Warrnambool holiday

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Wong Kais explored Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia from 25/10/2022 to 8/11/2022.  Warrnambool is a city along the Great Ocean Road, sandwiched between the famous towns of Port Fairy and Port Campbell.  A V/line train service runs from the Southern Cross Station, Melbourne to Geelong and terminates at Warrnambool. During his stay he was soaked and inconvenienced by the frequent spells of  rain drizzle which hampered his photo taking, and had to don a raincoat whenever he stepped out of the accommodations. On the few days when clear skies appeared, Wong Kais took in the scenery from the Cannon Hill Lookout as well as visit the Botanical Gardens designed by William Guilfoyle, who was then the Director of the Melbourne Botanical Gardens.

The city is laid out neatly in typical style seen in Australian towns and cities.  Warrnambool has round-about at almost every road junction and this makes the city stand out from other towns/cities he has visited so far. Drivers are law-abiding and considerate, always giving way to pedestrians who cross at designated spots near the round-about.

The city is well served by the usual big players : IGA, Aldi, Coles and Woolworths supermarkets. The fresh local produce requires little cooking and flavouring to bring out the best. Visitors are spoilt for choice of cuisine. Even Penang delicacies prepared by the son and daughter-in-law of a Penangite Peranakan can be savoured here in Warrnambool.  Wong Kais tried the delectable nasi lemak: amazingly fragrant rice in Malaysian style, the usual condiments and a side of fork-tender, juicy rendang from another cooking era. He indulged in lamb shanks at the Whalers Hotel and stuffed his face. He would like to try other cuisines such as Mexican, Italian and Vietnamese offerings on his next trip.

Tourist spots are within walking distance.  In this post, he shares photos and observations he made at the Cannon Hill Lookout and Botanical Gardens.

Cannon Hill Lookout

Cannon Hill Lookout offers panoramic views of Lake Pertobe and distant views of the Foreshore Promenade and Lady Bay. Visitors can view a display of cannons used during World Wars I and II, monuments commemorating Portuguese exploration of the South West and The Dirty Angel statue installed in 1925 in tribute to war veterans. Beautifully maintained footpaths with a downward gradient lead towards Lake Pertobe and Foreshore Promenade. Tour buses unload tourists at the spacious carpark here; locals take their lunch and tea-breaks while feasting on the views from the refuge of their parked cars.

Image 1: Echium candicans (Pride of Madeira) growing on slopes of Cannon Hill Lookout. Lady Bay can be seen in the distance. 2 November 2022.


Image 2: New Holland Honeyeaters ( Phylidonyris novaehollandiae) dart in and out of the Echium candidans, making their characteristic ‘chit chit’ calls. They were too fast for the photographer to catch on camera. 2 November 2022.
Image 3: Cypress (Cupressus sp.) at Cannon Hill Lookout. Cypresses are evergreen plants which belong to the Class Pinopsida. Pine trees belong to Family Pinaceae but cypresses belong to Family Cupressaceae. Part of an old cannon can be seen. 2 November 2022.


Image 4: Globose cones of the cypress trees have very little resemblance to the usual pine cones most of us are familiar with. 2 November 2022.
Image 5: Banksia repens, the creeping banksia, is a creeping shrub with cylindrical inflorescences arising near the ground. These two inflorescences are pinkish. Photograph was taken from ground level on a gentle slope. Lady Bay is visible in the distance. 2 November 2022.


Image 6: Fledgling begging father for food.
Image 7: Father (right) and fledgling (left) on a pedestrian path.


At Cannon Hill Lookout, a fledgling Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen) was seen begging its father to feed it; and probing the soil successfully for earthworms. A pair of hares shared the grass turf with the magpies. View the following You-tube shots and the You-tube video.





Botanical Gardens Warrnambool (designed in 1879)

We entered a quiet and tranquil garden on a Sunday morning.  Beautiful tall trees, spring flowers in full bloom, a rotunda built in 1913, wide lawns and a pond populated by ducks and frogs, are all packed into 8.1 ha. Visitors can walk a circuit of the gardens in half an hour but there are plants spaced out in little niche corners that are worthy of one’s attention.

Image 8: The King George V Memorial Gates entrance to the Warrnambool Botanic Gardens dates back to 1937. 30 October 2022.
Image 9: The garden signage. 30 October 2022.
Image 10: Heuchera sp. (alumroots). 30 October 2022.


Image 11: The heavy flowering plant is a dicotyledonous plant which the photographer is unable to identify. 30 October 2022.


Image 12: Viburnum opulus. (Guelder-rose). Each white globe is a corymb varying from 4-11 cm in diameter. The flowers are pollinated by insects which then develop into round red drupes. 30 October 2022.


Image 13: The flowers of Guelder-rose open as white flowers which gradually turn pink as they age and fade. 30 October 2022.
Image 14: Acanthus mollis (Bear’s breeches) growing in partial shade of tall trees. 30 October 2022.


Image 15: Acanthus mollis is also known as Bear’s breeches because the curved bracts of the flowers look like bear claws. 30 October 2022.
Image 16: Erigeron karvinskianus ( Mexican fleabane). Dainty daisies growing out from nooks and crannies of a flower bed. 30 October 2022.


Image 17: Erigeron karvinskianus, also known as Mexican fleabane. Flower profusely and often grown in crevices. 30 October 2022.
Image 18: Spring flowers in full bloom and brightening up the gardens. 30 October 2022.
Image 19: Colourful daisies planted in beds make a very pretty sight. 30 October 2022.
Image 20: Grey-headed flying foxes sleeping upside down. To new visitors, the animals could be mistaken for fruit pods when sighted from a distance. 30 October 2022.
Image 21: Signboard to educate the public about the role and importance of these Grey-headed flying foxes (Pteropus poliocephalus) in the ecosystem. 30 October 2022.

Wong Kais is hoping to visit Warrnambool again during the whale sighting months of June- September. The water off Logans Beach is a renowned whale nursery and thus a whale watching hot-spot. He also hopes to trek the Foreshore Promenade to Thunder Point and the breakwater. Maybe he will share more photos with BESGroup in the coming months.


Pictures © Wong Kais, Teo Lee Wei

Texts by Teo Lee Wei.


  1. Description of New Holland Honeyeaters https://www.birdsinbackyards.net/species/Phylidonyris-novaehollandiae#:~:text=Description%3A,to%20give%20an%20extended%20view.
  2. Botanic Gardens Warrnambool https://vintagevictoria.net.au/warrnambool-botanic-gardens/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=warrnambool-botanic-gardens
  3. Botanic Gardens Warrnambool https://www.warrnambool.com/botanic-gardens

4.  Article on Cannon Hill Lookout Warrnambool https://www.weekendnotes.com/cannon-hill/

5. How to grow Erigeron karvinskianus ‘Mexican Fleabane’   https://horticulture.co.uk/erigeron-karvinskianus/

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