overweight in this area (the Herald Sun in Dec 2016 had an article in the front page that said the Western district had the highest rate of obese/ overweight people in Australia, and I'm sure the weather doesn't encourage people to get out and be physically active).

I hope I haven't put you off by this weather talk, but this is the truth about Warrnambool and also surrounding places such as Portland and Geelong.

Conclusion:
You can't fault Warrnambool too much, as it would be similar everywhere with a similar population. But if you like the OUTDOOR Lifestyle, then DO NOT move here, as you you will spend many days indoors complaining about the weather. Warrnambool and the district just don't get enough hours of sunshine and that's a reality.

It's a GREAT place to bring up the kids, but once they grow up there's not much for them in terms of employment so they will leave- some come back because if they go to Melbourne, they won't keep up with the cost of living unless they make seriously good money there.
It's not a generally up beat sort of place so I definitely won't recommend it for new singles in town, but if you move here with the family and you like an indoor lifestyle it's perfect.
You can most definitely feel isolated here if you don't have family around, but that's like that everywhere, even the cities, so if you hear the word 'sea change', think again, because you don't get to enjoy the sea here, due to the un-Australian weather. Unless of course you only want to 'see the sea' from your window.

All in all if you get used to the weather, it's a good place to live.
Pros
  • Good hospitals
  • Nice views
  • Peaceful and safe
  • Quiet and relatively safe.
  • Cheap housing.
Cons
  • Cold, windy weather and isolation.
  • Loneliness (non locals who moved here say they can't make friends here)
  • Not suitable for new singles without families
  • Not suitable for outdoor lifestyle due to weather
  • Clicky locals and small town syndrome
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
1/5 rating details
  • Neighbourly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 1/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 1/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 1/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 1/5
  • Childcare 4/5
Jan 07, 2016

"Don't expect to make many friends"

Peaceful town with beautiful views of Lake Pertobe and the sea.
Feels safe (low burglary rate and car theft) except late at night in town when people are under the influence.
Unfortunately new land developments and cheap new houses make Warrnambool look like a cookie cutter suburb. Sad that a seaside town with so much potential looks more like a cheap western suburb of Melbourne.
Apart from a few events (Port Fairy Folk Festival, Fun 4 Kids, sprint cars and horse racing) there isn't a lot to do. General activities include Lake Pertobe Adventure Playground, maritime village, mini golf, go karts, dirt bike track, tenpin bowling, cycling, little nippers, fishing, boating, swimming. The weather is usually too cold or windy (with rough seas) to pursue many of these activities though. Jan to Apr is better weather (although changeable) with March being the best.
The locals have their established circle of friends and don't generally desire new friends so don't expect to break into their circles.
People who move to Warrnambool start friendship groups with others in their situation specifically to make friends. They generally move away or back to their place of origin due to loneliness.
As far as employment goes, best to develop contacts in Warrnambool if you're an outsider and wish to work here.
Restaurants don't offer a huge variety (especially for celiacs).
Customer service in this town isn't the best. Locals tend to have attitude. My son was surprised at how polite Melbournians are but that's because he's only had Warrnambool to compare.
I don't think the local hospitals provide all of the services a city would but nonetheless, they are exceptional. Had excellent experiences with the local hospitals. Public patients tend to be treated like private patients (often getting their own room, some with a sea view). Then there is the personalised service as they aren't run off their feet as much as city hospitals.
I would like to go to Melbourne more often but over 3 hours drive is a disincentive.
Pros
  • Good hospitals
  • Peaceful and safe
  • Nice views
Cons
  • Loneliness (non locals who moved here say they can't make friends here)
  • Poor customer service and attitude of the locals.
  • Cold, windy weather and isolation.
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
jd3
jd3 I agree with some of the things you said.
Dec 29, 2016
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5/5 rating details
  • Neighbourly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5
2yrs+

"huntingfield drv warrnambool"

it is as you come into wbool a new subdivision on the hopkins river opened in 2005
almost built up. views of the hopkins river. next to deakin uni and golf course. retirement home and hostel at the corner. flying horse brewery, bp and macdonalds 5 minutes walk. homemaker centre, harvey norman bunninings and kmart and coles nearby. catholic school and church close by.5 km to main st.
is a nice walk flat ground lovely houses . is near a train track.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
5/5 rating details
  • Neighbourly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 2/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"The place to be over summer"

This is a fantastoic place to holiday or live. Fantastic place for retirment. The beaches are just beautiful. Arount the months of October/November you can go whale watching. It is absolutely amazing. Lots of fun for the kids. In December there is also an annual Fete that they have. Lots of games,food and activities.For those who want to retire it is oure serenity.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5
2yrs+

"A wonderful seaside town for a sea change"

A great seaside town only 3 hours out of Melbourne on the Great Ocean Road.
The beach is great and it’s a top spot to surf for those that love the beach lifestyle.
The streets are attractive and well laid out making getting around easy.
If you want to get out and have a good time there are a few reasonable places to go. Or you could just go into one of the many restaurants or cafes.
You will be able to get everything you need in Warrnambool and then some, unlike so many country towns. There are a good range of shops in town.
When driving back from Adelaide we had to make sure we stopped at Cheese World and it was a highlight. Nothing better than fresh well made cheese.
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5
2yrs+

"Capital city of The Great Ocean Road"

I have visited Warrnambool a few times while on my way to the Great Ocean Road. This city is about a three hours' drive from Melbourne. Warrnambool has everything that a big city offers. You have your usual pubs, supermarkets, fish markets, fruit and vegetables markets, Rays Outdoors, K-mart, fast food chains, bakeries, butchers and delis. It is a good idea to stock up at Warrnambool as prices at the other towns along the Great Ocean Road can be costlier.

The streets and roads in Warrnambool are clean and wide. Houses here just resemble those of typical suburbia. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes to dine at in Warrnambool. However, the highlight of this city has to be the Cheese World that offers free cheese tasting for everyone. Warrnambool is a good place to stop for a couple of hours just for stocking up but I will not recommend hanging around here too long if you are visiting the Great Ocean Road as there is really not much sight-seeing you can do around here.

Unranked Streets in Warrnambool

Lava Street

4.5/5
"Best Street In Warrnambool"
-38.37696 142.47394

Gateway Road

4.5/5
"East Warrnambool - a great place to live; so close to everything!"
-38.3795398709 142.5197654102
"Wanstead the hood of Victoria???"
-38.38373 142.50992