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Warrnambool

(4/5 based on 2,200+ reviews for top 20 attractions)
Things to do: museums, wildlife areas, parks
Warrnambool is a regional centre and former port city on the south-western coast of Victoria, Australia. The City of Warrnambool local government area has, in 2014, a population of 33,948. Situated on the Princes Highway, Warrnambool marks the western end of the Great Ocean Road and the southern end of the Hopkins Highway.HistoryThe word Warrnambool originates from the local Indigenous Australians name for a nearby volcanic cone. It is interpreted to mean many things including land between two rivers, two swamps or ample water.A popular legend is that the first Europeans to discover Warrnambool were Cristóvão de Mendonça and his crew who surveyed the coastline nearby and were marooned near the site of the present town as early as the 16th century, based on the unverified reports of local whaler's discovery of the wreck of a mahogany ship. The ship's provenance has been variously attributed to France, China, Spain and Portugal. There is no physical evidence to suggest that it ever existed.The under Lieutenant James Grant sailed along the coast in December 1800 and named several features, followed by Matthew Flinders in the and French explorer Nicholas Baudin, who recorded coastal landmarks, in 1802. The area was frequented by whalers early in the 19th century.
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