Cape Bridgewater is an essential 21km detour off the Portland–Nelson Rd. The stunning 4km arc of Bridgewater Bay is perhaps one of Australia’s finest stretches of white-sand surf beach, backed by pristine dunes. The road continues on to Cape Duquesne where walking tracks lead to a Blowhole and the Petrified Forest on the clifftop.
Warrnambool was originally a whaling and sealing station – now it’s booming as a major regional commercial and whale-watching centre. Its historic buildings, waterways and tree-lined streets are attractive, and there’s a large population of students who attend the Warrnambool campus of Deakin University.