The Ambivalent Tour Guide

Here’s a challenge that is hard to resist.  ‘Share with us an image, or two, or three, (or more!) of where you live.’ https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/tour-guide/
I’m planning on moving on from the town I currently live in sometime this year (hopefully sooner rather than later) so reflecting on this place is timely.

The town in question is Warrnambool, a country town of about 30,000 people situated on the shores of the Southern Ocean in south west Victoria, Australia.

The area was occupied by white squatters in the 1840s and very quickly became the centre of a rich wool growing district.  Many old grazier families still live here and it’s possible to catch the whiff of old money and privilege if you look  beneath the current ‘international tourist destination’ veneer.

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Most of the old woolen mills have disappeared though a factory that was once famous for its woolen suits and skirts has been repurposed as an antiques market.

2017-06-26 16.31.13-01 The back of the Fletcher Jones Mill Market.

The land itself is ancient.  There is archaeological evidence that Aboriginal people have lived in the area for over 30,000 years.    Shell middens and signs of ancient cooking fires can be found along the cliffs that look out to the Southern Ocean.

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These days the town has a new life as a tourist destination.   The children’s movie ‘Odd Ball’ is set on Middle Island – the place where Mareema Sheep dogs mind the Fairy Penguins.  DSCF8169-01
Looking out to Middle Island at a very low tide in summer

During the winter months Warrnambool can be very cold and wet.   Icy winds straight off the Southern Ocean roar through town.  DSCN8485-01

If you brave the winter chill you can often be rewarded by the sight of Southern Right Whales.  Every year whales swim up to give birth in the waters off the coast of Warrnambool.   The mothers then spend up to four months rearing their young at Logan’s Beach on the outskirts of town.
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Although living in Warrnambool has its limitations it can be a great place to visit.  The coastline is quite spectacular.

 

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Suzanne

I'm an artist and a writer living by the coast in southern Oz.

11 thoughts on “The Ambivalent Tour Guide”

    1. Thanks Olga. During the week I realized I can’t leave till July or August but strangely, I aren’t as upset about that as I thought I would be. Life has a way of working out for the best sometimes, even if that best is unexpected.

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