Wilsons Promontory Accommodation
1 hour drive to Wilsons Promontory.
Aerial view - Image © Foons Photographics www.foons.com.au
Bass Coast Rail Trail
Wonthaggi is the shopping and business capital of the Bass Coast region and offers plenty of retail variety while maintaining a big country town feel. There’s also plenty of entertainment and recreation options including an 18 hole golf course and heated pool.
The state coal mine historic reserve is definitely worth a look. It offers aboveground tours, heritage work, historic buildings and photographs, and has been preserved by Parks Victoria. Wonthaggi was built on black coal that was found in the area in the 1850s. But the strike at New South Wales coalfields in 1909 suddenly made this coal a valuable commodity to power Victoria’s steam trains. Mines operated at Wonthaggi until 1968, producing about 17 million tonnes of coal.
Also worth checking out are the jaw bones in front of Taberners Hotel. They washed up on a nearby beach in 1923 and are a quirky feature of the National Trust registered hotel. There are other historic sites in Wonthaggi as well, so take a drive and see what’s around.
Wonthaggi is close to a number of beaches for those seeking sand and sea. Harmers Haven is the place for fishing, surfing and some snorkelling. The village of Cape Paterson is south of Wonthaggi and its beaches offer safe swimming and surfing options. Beaches at Inverloch and Kilcunda are reasonably close. Alternatively head to the Powlett River for fishing or swimming, and afterwards enjoy a barbecue on the river’s mouth.
If you want some exercise, cycle or walk the Bass Coast Rail Trail, which goes from Wonthaggi to Anderson. It is currently about 15 kilometres long and offers some stunning views.
Wonthaggi’s Coalfields ArtGallery opened in late 2006 and features exhibitions and local artwork.
The town is about 130 kilometres from Melbourne; take the South Gippsland, then Bass Highway to get there.
Inverloch is about 10 minutes drive from Wonthaggi.
Kilcunda is about 10 minutes drive from Wonthaggi.
Korumburra is about 30 minutes drive from Wonthaggi.